Election post-mortem

Democrats thought they had demographics, the young adult vote, the Hispanic vote, the women’s vote, and the cultural tides all going for them.  And yet, they lost catastrophically.  So what went wrong?  After the jump, excerpts and some links to attempts to account for what happened. [Read more...]

Election results

I now know a Senator–Ben Sasse won in Nebraska!  The biggest surprise so far is in my home state of Virginia, where Republican Ed Gillespie–who no one thought had a chance–is leading incumbent Democrat Mark Warner, though the election is too close to call as of this moment.  Right now, 10:00 p.m., the Republicans are up 5 (beating Democratic incumbents in West Virginia, Arkansas, Montana, South Dakota, and Colorado), needing 6 to win the Senate majority, though that net gain could go down if they lose any incumbent seats.  The Republicans have retained the House of Representatives, picking up 10 seats.

My custom has been to stay up to watch election returns, but it’s an hour later than the clock says, due to the recent daylight savings time shift that I haven’t adjusted to yet, and I’m  getting sleepy.  It’s 10:39.  I’m going to bed.

But you can learn the results of all the races, which should be announced by daylight,  here:  Politics, Political News – POLITICO.com.

So what do these results mean?

Election Day

Today we Americans are privileged to participate in what has been called the “civic sacrament” of voting.

Elections for public office are not new, of course.  They were staples of the Greek democracy and the Roman republic.  The papacy has always been an elected position.  In medieval Europe, the Emperor was elected, the main difference from our elections being that only seven people got to vote (including the Duke of Saxony, which is why one holder of that office, Frederick the Wise, had the clout to prevent Martin Luther from being burned at the stake).

Pundits expect a big day for Republicans, who may well gain a majority on the Senate.   Any predictions? [Read more...]

Election Day post-mortem

Virginians elected Democratic operative Terry McAuliffe, even though he had never held elective office, supports gun control, champions same-sex marriage, and is militantly pro-abortion.  The once-reliably Republican state picked him over the socially-conservative attorney general Ken Cuccinelli.  My prediction:  Terry McAuliffe, whose career has been defined by his friendship with Bill Clinton, will eventually run for president (but won’t against Hillary Clinton).

Meanwhile, fiery Republican moderate Chris Christie was overwhelmingly re-elected governor in New Jersey, which usually votes Democratic.  My prediction:  This positions him as the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.

In other election results, New Yorkers elected avowed leftist Bill Blasio to be their mayor, the first non-Republican in 20 years.  Colorado, having legalized recreational marijuana use, now decided to tax the heck out of it, levying a 25% tax.  Washington state rejected a measure that would require genetically-modified food to be labeled.  Houston rejected a plan to fix up the Astrodome, meaning the first domed baseball stadium will face demolition.  And Takoma Park, Maryland, became the first city to give the right to vote to 16-year-olds.

What does all of this mean?  Some observers are saying that this election marks the end of the Tea Party movement as an effective political force.  Are they right?  Any interesting or significant election results from where you are? [Read more...]

The Civic Sacrament

Today is election day.  Mostly up for grabs are local and state races.  Voting has been called a “civic sacrament.”  The analogy is an imperfect one, and it applies only to democratic systems.  Some say that voting “doesn’t do any good,” which even if it were true is not the point.  We have a vocation of citizenship.  For those of us blessed enough to have been called to citizenship in a country in which we govern ourselves by choosing our own leaders, voting is one of the duties of our vocation.

Voting and the neighbor

Todd Wilkens, host of Issues, Etc., has a provocative post on voting like a Christian.  He is applying to this work of the calling of citizenship what Luther taught is the purpose of all vocations:  To love and serve one’s neighbor.

Why does a Christian vote? A Christian doesn’t vote for the same reason the unbeliever votes.

A Christian doesn’t vote because it’s his right. That’s why the unbeliever votes. For the Christian, his own rights have nothing to do with it.

A Christian doesn’t vote to get his way. That’s also why the unbeliever votes. For the Christian, getting his way has nothing to do with it.

A Christian doesn’t vote to protect his own interests. For the Christian, his own interests have nothing to do with it.

A Christian votes to serve his neighbor —-period.

A Christian votes because he is called to do so by the needs of his neighbor. This means that a Christian will sometimes vote against his own rights, his own way and his own self-interest; but always in favor of his neighbor and his needs. At the ballot box, the neighbor comes first.

On election day, don’t vote like an unbeliever. Make you vote count …for your neighbor.

via Steadfast Lutherans » Why Vote?.

So what difference would this neighbor-centered ethic make?  Which, in your opinion, would be a better neighbor-centered vote, for Obama or for Romney?  Is there only one answer, or might vocation lead different people to different decisions?  If the latter, does that mean that God calls people to contrary actions?  How can that be?


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