The power shift within the U.S. Senate make last Tuesday’s election look like a sweeping triumph of the conservative agenda. Still, a review of the propositions approved state by state shows significant victories for progressives.
The Republican takeover of the Senate is a sign of the frustration of an adult, white, male majority of voters with the uneven economic recovery represented by President Obama. The irritation of some and the disillusionment of others ―namely, Democrats― with the President paved the way for the triumph of an oppositional strategy intended to turning the election into a referendum about the President.
Today, while Republicans speak in the heat of the moment about the victory of their agenda and about Obama’s defeat, the electoral results contradict them.
That is the case with several state initiatives approved by voters that go against the conservative agenda pushed by Republicans.
Oregon, Alaska and Washington D.C. legalized marihuana, while Florida was steps away from approving its use for medical purposes.
Central topics such as abortion restriction and gun control did not pass. In Colorado and North Dakota, a proposition defining a fetus as a “person” was not approved by the electorate and, in Washington, a measure making background checks compulsory before purchasing a gun were favored.
The most blatant dissociation materialized when voters in Alaska, Arkansas, South Dakota and Nebraska voted to raise the minimum wage.
In many of these cases, voters in these states ―which are considered Republican― sent an anti-Obama message via their elected senators while voting against a conservative agenda regarding affairs that directly affect their quality of life.
The disconnect between the average citizen and Washington is increasingly noticeable. The problem will remain as politicians keep their ideological blinders on and their negative messages, instead of paying attention to the real sentiment of the American people.