Now that the election is over and someone's candidate has won and someone's has lost, it is time to reflect on the past and the future.
To that end the Economist magazine, dated Oct. 20-26, carried an article on the deceased Arlen Specter titled "Snarlin' no more." The initial paragraph bears repeating as it describes the past problems of our elected office holders as well as a probable condition of those just elected:
"Neither Democrats nor Republicans have much love for moderates in their ranks. The reason is simple: in America's two-party system, moderation tends to mean siding with the other guys. One man's judicious independent is another's unreliable traitor." The final paragraph reads, "No doubt Republicans in Congress prefer a good soldier such as Mr. Toomey" (who beat Specter in a primary challenge in 2009) "to a prickly independent such as Mr. Specter. And Democrats similarly seem to be going to no great lengths to rescue vulnerable members of their shrinking Blue Dog caucus of conservative Democrats. Parties' tents are growing smaller, and redistricting is reducing the number of seats decided in inter-party general elections. Result: permanent gridlock."
This past campaign with its vitriolic language and its obscene expense will not be forgotten by those whose candidate failed to make the grade. Gridlock for sure will weaken our society.
- Richard Pelkey, Madison