Midterm election a contentious one
by Conrad Bascom
Lake Mills Graphic
Due to our print date and the fact that the Lake Mills Graphic is a weekly, we will be missing the opportunity to report on the midterm elections by mere hours, as our paper—formatted and collated—must be sent off to the printer the morning of. So consider this a last warning and some semblance of a prayer. . . . Here’s hoping that we all make it out of the ballot boxes, the ensuing media storm, the mess of emotions, the uncertainty, the political resent, the controversy, and the day alive.
By all accounts, this midterm election seems to be shaping up to be a contentious one—a reality easily attributed to the polarization of the parties. But I detest this characterization, because I believe that it couldn’t be further from the truth. Because I don’t believe that the Left has travelled ever leftwards over the past few decades—if anything, I truly believe that a stodgy group of centrists have commandeered the Democratic Party and steered it away from some of its earlier glory. You only need to look at Bernie Sanders to see what I mean—he is, in essence, a run-of-the-mill New Deal Democrat, and yet he’s been branded as a socialist ideologue and is largely a pariah in the Democratic Party (granted, it’s a party that he only partially participates in).
Meanwhile, I do believe that the Republican Party has become a more radically and dangerously conservative party, since its Reagan-heyday. But to use the word “conservative” is disingenuous, as I don’t believe that the anti-immigrant, nationalistic, homophobic, anti-welfare, and sexist beliefs that are now espoused by large swathes of the party are reflective of the conservativism of yesteryear—which is often alleged to have been more about stuffy things, like balancing budgets and taxes.
In my limited and biased view, I’ve come to perceive much of that Party’s establishment, as the preeminent snake oil salesmen of the country. Take Steve King for example. Steve King is facing a rousing bout from challenger J.D. Scholten, and as of Tuesday in the A.M., it appears the race is neck and neck. There are multifold reasons that King is unusually vulnerable this election cycle, but foremost is his lack of a legislative record that can be pointed to—much less a legislative record that is pro-Iowa in any way. Couple that with his outlandish and distractingly-bigoted tweets, his support of, and visits with, Neo-Nazi parties abroad, and his refusal to debate his challenger, and you can see why Iowan farmers in this district are wary of voting for the man again. Let’s hope that when we next print a paper, a few things will have changed for the better.