Election Notes

We’ve asked Dissent contributors for their takes on the 2012 U.S. elections and beyond. You can read their responses by clicking on the author names below. More to come soon.


 

11/13 update – Benjamin Ross:

Among the many ways the mass media devalue democratic politics is their habit of talking about a “ground game.”

11/12 update II – Gary Gerstle:

The war for the future of the Republican Party has begun, and will bear close watching. The left has its work cut out in the meantime.

11/12 update – Kevin Mattson:

I had not expected is to see government regulation, industrial policy, and downright “planning” garnering applause and support. But that’s what happened in Ohio.

Tim Barker and Sarah Leonard:

The real crime of all this election night hoopla is that its melodrama and “one night only democracy special!” attitude implies that this is where politics happens, and if you care about hope, change, or fiscal responsibility, you will throw yourself into the electoral cycle.

David Bromwich:

The largest hope of 2012 surely rests not with the president, but with those senators of political skill and passion who have been elected or reelected: Sherrod Brown, Sheldon Whitehouse, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Chris Murphy, and others. They may give the party a backbone it has missed in recent years. Gifted Democrats ought to recognize from the start how much of the burden of Obama’s second term they will have to bear.

Mark Engler:

On Election Day, opting for the lesser evil was the right call. The rest of our days, we have common cause with those who refuse to settle for evil.

Max Fraser:

The union movement’s ability to mobilize its members to provide grassroots support in the closest races, labor’s vaunted “ground game,” remains the most effective voter turnout mechanism in politics. In the six states where the AFL-CIO targeted the lion’s share of its organizing resources in the home stretch of the campaigns—Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—it seems to have been victorious in all of them.

Ryan Rafaty:

The current governing elite is far more fearful of the financial orthodoxy and fossil fuel monopolists than the latent militancy of the general population and future generations. If serious climate policies stand any chance, this power dynamic must change, preferably sooner rather than later.

Rafia Zakaria:

The question posed to the two candidates in the last presidential debate—“Is it time for us to divorce Pakistan?”—had stunned most Pakistanis, who had not thought themselves wed to the superpower they love to hate. The candidates’ responses provided little solace; neither responded by denying a marital relationship.