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A Red Ripple at Best

The best thing I can say regarding last week’s midterm elections is that thank goodness they’re in the books, and I don’t have to watch any more political advertising. I have talked to many republicans and democrats, and that was usually one of the first things they said. Before I get to my take on the results,  let me share with you the most common thoughts from members of both parties. I will tone down some of the political overtones and try to present this in a nonpartisan way.

There was bipartisan agreement that there was an overabundance of commercials. Political message after political message stacked right on top of each other. Almost all are truly embarrassing to both  parties featuring negativity and personal attacks on the opposing candidate. A common thread in almost every conversation I had was how ridiculous the spending has become to be elected to any position. And this is truly a bipartisan problem. I was asked by several to do an article just about what each party and candidate raised and spent during the election. Many mentioned the projected red wave  that never really happened. Some were obviously happy and told me it brought a smile to their face, and  some were shocked as they truly expected a red tsunami. Again, this depended upon how you  identify yourself politically. Locally one of the most common thoughts regarding the election of PA  Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman to the US Senate was, you’ve gotta be kidding me. Many blamed  the Republican party leaders for pushing Mehmet Oz on the people. I heard from one voter he held his  nose when he voted. Doc Oz’s campaign seemed to provide easy bulletin board material for the  Democratic Party across the state. Former President Barrack Obama, President Joe Biden, and  Governor-Elect Josh Shapiro rallied the blue party for Fetterman in Philadelphia. One point that I  probably should have mentioned earlier that I heard often was the complete lies and personal attacks used within the political advertising. I heard this both about Mr. Fetterman and Doctor Oz’s campaigns; I  also heard it about a candidate that wasn’t even on the ballot locally. Jen Shukaitis. A lady called me  complaining about the ads she ran because she personally knows Rosemary Brown. She even wanted to know what she could do about these lies the Shukaitis campaign was claiming as fact. My message to her was to turn the channel; there’s not much that can be done when it comes to political advertising and content in the world of today.

I will wrap this part of my column up with a thought that came from a democratic voter. He could not believe our Nation has come to this and stated he prays for our Nation and our continued freedoms. What the election results prove to me is that we are truly a divided Nation and that both republican and  democratic voters fear where our Nation is heading. They are both very unwilling to trust the other party. This especially applies to democrats who stick together through thick and thin. I would have never thought you could have the economic, national security, and job performance problems of a sitting president, no matter of party, and not have a greater uprising. I think the republicans need to take a good hard look on the national level at who is calling the shots. And why are they not doing a better job of getting their message out, especially to younger voters? They also need to revisit some of the strong policy stances that alienate different groups of voters. If I were going to call the election based upon the results locally, across the Nation, and especially on those going to Washington, I would maybe give the republican party a slight edge or an ugly win, as they say in sports. This is based upon them winning back the House and the Senate still being up in the air at press time. Nancy Pelosi being given a dose of reality and sent packing as Speaker of the House is a good start. However, at press time, as far as Harrisburg, it looks like our state has moved more toward Democratic leadership. Which we all will pay for. My closing thought is we need better leadership from both parties, and they must figure out a  way to return compromise to the table. This especially applies to so many of the issues being used by social media to divide the rankand-file party members. There’s a much more important election on the horizon, and our Nation cannot continue in the direction we’re heading. Both parties need to purge themselves of those extremists creating the wide divide; this, in most cases, is by those who have overserved their usefulness.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb