I’ve been orbiting the fringes of political campaigns since I was a little guy. Call me Pluto: not big enough to be called a planet, but still in the solar system. From the outskirts, I can report that the political universe looks a bit shaky at the moment.
At the state level, this election should be a referendum on the Republican legislature and its stranglehold of the power of state government. We have multiple constitutional amendments on the ballot. The Governors of North Carolina have even waded into the battle. Legislative leaders attacked the former governors in response to their response.
E-Branch vs. L-Branch with J-Branch on the line:
DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!
This is not normal.
In sum, there’s plenty going on to get people to the polls in North Carolina in November, and there will be boat-loads of campaigning and money spent on both sides. The decisions made in this election will have ramifications for at least the next decade: control of the Supreme Court, redistricting, environmental regulation. It’s a fork in the road. Does North Carolina stay red or turn purple?? The political future of our great state is on the line!
All this should be a big deal, but it’s not. To help understand why, here’s some basic astronomy:
A “red giant” is a a dying star in its last stages of evolution. It burns up all the fuel at its core and the nuclear reactions move outward. As the star cools, it expands, swallowing up planets and any other matter that gets in its way.
Donald Trump is the red giant of the 2018 election. Republicans cannot escape his influence, good or bad. He won’t let them. He interjects himself (often intentionally) into every issue and every down-ballot race. It’s always about him, and thus it will be in November.
I understand this is a somewhat depressing message if you’re a candidate or have a particular cause in mind in this election. It is, admittedly, a pessimistic viewpoint.
One would hope the politically savvy midterm-voter could wade through all of this and make a decision without getting caught up in Omorosa’s* new book or today’s tweet-storm.
But “Hope” went out the door in the midterm election of 2010. Remember that one??? The Republican leaders in Raleigh do. It gave them a decade of power.
In 2010, all that mattered, up and down the ballot, was the nuclear tea party reaction to Obama’s election. All that matters in 2018 is the Democratic reaction to the red giant.
It’s going to be a big bang.