Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Midterm Madness: Countdown to the Presidential Election

 Installment #7

747 Days (as of 10/17/2018) until the November 3, 2020 
Presidential Election

20 Days until the November 6, 2018 midterm elections 

Is it possible to avoid the hype of this year’s midterm elections?

My current state of residence – New Jersey – is involved in a contentious Senate race. Democrat Menendez is the current Senator. He was Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations until he resigned as a result of federal corruption charges. Not to be deterred by minor stuff like corruption scandals, he is running for re-election. 

New Jersey is not known for unsullied political activities. Its hallowed tradition is one of smoke-filled rooms and political bosses. Menendez’s Republican opponent, Hugins, is making inroads to possibly unseat Menendez. It is a tough choice – a corrupt political hack or a Republican, a former pharmaceutical CEO. I blame the Jersey Democratic machine for placing constituents in this position. I hope Menendez wins only because the Republican majority control of Senate and House needs to be busted. Any other election year I might vote differently.

In our local Congressional race our current rep, a moderate Republican, retired after 22 years in the House. The seat is up for grabs, the district registered 50-50 Democrat/Republican, although polls show the Democrat leading. The Republican candidate Seth Grossman is a strong supporter of Trump and his MAGA agenda, in favor of repealing Obamacare, pro-life, backs Trump’s wall, and has a history of intolerant remarks such as, “diversity is a bunch of crap and un-American”.

The Democrat Jeff Van Drew – previously serving in the New Jersey legislature - is not a great candidate either. He has a 100% rating by the NRA, voted against legalizing same-sex marriage, was the only Democrat to vote against raising the state’s minimum wage…there is more, but you get the idea. 

What kind of selection is the less damaging of two poor choices? 

There is an entire country out there of 49 other states, every one choosing House representatives. 35 Senate seats are in play. 

Gerrymandering and voter suppression rear their ugly heads every election cycle. Gerrymandering influences House races and voter suppression all contests. Negative ads fill the airwaves, more and more daily as Election Day approaches. Unless one disappears (temporarily) into the wilderness or a foreign country, completely tunes out all media - audio, video and written materials, studiously avoids joining or listening to political discussions - it is impossible to escape the media hype. 

And all this is only a prelude to 2020.

No matter what happens November 6th, we are in for a rocky political landscape over the next two years. 

What to do?

I am planning trips. Overseas. On the sea. In the wilderness. More as 2020 nears. Thinking about buying a new TV, but might wait until after November 2020. Politicians look scary enough on the screen now. I don’t need them yakking at me on a larger screen. I may temporarily stop newspaper subscriptions (print and online).

After all, I have to think about my health. Reading, listening to, thinking about the state of our nation results in rising blood pressure, sweaty palms, heart palpitations, nervous reactions. Republicans want to cut Medicare. I can’t afford to get sick… 

My goal is to survive (almost) unscathed until November 4, 2020.


  1. We have similar choices here for Governor. The Republican is an if it in more ways than I have time to tell. The Democrat is too liberal,I'm more a middle o f the road type person. I may vote for her, we'll see.

    1. One problem with politics today - poor choices. Where are the good guys and gals?!

  2. If you're taking suggestions for 2020, how about Mont. Gov. Steve Bullock or Col. Gov. John Hickenlooper or Minn. Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

    1. Will research them. I doubt, however, anyone cares about my ideas on 2020 Presidential prospects.

  3. I have limited my news consumption altough I can't eliminate it entirely. Even reading your blog post today gives me a bit of anxiety/heart palpitations.

    1. Sorry about raising your anxiety level. Will try to keep my political ramblings to a minimum over the next couple of years.