By Leon Williams,
Last week’s long-awaited midterm elections were characterized by political pundits, candidates of both parties and media personalities as a battle for the soul of America. In a nutshell, Democrats, led by their charismatic heavy hitter, Barack Obama, defined the struggle between their party and the Republicans as a fight to save the American ideal of democracy.
Based on long-standing historical trends and mostly conserative talking points in the lead-up to the elections the prevailing narrative was that Republicans would overwhelm both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate with what they termed as a “political tsumani.”
On the otherhand, President Biden and some Democrats maintained optimism, fueled by their belief that the American electorate fully understood the very foundation of democracy upon which the country rests was on the brink of collaspe, driven by what Biden termed as “Mega-MAGA” Republicans.”
Democracy, for the first time since the Civil War, was indeed hanging in the balance. Ironically the prevailing theme driving the debate was based on cultural divisions centered mostly around race; just as was the case during the Civil War. However, this time the direct targets of the Republican’s attack had an opportunity to decide the final outcome. Nevertheless, their collective political checkmate does not fully provide a resolution to the dilemma, but it does pull the country from the precipice of collapse. Women of all political persuasions, along with young voters provided the impetus.
Apparently, Americans of all political, racial and economic stratifications have come to an understanding that the term “divided we fall” is more than just a catchprase, but critically significant. Nonetheless, there is much work to be done. The common understanding is that all societies have a responsibility to provide a brighter, less controversial future for forthcoming generations.
The outcome of the elections for many states in the country have positioned them to seriously confront the proverbial elephant in the room, race. Sadly, Mississippi is not among that group. Election deniers, political gerrymandering, book banning, cultural identity wars and failue to come to grips with its past deeply plagues the state. In fact, 81% of white Mississippians voted for Trump and continue to support the destructive ideas he represents.
Recent national revelations of inappropriate allocations of federal funds by Mississippi governmental agencies and the theft or misappropriation of nearly $100 million targeted for poor Mississippi communities and families, are embarrasing reflections on the State of Mississippi and an indication of just how far the state has yet to come. The current water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi, the state’s capitol, and the lack of serious engagement by the governor’s office and the Republican-controlled state legislature further convolutes the enigma.
In spite of everything, the citizens of the United States in general, have a chance to move forward in a positive direction, if they can pull themselves up over the cliff. Although Mississippi won’t be in the vanguard, the state will certainly benefit even if better late than never.