Thursday, November 4, 2021

The Power of the People

The election results this week should remind everyone of a few truths about the power of the people in governing the United States of America.

These are truths I have written about a number of times in these. pages.

The people are sovereign in our system. Their power is absolute.  Unfortunately, too many people don't believe it. The simple fact is that politicians have no power unless the people provide it.

Laws that do not have public backing do not survive over the long term. Lawmakers who make laws that people do not support do not stay in office very long. Politicians who do not do the will of the people soon need to find other employment.

This seems to be lost on too many people who complain that they have no influence or power in the affairs of state. It may seem that way when you are just one vote. However, those votes add up quickly.

We saw clear evidence of that on Tuesday in a number of election contests across the nation.

The election getting the most media attention was the Virginia gubernatorial contest in which Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe.


It was notable because just 12 months before Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in the state by 10 points.

That translates into an enormous 12.5 point shift from Democrat to Republican in Virginia in one year.

The Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General and a majority of the state House of Delegates also were won by Republicans.

Of the previous five Governors in Virginia, only one has been a Democrat.

The Democrats have also carried Virginia in every Presidential election since 2008. 

A major factor in the race is when McAuliffe stated this is in a debate with Youngkin at the end of September.

It is undoubtedly one of the biggest political gaffes in my lifetime.

There is no doubt in my mind that it was a deciding factor in this race.

However, even more stunning were the results in New Jersey, where a little known former Republican State Assemblyman who had been out of office since 2018, almost unseated the incumbent Democrat in one of the most reliable blue states in the country.

Joe Biden won the state in 2020 by 16 points.

Incumbent Phil Murphy appears to have won with a margin of 40,000 votes out of almost 2.5 million cast.


Unlike Virginia, there was not one big gaffe that provided fuel for the challenger. In New Jersey it seems that voters have become dissatisfied with a number of issues tied to the Democrat party---harsh Covid policies, high taxes, inflation, rising crime rates etc.

It all translated to an astonishing 14 point swing in one year from Democrat to Republican. 

New Jersey was also where one of the greatest political upsets in my lifetime occurred this week when a  political novice, a truck driver by the name of Edward Durr, has apparently defeated the incumbent State Senate President Steve Sweeney who had been in that role since 2010.

Durr, a 58-year-old father of three and grandfather of six who grew up in South Jersey, estimates he spent less than $10,000 on the race. By contrast, the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, spent about $5.4 million on a 2017 effort to unseat Sweeney, yet he still won by 18 points.



What magic formula did Edward Durr have that allowed him to defeat one of the most powerful politicians in New Jersey?

It was not money. Durr did not even have a campaign website. He did have a campaign page on Facebook.

However, Durr did have an (R) after his name on the ballot. That appeared to very important this year.

Durr also made it clear that Sweeney and the state legislature had continually let the people of New Jersey down. They did not lift a finger to stop Governor Murphy's onerous Covid mandates and lockdowns that had forced 1/3 of the state's businesses out of business. They have done little to improve the state's business climate and to stop the steady outflow of New Jersey residents opting to leave the state.

You can see the campaign video that Durr filmed with an iPhone here.

The people understood the message. Perhaps the people also now better understand their power.

There were example after example of that same people power showing up this week at the ballot box around the United States.

Much to the surprise of the mainstream media and those who live in Manhattan, San Francisco and D.C., there still seem to be a lot of people who have some common sense remaining in the country.

In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in suburban Philadelphia, Republicans swept county offices for sheriff, district attorney, recorder of deeds, prothonotary and county controller.

The Republican wave extended over much of that swing state.

In Pennsylvania, the GOP also appeared to be on the verge of possibly sweeping all four Pennsylvania statewide judicial elections in voting that tellingly reflected a surge in Republicans' turnout. From Bucks County to Erie, Republicans also won big in local elections.
In Minneapolis, voters rejected a "defund the police" initiative.

Voters in Minneapolis have resoundingly rejected a proposal to reinvent policing in their city, 17 months after the killing of George Floyd by police sparked massive protests and calls for change.
Approximately 56% of voters rejected a ballot question that would have removed the Minneapolis Police Department from the city charter and replaced it with a "public-health oriented" Department of Public Safety.

A Texas House seat on the south side of San Antonio, in a district with primarily Hispanic voters that went for Joe Biden by 14 points a year ago, flipped to a Republican. 

In ultra-liberal Seattle it appears that a Republican has won the City Attorney race. However, it might take a awhile to get the final result because of Seattle's crazy mail-in ballot rules. See the article below that refers to "early returns". The numbers are as of 4pm Thursday, November 4,  two days after Election Day!

Ann Davison was leading Nicole Thomas-Kennedy 58% to 41% according to early returns in a race for City Attorney which attracted national attention because it pitted a self-described abolitionist and a Democrat-turned-Republican. Seattle city attorney

What is an abolitionist?

I learned in my History classes that it was someone who was fighting to end slavery.

No more.

The new definition seems to be someone who wants to ignore most crimes and do away with prisons.

Thomas-Kennedy believes in the abolition of the criminal justice system — or, in other words, completely overhauling how Seattle prosecutes low-level crimes and doing away with prisons. Her leftist views will be difficult to carry out in an office that primarily represents the City in civil legal battles such as when landlords yell about tenant protections or when businesses fight business taxes. 

The city attorney also prosecutes low-level crimes such as misdemeanors. Thomas-Kennedy doesn’t believe most misdemeanors should be prosecuted. Holmes and his office had already started diversion programs for these crimes to limit recidivism.

In other words, this Democrat wanted to be the City Attorney but not prosecute anyone for most crimes or to protect anyone's property rights.

There comes a point that even a Republican can get elected when you get that radical.

However, keep in mind that Thomas-Anderson defeated the incumbent Democrat in the primary. And she is still pulling 41% of the overall vote. Keep that in mind before you travel to Seattle.

Will the election results cause the Democrats to make any changes in direction from their far-left ideas?

You would think that would be the case for any rational thinking person. However, that remains to be seen. The first reaction Democrats seems to be that all those who voted for Youngkin are racists and all will be well if the Democrats spend another $3 trillion on social spending programs.

Keep your eye on how those big spending plans proceed in Congress.

What does all this mean for 2022 and 2024?

I have already seen political pundits make all sorts of claims.

This could set up the GOP to flip 50 or more House seats next year.

This makes the Republicans heavy favorites to regain control of the Senate.

This shows that Trump is done. His policies are popular but he is not.

I even saw someone already say that Glenn Youngkin would be a strong candidate for President in 2024.

The reality is that it is much too early to make any predictions.

Look how much voters views have changed in one year.

There are times that a month is a lifetime in politics. Ask Terry McAuliffe.

No one knows what the future holds and voters respond to what is happening around them when they vote.

We could be in a very different place in a year.

It might be better. It might be far worse.

That is even truer looking at 2024.

A lot of people I talk to believe that this election spells the end of Donald Trump's future in politics. They point to the results in Virginia and New Jersey and say his policies are popular but he can't be the one who sells them.

In July, I wrote a post entitled Trump 2024?

I raised the same point at that time.

One thing is for sure. 

The Trump policies are enormously popular among the party faithful.

It is less clear whether Trump is considered to be the right person to advocate for those policies in a general election.

In politics there is often something to be said for the fresh new face like a DeSantis or Youngkin. It is easy to project optimism on them. Potential is boundless, especially on the upside. Hope really does spring eternal. Their warts and weaknesses are yet to be revealed.

All in all, my view is that the 2021 election did not help Trump's chances for 2024.

However, we are still over two years before the primaries begin and three years before the general election.

A lot can happen.

The Donald's trump card is that people know what they are getting with him---warts and all.

If things continue to deteriorate, I would expect Trump to look better and better to people who may get increasingly pessimistic about the direction of the country and their own circumstances.

There comes a point when people don't care as much as about comportment as they do competence.

The people of the United States have been given a unique power that few who have ever have inhabited the earth have been privileged to receive.

It is the power to choose those who they want to REPRESENT them.

Edward Durr said one thing in this interview on Fox News that sums it up very well.

Durr said that people do not elect someone to LEAD them.

They don't choose political leaders, they elect public officials to be their VOICE.

Too many politicians have decided their role is to TELL the people what to do.

They have it backwards.

The people are supposed to TELL the politicians what to do.

That is the power of the people.

I would hope that a few more people understand that power today.

And a few more politicians are LISTENING.

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