The 2018 Mid-Terms, Love, Hate or the Overlap at the Polls?


For the first time in a very long life of political
interest, I have absolutely no idea how the mid-term elections tomorrow will
turn out. But I do know this:
There
is a very large overlap in opinion that prevents this election from being a
referendum on either love or hate for the current state of politics in America.
A sweep on either side is unlikely. My hope is that the overlap will show
itself.
My ballot was an early one, as I live outside the country
and it has already been counted. And, of course, that ballot was marked by
choices among candidates, because that’s the system under which we are
governed. But individual candidates are a long way from telling the true story.
The true story, if it reveals itself, is one of overlap.

Individually, we do not belong
safely in those frequently named categories of rich or poor—lower, middle class
or one-percenters. Individually we overlap. Most of us are not either with or without healthcare, decent
education or opportunity. The large majority reside in a middle world of some of the above and that’s what has
the power to bring us together.
A
house divided against itself cannot stand
. Abraham Lincoln’s
words were prescient and we have become
such a house, not by the love and truth in our hearts, but by the rhetoric of
those who would divide us for their own gain. It’s division that cannot and will not stand. The days of both parties running to their base are coming to an
end.
Republicans rant against
deficits, while expanding them as an excuse to solve that self-inflicted wound
on the backs of austerity and reduced public benefits. But not all Republicans. There is a huge overlap.
Democrats boast of their
support for the environment, job retention, universal healthcare and increased
safety-nets for the poor, while their record
shows a forty-year avoidance of all those lofty goals. But not all Democrats. There is a huge overlap.
Unfettered capitalism, the banks and Wall Street are
singled out as the reason behind this beholden political environment. Greedy
beyond belief, it is claimed. Interested only in themselves, the investor-class
rules—globally, nationally and locally. Yet not all of them fall into this category. There is a huge overlap.
And so it is my view that the
life, liberty and happiness of our nation will not be found in the rhetoric of for or against, right or left, liberal or conservative,
rich or poor
.
It lies safely in the overlap—the enormous spaces in which
we find a common ground of understanding the issues that bring us together in the face of an existential threat. 
The threat is not Donald Trump against whomsoever runs
against his both popular and unpopular rhetoric. The threat is our misunderstanding of the enormous overlap that unites the right and left,
those of us in and those of us out.
The overlap is our strength
and it is what makes tomorrow’s mid-term election so difficult to call. As it should be. As it must be, if we are to be
the nation of life, liberty and happiness.
Rather than a Democrat or Republican victory tomorrow and
in all our future elections, it is my hope that the overlap wins by a
landslide.

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