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A Different World

I was always a fan of “A Different World.” It was a spin off of the old Cosby Show on NBC. It was predominately African-American kids at a historically black college. I was in love with Jasmine Guy’s character, Whitney Gilbert. The point of the show was how kids from different backgrounds, but united by ethnicity, had to deal with the new world they would live in, called college. The world after the Nov. 7 election, reminds me of that. We have now have divided government at both the state and federal level. And the prosecutor’s office notwithstanding, Democratic Uni-Gov in Marion County.

I do not agree with those who say the world is going to come to an end or the terrorists will think America was right for the taking. Terrorists are going to do what they are going to do regardless of who is in charge. So pardon me if I don’t play into fear. Here’s what I will say.

At the national level, Republicans lost for a simple reason, the American people were tired of them. After 12 years, the people just said, hey, it’s time for you guys to go. There was some of the argument that the GOP strayed from its conservative roots, but as I look back into my crystal ball, I don’t see how Chris Chocola, Mike Sodrel, JD Hayworth, George Allen and Rick Santorum all strayed from their conservative roots. There was something else at play. It’s called people were tired of the war, tired of corruption, tired of the GOP.

As far as Democrats, they earned their victory. The challenge for them is to not run so far to the left that prove the GOP right. Nancy Pelosi will have a heck of a time reigning in Charlie Rangle, John Conyers and Henry Waxman. But somehow, I think the desire to stay Speaker of the House means she won’t let them get too far off the plantation.

At the state level, Democrats did a good job of winning legislative districts that were primarily Democratic. What’s interesting is the GOP won all the statewide races. And the Indiana Congressional delegation went from 7-2 Republican to 5-4 Democratic. To me, it shows Indiana may now be the new battleground state. We’ll see in 2008.

Locally, the Democrats did one hell of a job with their straight-ticket voting campaign. They won every office but County Prosecutor, which I argue had they had a stronger candidate, they could have likely won that race as well. The challenge for the GOP will be to field a candidate for next year’s mayoral race who can cut into that straight-ticket base. Carl Brizzi is living proof that the straight ticket can be beaten. However, I don’t see near-term situation where Brizzi (a good friend, full disclosure) can run without being crucified in the press. Hoosiers are kind of funny about individuals running for one office, getting elected and then turning around and running for another office. The danger for Marion County Dems is to not believe their own press about their victory. There is already talk that Sheriff Frank Anderson (the highest vote getter on the ticket) may try to run for Mayor in 2011. Let’s not put the cart too far before the horse. The next GOP candidate for Mayor has to be someone who cut into the Democratic base. Brizzi did it, so the next candidate will have to as well.

Overall folks, elections are the prime example of the free market place of ideas. Voters get to pick from the ideas they like and choose them. When they get tired of one party, they throw them out, and put a new party in place. We’ve been doing this since the founding of the Republic. I guess it isn’t really that much of a different world after all.

  • http://www.kenngividen.com Kenn Gividen

    “Voters get to pick from the ideas they like and choose them.”

    Seems that voters like to limit their choices to Republicans and Democrats (straight ticket campaign is a classic example) and, with the aid of gerrymandering, find themselves limited even more.

    Eric Schansberg provided voters in the 9th Congressional District with a valid — and in my opinion, better — alternative, but they chose to ply the wasted vote syndrome.

    Analogy?

    I imagine a Republican and a Democrat on a one-way street — both driving the wrong direction.

    The Democrat is going faster than the Republican, and seems oblivious to his error.

    For his part, the Republican refuses to even acknowledge he’s going the wrong way.

    Voters choose to ride with the Republican simply because he’s not going as far as fast as the Democrat.

    But in the end, like you say, it’s all a matter of voter choice.

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