The previous post about Steve King started out as a much longer post that talked about several concepts. In the end I decided it rambled and was weird and, unfortunately, didn’t think to save the 2/3’s of the post I cut out to make new post from. Stabilizing and destabilizing elections is a concept from the King post that I want to do some research on and post more about. I’m dropping this in here as a reference point.
In a nutshell, I think the 2016 election was a destabilizing election and the 2018 election was a stabilizing election.
The Trump campaign was successful in 2016 by running a campaign of destabilization. Once elected the Trump people, with the help of most of the Republican Party, continued destabilization as policy goals. Two of most heard terms about the Trump Presidency are lies and chaos. Lies destabilize and chaos is a synonym for destabilization. 😉
Cue the 2018 election. Who won? Mothers. Or at least people that could be mothers. Mothers are a symbol of stability. When you’re feeling insecure and unstable you want your mom. These moms won on bread and butter issues. Family security was addressed by taking on the Trump admin’s family separation polices and reaffirming support for gay marriage. Most of the rest were traditional issues of the left: wages, gun control, healthcare, education, transportation and the like. The people who won were the normal, professional people that usually run for office. They spoke the normal, educated, language that people who get elected to Congress speak, and they ran on the normal issues that people on the left run on. This was a return to the known. A return to stability.
The election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez could be seen as a force for the destabilization of the left, but I don’t think it is. AOC’s polices are largely the same as Bernie Sanders, Jim McDermott, Dennis Kucinich, and others on the left have advocated for. AOC’s election, at most, was an acknowledgement that stability is not stasis. The little bit of her campaign I saw seemed to revolve around traditional issues of the left including gun control, better funding for schools and college, and ending private prisons. AOC’s “green new deal” is an effort to address climate change and climate change is the destabilization of the global climate. Hey, look at that more stability. Raising the rates on a graduated income tax is a traditional way for the left (and others) to pay for things and The New Deal is often used as a trop by the left. So, again, traditional and stability seeking.
I also need to address the idea that stability is stasis more in future posts.