There’s got to be a way to put Election 2014 to bed—the voting part of it—and to move resolutely forward into an era of Republican governance for the Silver State. Many progressives found this year’s rout a worst-case scenario, but that old chestnut, “We get the kind of democracy we deserve” has never been more true. But apparently, everyone’s going to continue to act surprised and hope somebody’s going tell the citizens of Nevada what it all means.
We’ve become a country whose leaders no longer care about the common good, but only about political one-upmanship. After the ass-kicking, many looked to Capitol Hill for some kind of signal as to what the future might hold on a national level. At the very least, they looked for what synonym Barack Obama could possibly come up with for “shellacking,” but it took less than 48 hours for the “Sure, we’ll work to overcome Congress’ inertia” to disappear and for each side to start threatening the other and making symbolic statements that can’t possibly influence reality. Obama’s proclamation in favor of net neutrality is a great example of this. But corporations buy these elections to make sure these sorts of questions, like equality for all on the internet, don’t get decided by the citizens of this country. The politicians will dance on the strings their corporate managers pull.
It’s all such a disappointing, repetitive and familiar theme, with each party’s Pyrrhic victories seemingly final and catastrophic, but we’ve seen time and time again that they mean nothing. This game of mail-in filibusters will continue—hell, Harry Reid practically invented it—and things will continue to not get accomplished because each side benefits in the next election by nothing getting accomplished.
We looked around our own state for a clue as to what it all might mean. What did we see? Ira Hansen has been elected Assembly Speaker. Again, all the talking heads predict dire consequences, but the very fact of Hansen’s iron-clad convictions make forward momentum less probable, even within the Republican Party. The only thing many of those people who won last Tuesday have in common is the color of their ties.
There are about 2.8 million people in Nevada. Only 552,380 voted. Forget registered voters, this is supposed to be a democracy: One person, one vote. Around 11 percent of the people in Nevada made the decision to vote the way the corporations told them to vote, and that tiny fraction won by doing so. And make no mistake, it was money that was doing all the talking, using the speech that the U.S. Supreme Court has for decades handed over to corporations, going as far as to bequeath peoplehood, with its unalienable rights, to businesses.
The thing that makes progressive types so distraught about this election is the thing that should encourage them: Corporations benefit by stability, by having things not change politically. Expect the results of this election to be very similar to the results of the last two dozen elections: Increased influence of money on politics, decreased action by way of governance, decreased interest on the part of citizens.