The Morning After

Mississippi’s new state flag

Wow, the election has been a wild ride and it ain’t over yet. But while all the attention is on the race for the White House, a lot more has been happening that defies the polls and sends a lot of different messages. Here’s a quick snapshot.

1. The Blue Wave crested and broke far offshore. Democrats realized few of the gains they predicted in the House and Senate, implying that the presidential vote was based on personality more than policy. Will we remain a house divided, with Trump running a resentful shadow presidency from Mar-A-Lago? Or will America, after trying all the alternatives, rush back to the center? Stay tuned!

2. The gig economy lives! California voters rejected a requirement that Uber and Lyft drivers be classified as “employees” with full benefits. These are the very definition of “flexitarian” jobs.

3. New Jersey is now High Jersey, with a large majority approving recreational marijuana, along with Arizona, Montana and South Dakota. Mississippi approved medical marijuana, and Washington DC and Oregon decriminalized the use of magic mushrooms. Can you please pass another piece of that peanut butter pie?

4. Californians rejected affirmative action, choosing the content of our character over the color of our skin. They also rejected a statewide rent control measure. Is the Golden State veering right? I doubt it, but it looks like some sensibility bubbled to the surface.

5. Florida may have gone for Trump, but also approved a $15 minimum wage. Go figure.

6. Illinois voters refused to endorse a progressive income tax to rake in more money from high-earners. They stuck with the state’s flat tax. It also appears that Californians are on their way to rejecting a ballot proposal to raise taxes on commercial real estate. I hope President-elect Biden is watching.

7. The states continue to be a laboratory for democracy. Mississippi abolished the state electoral college for gubernatorial elections and Massachusetts approved a ranked-choice voting system.

8. Mississippi leaned forward even more, adopting a new state flag that ditches the confederate symbol for a magnolia blossom. It’s way prettier.

9. Marjorie Taylor, a Georgia Republican who has publicly endorsed QAnon (you remember them, the group that believes a cabal of Satanic, child-molesting Democrats and Deep State bureaucrats financed by George Soros is plotting to take over the world), won a House seat. I’m not kidding you.

10. It worked! Despite all the hand-wringing, the mechanics of the election worked just fine, even with a record turnout projected at 72 percent of registered voters. Well done, America!

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