Wednesday, November 3, 2010

With a Bang AND a Whimper

This morning by the dawn's early light we can analyze election results through at least two cups of coffee, or latte on the West Coast, and when all is said and done, nothing has changed so much as the political universe has been reorganized. No matter your politics or ideology, the Forces of Evil (however and whoever you perceive "them" to be) didn't win and the parting on the left is now parting on the right (and the beards, such as they are, have all grown longer over night).

We are the envy of much of the rest of the world, and the scourge of those who don't envy us, because of the peaceful revolutions we have every time we vote. Initial reports of turnout, nationally as well as across Connecticut, are cause for some head scratching, especially when you think about how hotly contested pollsters and pundits told us some of the contests would be (and were). The volume of rhetoric doesn't always seem to translate into voter turnout in record-breaking numbers and I'm not sure why.

I grew up in New Jersey where 'vote early and often' isn't always perceived as simply humor as much as a practical suggestion, in other words we grumble but we (also) go to the polls. Around these parts in recent weeks it seems all we did was gripe to one another about how awful things are and how we're not gonna take it anymore. Except, that's what we said last election, and the one before that and the one before that....Nothing ever happens if you don't make it happen.

I think of our situation this morning as being the same movie with a different cast. Admittedly, we've elected some new people-though some might suggest we elected too many/not enough new people, and by the time we're through both of those positions may prove to be correct. Let's hope we haven't chosen new brooms to sweep old dust because while we live in the land of unlimited opportunity, there's only so many second chances we can have before one of them becomes our last one.

We've been running flat out, yelling at the top of our lungs at one another for quite some time now, pretending we were debating and it's time to 'fess up we weren't. Many of us felt if we could state our opinions in a strongly dogmatic tone of voice, they would automatically become facts. Yeah, lemme know how that works out.

In the meantime, here's a Nutmeg news note that is impervious to Election results: we're staring at a five plus billion (with a "B") deficit, on paper but that's NOT where it will stay. And if you don't think closing that gap will hurt everyone across the state you must NOT have: a house, a car, a child, a school, roads and sidewalks, emergency services or municipal employees, a business or a hope of ever having any of those. Today, the day after the Election, is the time to stop arguing how we got into this mess, look to the captains we've elected, grab the oars and pull as hard as you can for shore. Otherwise you're going to swim until you can't see land. And no good comes from that.
-bill kenny

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