Changing Times

We voted, Sandra and I. We went to the Larry Jackson Library and filled  in the ovals next to the names of all the Democratic candidates. At least, Sandra did. I made an exception and voted for one Republican – Adam Putnam, the commissioner of agriculture. I’ve known about Putnam for years. He seems to belong to that rare breed – decent Republicans.

As we strolled into the library this morning, I was struck by the difference from six years ago, when we also voted early. Then there was a long waiting line. We waited about two hours to vote. Today there were just a few stragglers. We were in and out in minutes.

I didn’t see any young voters. And the only visible minorities were the ones handing out the ballots.

What’s going on?

Six years ago, there was a thrill in the air as young voters and minorities seized the opportunity of a lifetime – the chance to elect America’s first black president.

Today, the glow is gone.

President Obama was elected and reelected, but his allure has slipped away. His approval ratings are in the dumps. Like the apostle Peter in the Bible story, Democratic candidates are insisting they never heard of the guy.

Later, at lunch in the Olive Garden, I asked the waitress if she was going to vote. She enthusiastically assured me she would. Yes, she agreed, young women like her have a lot at stake in this election.

Fox News co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle thinks young American women don’t deserve the opportunity to vote. On The Five Tuesday, Guilfoyle said young women should be “excused” from their civic duties so they can “go back on Tinder and”

Young women don’t have the necessary “life experiences,” such as having kids and paying bills, she argued. “They’re like healthy and hot and running around without a care in the world.”

We’ll have to see how accurate that description is. It certainly did not fit our waitress, Brianna. She seemed quite mature and responsible.

I wonder – is  she the rule or the exception?

Young women like Brianna could be the Democrats’ last hope.

And the minorities?

Minorities don’t vote in midterms, the pundits say.  They might be right.

And the young male voters?

My bet is that they’re sitting this one out.

National employment figures may look encouraging, but youth unemployment is high, especially among minorities.

The economy has improved, officials report, but the rich are still getting richer, the poor are still going hungry. The Republicans have managed to impose their will despite the President’s early popularity.

Hope and change have proved elusive. To the vast majority of Americans, anyway.

If the Democratic base is disenchanted, as they very well could be, the Republicans will sweep the polls, capturing both the House and the Senate.

Pray that isn’t happening.

The next two years would be a nightmare for America – and probably for the rest of the free world.

Click for Guilfoyle’s remarks.

Click for a different early voting experience.