Post Election Commentary:
- My brain is absolutely dead from lack of sleep from last night’s election returns (It took until 1 a.m. for 100% of precincts to come in for the OK Governor results, and I was up a few hours later to get to school in time to read cases for morning classes.) so I won’t give any detailed analysis on yesterday’s elections. But I will give a few preliminary thoughts…
- Brad Henry(D)’s victory over Steve Largent(R) and Gary Richardson(I) was amazing. The final results showed less than a 7,000 vote spread between Henry and Largent (each with 43% with the remainder for Richardson). Interestingly enough for my own McClain county, Largent got the top vote count but by only 13 votes! It is amazing to know how significant one vote is in a race like this.
Also what was interesting was that Largent won both Oklahoma and Tulsa Counties (for out of staters, this would be the counties in which OKC and Tulsa are in), but Henry swept most of rural Oklahoma. So far the local early morning TV news shows says the cockfighting issue brought out the rural vote.
- Talking about fighting cocks, Oklahoma voters regretably approved the anti-cockfighting measure. I personally am very disappointed in this (see my earlier posts on this subject from yesterday), but it looks like the fight may not be over yet.
- More bad news is that the Republican swept the Congressional races in Oklahoma (except for Democrat incumbent Brad Carson). But this bad news is balanced by the fact that the Democrats will retain control of the State Legislature (including Daisy Lawler, pro-life Democrat who will be my new State Senator). All in all, it looks like Oklahoma is going back to being a Democratic state on the local/state level (turning back the tide of Republican gains in recent years).
- Nationally things do not look good. I am still in shock that Mondale lost. America will sorely miss his voice against the Bush’s War in Iraq, and against the so-called Bankruptcy “Reform” law. Most of all I am disappointed that America awarded Bush for his dog & pony show. Over ONE HUNDRED MILLION dollars was raised, and those donors wil expect a return on their investment. Unless hell freezes over, it looks like Bush’s imperial reign will continue, not only for the next two years but for six. (Of course this isn’t just a republican thing. Clinton pulled the same thing with congressional fundraising.)
- Finally, these elections are convincing me that the focus of my political energies should be on the local. The national poltical scene has gone to Hades and I am beginning to think that a massive Green movement for Nader or whoever else will be a massive waste of time, and that
Third Party folks would be best off taking control of local governments: school boards, city councils, regional planning boards, etc. Fighting the Bush/Military/Industrial machine head-on is kind of like sending out a third grader to go out in the ring and fight an 800 pound gorilla. It ain’t gonna be pretty…. but if instead you take on the 800 pound gorilla as a virus you might have a chance. The virus will infect the gorilla and attack millions of cells across his body and before long… du de du du daaaaaaa!!!!!
I for one am giving serious thought to running for a local office in the next election, and I hope my readers give serious thought to doing the same. It is time we turn this tide and the only way we can do this is one election at a time.
- One other side note, since Henry has apparently won (unless there is recount that shows otherwise) it is time for Oklahoma Greens to hold his feet to the fire. In our 2002 candidate questionaire, Henry has said that he would suppport a moratorium on the death penalty, and also changing Oklahoma’s ultra-restrictive third party ballot access laws. I am very glad that he supports these things but the real issue now will be whether he will follow through. This is now the real test to see whether he will keep his word or not.