By Jan S. Gephardt

Well? It’s Wednesday, so – what did we decide?

The disadvantage of writing a politically aware blog that posts on Wednesdays is that every so often one or the other of us (usually me) must write the post on an Election Day. Some results are likely to be clear by Wednesday morning (or even Tuesday night), but that’s too late for me as I write this. It has to already be written by then, if it’s to post on time.

This means I’m writing this in the Before-Times, back when all the polling was dead-even and everyone was kind of holding their breath and crossing their fingers. Kinda like back in August in Kansas, but I’m not allowing myself to hope for a countrywide result that big and favorable.

Fact is, as I write this I honestly do not yet know the answer to the title question. But there are some things I can legitimately say about it.

Under a photo of the character Yoda from the scene in the movie “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” are the words “Difficult to see. Always in motion the future is.”
Many thanks to Amino Apps Star Wars page.

It’s Likely We Won’t Know Everything for a While

Odds are pretty good that we’ll know a lot of local – and some national – results by the time you read this post. How did we decide in those races? Individual results will vary, but trends will have emerged. Will we end up thanking our lucky stars, or will we rue the day? “Difficult to see. Always in motion the future is,” as Yoda put it (and who am I to argue with a fictional 900-year-old Jedi?).

But it’s also near-certain that we won’t know everything by Wednesday. Especially not in places like Georgia, where there’s been record advance voting, especially mail-in voting. They can’t even start counting those millions and millions of mailed-in votes until 7:00 p.m. on Election Day. There’s an almost-certain recount in the future if the vote shows a small enough margin. And if no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote, they must have a run-off election. They could plausibly keep us in suspense till almost Christmas. Happy Holidays, y’all!

Any delay is predestined to bring out the election-deniers in droves (predestined, as in: they planned for it). They’re pretty much counting on the tactic of declaring victory irrespective of the voters’ choices, and attempting to stop vote-counting if the results start to favor them at any point. Watch for them to also become angrily suspicious of any inconvenient results that come out of communities of color. These are the same folks who’ll swear they’re “not racist,” of course.

Printed over a photo of the Capitol Dome backed by storm clouds, the graphic reads, “291 GOP candidates for Congress and key state races have engaged in election denial. 63% of election deniers nominated for the U.S. House of Representatives are in safe districts.”
Thank you, Washington Post, for this infographic.

What Did We Decide About Our Widespread Discontent?

Pollsters have been asking “Is the country going in the right direction?” for months now. Large majorities keep replying, “NO!” This is invariably interpreted as a “bad sign” for the Democrats.

Well, maybe. But here’s what I see.

I see the country splitting ever more irrevocably along partisan lines. I see us hip-deep in guns but struggling to get or keep adequate health care (much less mental health care). I see women’s equality and autonomy dismissed by draconian anti-abortion laws. I see climate disasters multiplying throughout the world. I see hate speech on the rise and Asian grandfathers attacked in the street. Fentanyl overdoses unmet by available Naloxone. Severe worker shortages because our immigration system is impossibly broken. I see teachers leaving the profession in droves because of ever-greater danger from violence or virulent disease, low pay, and even less respect.

In light of all that and so much more, how can I honestly say I think the country is headed in the right direction? Quite simply, I can’t. But that doesn’t mean I voted for the people I see as causing most of that trouble!

That’s me. But what did we decide as a nation?

“One of the great ironies of how democracies die is that the very defense of democracy is often used as a pretext for its subversion. Would-be autocrats often use economic crises, natural disasters, and especially security threats – wars, armed insurgencies, or terrorist attacks – to justify antidemocratic measures.” — Steven Levitsky
Many thanks for this quote-image, Quotefancy!

What Did We Decide? And Where do We Go from Here?

Elections have consequences. Big, pivotal things change with each election – sometimes for better days. But all too often recently, it seems that many of the pivots have been away from things that make our lives better and our future brighter. What did we decide in this election?

Whatever awaits on tomorrow’s horizon, there will always be new decisions to make. New plans to make, new initiatives to take. If the country took a pivot toward a dystopian Hellscape of authoritarian dictatorship, it definitely will be harder to keep my hopes up.

But as I write this, I still hope for better than that. In my ideal world, the election-deniers, anti-democratic misogynist racists, and a certain would-be tin-pot dictator all would be banished from the field and never again heard from. Probability most likely zero, but a girl can dream (even if by now she’s an old lady).

What I think will happen is pretty much what the polls have already shown us: another dead-even partisan split, with roughly half ascendant on one side and half on the other. The balance in Congress might shift from one party to the other, but I don’t think it’ll shift by much. I guess we’ll see pretty soon how badly I got that wrong.

As a nation, what did we decide? Even more importantly, once our collective decisions all come home to roost, how will we move forward from there?


This week’s image credits are pretty straightforward, and already spelled out in each cutline. We’d like to thank Amino Apps Star Wars page, the Washington Post, and the ever-providing Quotefancy folk, for this week’s illustrations.