Republicans are jubilant after their electoral victories Tuesday night — but it might be that Democratic losses tell a more complete story than GOP gains.
While voters almost uniformly backed conservative candidates, they also supported ballot measures out of sync with the traditional Republican party platform. Sure, marijuana legalization — which passed in the nation’s capital and in Oregon — can be chalked up to a rise in libertarians (me included), lurking at the margins of the GOP like the outsiders we’ve been since high school. But voters also approved non-binding hikes in the minimum wage in four states and three major cities. That’s hardly a hardline conservative position. So what gives?
The easy answer is that Americans are, on the whole, idiots, who tune into elections at the last possible moment, when they simply can’t avoid it any longer. Hence the increase in television commercials the last two weeks, as the parties compete to see who can more effectively convince voters that the other guys are more likely to murder their grandmother, child, puppy, or cable television package — whichever they might find more important.