Sunday, 19 May 2024

Opinion | What Happened? Decoding Election Night

To the Editor:

Re “Democrats Secure Control of the House; Republicans Build on Majority in Senate” (front page, Nov. 7):

When I fell asleep the night before the 2016 election, I was certain that I would be watching Hillary Clinton win the next evening. However, like millions of other Americans, I had this strange two-year nightmare: Donald Trump was actually elected president.

I think that we are all about to wake up from the Trump nightmare, as the recent election has made certain that at least one house of Congress will check his power and that the principles of our democracy and the values of our country remain strong. We are still one step away from ridding our nation of its greatest political mistake, but it was a very important step to put us back on track.

David J. Goldberg
New Orleans

To the Editor:

The mandate given to the House Democrats on Tuesday night was definitely not to spend the next two years obsessing about bringing down President Trump. Don’t focus on those damn tax returns. Don’t get tunnel vision on impeachment. Instead, concentrate on the job that Congress was elected to perform: governing. Leave the rest to Robert Mueller.

Make it hard for Mr. Trump in ways that change lives for the better. Concentrate on protecting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. On improving the health care system. On rebuilding this nation, literally as well as figuratively. On tearing down the imaginary immigration wall.

We are so desperate in this country to feel encouraged by our political system, not buffeted by it. Even those who are saddened by Tuesday night’s results in the House are sick and tired of our internal wars. Show us what this nation is capable of accomplishing. Make us proud.

Robert S. Nussbaum
Fort Lee, N.J.

To the Editor:

The predicted blue wave was tempered by a red tide of voters who do in fact care about the economy and who can see the positive results of Republican leadership these past two years. Barack Obama’s attempts to convince people that his policies led to the economic gains of the past two years show that today’s voters are not gullible. Telling voters that their health care and Social Security are threatened by Republican leaders has also lost its effectiveness.

The American people do not want higher taxes, or unprotected borders and illegal immigration, and they are tired of the identity politics and divisiveness of the left and the incivility its members have shown the past two years. Many do not like Mr. Trump’s tweets or his abrasive manner but see that he delivers what he promises and that his policies have helped revive a stagnant economy.

Voters want results more than political correctness. Until the left understands this and comes up with something other than bashing Mr. Trump and trying to obstruct everything the Republicans try to do for our country, it will remain out of touch with the American people.

Charles Michael Sitero
Ormond Beach, Fla.

To the Editor:

Another election concluded, and once again many Democratic candidates have failed to connect with a large number of Americans. As a mental health practitioner, I ask: Why oh why can the Democrats never seem simply to validate and normalize the concerns about rapid cultural change and economic insecurity that so many voters feel?

Is it so difficult to acknowledge that the pace of change in society today causes great anxiety? And that perhaps it’s quite normal for people to seek some sense of continuity and control?

President Trump gets this, and he exploits it to the hilt by fearmongering. But the left-brained, indignant Democrats just keep preaching lofty ideals with judgmental labels for those who disagree — and failing to communicate with people worried about their future.

John DiLallo
Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.

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