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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“Editorial: After midterm elections, a bleak outlook”

Really, it should come as no surprise.

Months of polling have shown right-wing candidates up in nearly every statewide race, from governor to state mine inspector. While some Democrats expected, or at very least hoped for, late surges, those hopes were by and large dashed on Tuesday night.

The fact that Arizona Republicans won almost every major position in the state, and a great many seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, isn’t in itself a bad thing. Arizona has long been a proud shade of red, sending some tough, independent-minded right-wingers into office. As a state, we were proud to have the aisle-crossing “”maverick”” version of Sen. John McCain representing us in the U.S. Senate. Politicians of his ilk — those who stood up for their beliefs, regardless of party lines, and pursued smart, nuanced public policy — represented our best version of ourselves.

Sadly, still-Senator John McCain’s transformation into an ossified partisan hack mirrors Arizona Republicans’ sharp-right detour. The people who became our leaders Tuesday night, from Gov. Jan Brewer on down, don’t represent the best Arizona has to offer. They represent this state at its most paranoid and broken. The face of Arizona these new leaders present is a fearful, cornered, mistrustful place.

Is this really the state we want to be?

The despair we feel today has nothing to do with being red or blue, and everything to do with the fact that Arizona voters have chosen narrow-minded candidates with short-sighted policies to represent a state that needs so much more.

We’ve chosen leaders who will slash funding for education, health care and social services; leaders who will continue to pursue insane, xenophobic border policies; leaders who will uselessly needle and antagonize, rather than work with, the federal government; and leaders who will continue to tell Arizonans they have something to be afraid of.

If there was a bright spot in these dismal election results, it was the fact that voters in Pima County seemed to have their own best interests at heart. Terry Goddard, the Democratic gubernatorial hopeful, saw a promising lead in the UA’s home county, though he lost statewide to Republican incumbent Brewer.

Other races, including attorney general, state superintendent of public instruction and state treasurer, saw similar discrepancies between Pima County and the state as a whole. Congressional Districts 7 and 8, both of which include portions of Pima County, also leaned left, though both races were too close to call as of press time.

Unfortunately, the sane Pima County voters couldn’t swim against the tide of anti-incumbent, anti-federal government, anti-Democrat, anti-just-about-everything rage that carried Arizona yesterday. And as unsurprising as the results are, they’re still hard to stomach.

All is not lost, of course. One disappointing election cannot irrevocably change the face of Arizona. We can still remain hopeful that someday it will manage to be a state that engages in bi-partisan, independent problem solving.

Six months or a year from now, Arizonans might wake up and realize they elected a bunch of scare tacticians with no reasonable plans for the future wellbeing of this state, and have the wherewithal to demand better. Sometime soon we’ll be ready to hand the reins over to people who have all Arizonans’ best interests — young people, poor and disenfranchised people, and sick people included — at heart.

But for now, it’s all over but the shouting. Oh, and there will be shouting aplenty. It seems, in fact, that shouting is all we really have left.

— Editorials are determined by the Daily Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Heather Price-Wright, Luke Money, Colin Darland and Steven Kwan.

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