Maybe I am wrong. I’ve been wrong before.
But I am beginning to believe the refusal of Americans to get excited about 2024 may be…a sign of maturity?
Journalists, pollsters, reporters, Republicans and Democrats are all screaming the same thing these days. “Look at me! Look at this! Be horrified! Be Angry! Be scared!”
To this most Americans are responding, “Uh, nope.”
News ratings are down. Political contributions are down. Interest in the latest outrage is down.
We have gone back to living our lives.
I know. Everything is on the ballot next year. Democracy is on the ballot. Women’s rights are on the ballot. Hell, the fate of the whole damn planet is on the ballot.
This is not fine. But if there’s nothing to be done about it right now, why shouldn’t we at least be able to enjoy a ballgame and have a Merry Little Christmas? What we want from Washington is for it to leave us alone and, to hear everyone working in Washington tell it, that’s precisely what we’re not getting.
Look. A lot of things are going to happen over the next year. The fate of Ukraine will be decided in the next year. Trump’s trials will be decided in the next year. But we’ve made choices, on our public officials. It’s policy time. Deal with it.
We can get to our judgement on all this when it’s time. So far, in 2023, the judgements we’ve been making have been sound ones. Democrats have been outperforming in all the by-elections. Even when they don’t win, they lose by less. In competitive races they’ve cleaned up. I think the Governors of Virginia and Louisiana should be getting a little nervous. The women of those states are going to be voting.
Republicans are in control of many states. We’re going to see how voters and local economies react to what they’ve done. So far, it doesn’t look good for them.
A lot of things are going to happen in the next year, and most of them look bad for Republicans. The economy isn’t crashing, despite high interest rates. Crime is going down in most areas. People have jobs. COVID seems to be in the rear-view mirror, while there are vaccines and treatments available.
When the time comes, people will decide how they feel about the current period, about the four years from early 2021 until November 2024. If you believe in democracy, if you really believe in it, you believe in the good sense of people, our ability to figure things out and make informed decisions.
If you don’t, you’re probably tearing your hair out right now.
That’s your problem.