The answer: all of the above.
Who thought that it was a good idea for the candidates and current Democratic office holders to remain silent while the other party deliberately presented false information? Which party strategist thought that it was a good idea to remain silent and not to talk about Obama’s enormous accomplishments over the last six years? Who thought that it was a good idea for the Democratic leadership to remain silent and not to tell voters:
• That there was 55 months of job growth under Obama versus multiple years of job loss under Republican leadership
• That even though the economy is doing better, it isn’t doing as well as it could be because Republicans continually block job bills that could put millions back to work rebuilding America’s decaying roads, bridges, etc.
• That Democrats strongly support scientists and their work to stop the man-made destruction of our planet by controlling air and water quality, but the Republican Party does not even address the issue
• That Republicans want to proceed with their oil and gas donors’ plans to construct the Keystone Pipeline, even though it would damage the environment and have minimal job growth
• That the millions of people who have healthcare and access to doctors outside of the emergency room for the first time, would lose their coverage if Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act
• That Republican governors blocked Medicaid Expansion in numerous states, keeping their state from getting billions of federal dollars in addition to bankrupting many hospitals
• That Democrats are fighting for a minimum wage increase, while Republicans are opposing giving employees a raise
• That while Republicans say they want to lower the deficit, they consistently increase it under their leadership in contrast to Democrats who decrease it when in office
• That old white Republican men feel that controlling women’s health decisions, economic equality and family planning is their job, not the woman’s right
• That Democrats fight for the programs American citizens want and need such as Social Security and Medicare, while Republicans want to privatize them, and eventually eliminate them.
Just 36.4 percent of eligible voters, a 72-year low, decided our future for the next two to six years this past mid-term election. These decisions, made by only one-third of American voters, will enhance the lives of the top two percent of Americans, keep wages low, equality absent, and any worthwhile legislation from passing. Where were the other remaining two-thirds of Americans on election night?
It’s not surprising to me that the Democrats lost…they chose a losing strategy. But, I was surprised and disappointed by voter turn-out. Every adult American citizen must realize the importance of exercising their right to vote. Every adult American citizen must vote even if they believe their vote does not matter. A red state cannot turn purple without the addition of blue. This last election, only one-third of the country spoke. The majority were vocal, passionate conservatives who always come out to vote…rain or shine.
Many races were razor-thin victories; yet the Republicans boasted about how they were sent to Washington to pursue their conservative agenda. I don’t blame Republicans for savoring their win. I blame Democrats for surrendering the victory before the battle even began. Democrats conceded that it was a mid-term election with an unpopular president and rather than stand by him they took a “woe is me” attitude. What we need to remember, and remind the Republicans, is that Obama was sent to Washington by a far greater number of people.
And while the Democrats would have spent money helping grow the economy, the far-right Republicans are spending taxpayer dollars for a useless lawsuit against Obama, making laws they know Obama will veto, talking about impeaching him even though they know they can’t, and even thinking about shutting down the government again. They aren’t, however, making plans to pass anything that will actually help the country.
The Republicans didn’t win the 2014 mid-terms; the Democrats lost because of voter turn-out, apathy, poor leadership, ill-advised strategies, and most importantly, by not standing up for Obama and the Democrat Party’s principles.