Changing Times…

I apologize that it’s been so long since last we met, but the last few weeks have been a busy and bumpy period. We had All Hallows/ Samhain to attend to which I wanted to write a little about but it just wasn’t in the cards. School has been hectic as the midpoint of the semester is always around this time which means tons of papers and projects. I’m finishing up the last semester of grad school and am a little behind due to an injury that has put me out of commission as far as a lot of my normal and routine activities go. And, of course, the injury has taken time away from writing just because trying to diagnose and recuperate from life’s little lessons often takes quite a bit out of a person; and though I could’ve spent an hour here or there composing something salient on the season, I found that napping was much preferable and likely more beneficial in the long view.

We also had an election. Remember that? Crazy times, eh? It wasn’t the blue tsunami so many of us were hoping for (my deepest wish is for a green monsoon, but beggars, as they say, can’t be choosers, yes?), but it was one of the best showings in a mid-term election in quite some time. The youth voter turnout, which definitely has some clout, was up 188 percent from 2014. Seven governorships were flipped to blue, most notably Kansas, Michigan, and New Mexico. Democratic trifectas were gained while Republicans lost at least four. Measure P, a per-employee business tax that may finally force corporations in California (think Silicon Valley) to finally pay their fair share and do some actual good in the world was passed as well as a Michigan ballot measure to legalize Marijuana, and both Missouri and Arkansas voted to increase the minimum wage.

rainbowMinorities and women were strong contenders and winners creating some of the most diverse governments the U.S. has ever had, coming much closer to a fairly represented populace than we’ve been able to accomplish thus far. In Congress, two Muslim women (first ever), two Native American women (also first) one of whom is also LGBT, the youngest female representative, and the first African American female representative for the state of Massachusetts won their races. The first openly gay governor was elected in Colorado and if she wins her race which is still being counted Vermont will have their first transgender governor, the first in the nation. There were candidates who won their races Tuesday that I had to look up how to pronounce their names, which is personally thrilling to me. Here is the breakdown of voting patterns by gender, race, and educational background if you’re interested.

My state had some good gains within various local governments but not nearly enough. We had a tiny blue wave which saw gains for women in the legislature and a reinstatement of our lone LGBT representative. The state, however, largely voted to stick with president-backed candidates instead of seeing reason which was mostly expected. Though one of our senators is a democrat, he’s an untrustworthy one who works very diligently toward maintaining the reign of the status quo to the detriment of our state. In fact, he is one of the super delegates that led the support for Clinton despite the citizens overwhelmingly voting for Sanders in the primary (though absenting himself during the final vote, how very brave) and ultimately led to much less independence of super delegates. And although Sanders took the state during the democratic primaries in 2016, not very many of the Bernie Sanders supported candidates won their races, which was a little surprising. We had a great Working Families Party-endorsed candidate who lost her race whose spiritual beliefs, aligning more closely with mine, were used against her as a bludgeon by her opponent to seemingly no effect. She was the first pagan in West Virginia to run, as far as I know. West Virginia is a fickle and temperamental place, to be sure;and sometimes polls and predictions only tell half of the story, to every local political junky’s great frustration.

All in all, the elections were satisfactory and I hope we can continue to build on this forward momentum. The times, they are definitely a changin’, so look out.

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