Clinging to a hint of conventional wisdom

Donald John Trump’s election as president of the United States should have taught us all a valuable lesson.

It would to be toss conventional wisdom straight into the crapper.

A first-time candidate for any public office had no business defeating a former first lady, former U.S. senator and former secretary of state. But he did. He whipped Hillary Rodham Clinton. Not by a lot. But he won.

That all said, I am going to cling to a bit of conventional wisdom as the 2018 midterm election comes hurtling toward us. It is this: 29 million ballots were cast nationally in early voting, compared to 21 million early votes cast prior to Election Day 2014. The conventional wisdom holds that the bigger the turnout the better it is for Democratic Party candidates.

This could portend a good thing for the immediate future of our system of government.

I know what you’re thinking. Sure, you’d say that. You’re a Democratic partisan. You’re biased toward those weak-kneed, socialist-leaning Democrats. You’ve stated your bias against the president. You can’t get over the fact that he was elected president.

Actually, my bias rests with divided government. Yes, I am unhappy that Trump won. I wanted Hillary Clinton to be elected president and I would support again today if I had the chance.

I’ll continue to rail against the president for as long as he holds the office to which he was elected legitimately and according to the U.S. Constitution.

However, good government needs a better form of “checks and balance” to stem the tide that Trump is trying to ride. He has hijacked the Republican Party and has turned into the Party of Trump. It’s now a party that foments fear, incivility, prejudice. It speaks Trump’s language. By that I suggest that absent any serious dissent from within the GOP’s congressional ranks, Trump is virtually unfettered, given that the GOP controls both congressional chambers.

That well might change after the midterm election. The House of Representatives appears likely to swing into Democratic control. The Democrats will handle the committee gavels. Democrats will decide the flow of legislation. Democrats will call the shots in the People’s House.

Moreover, they will act as a careful check against the Republican stampede that Trump wants to trigger.

Tax cuts for the wealthy? Slashing Medicare and Medicaid? Appropriating money to build that damn wall across our southern border? If Trump and the GOP maintain control of Congress — both House and Senate — the game is over. If Democrats manage to wrest control of the chamber where tax matters originate, then we’ve got a chance that Trump will be taught a lesson in how divided government works.

Conventional wisdom might be an endangered species. It’s still alive and breathing. It well might rise again to help produce a federal government that actually works.

If you haven’t voted already, you have a big day awaiting you next Tuesday. Be sure your voice is heard.

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