by Kory Swanson
Writing a day before the election, political commentator Chris Weigant reminded us that the off-year-elections “always seem to have an outsized effect on the narrative used by the political chattering class…”
Looking at today’s headlines from a number of newspapers and online media, we can see this is a very true observation.
The Dems are hoping—indeed, they may be already convinced—that the narrative of the Virginia and New Jersey election results will be true on a national scale. But, Weigant notes that may be nothing more than wishful thinking on a national scale: “Figuring out the accuracy of the narratives which tomorrow’s elections will breed won’t be possible for another year, of course, but it won’t stop the narratives from spreading the meantime.” Weigant concludes that “Such narratives will certainly have an effect on the midterms, whether correct or not. So even if they prove to be false narratives in the end, they’re worth paying attention to for the time being.”
Weigant’s piece is worth a few minutes of your time. One should ponder his parting wisdom (remember he was writing a day before the election):
”No matter the outcome, the narrative which emerges immediately afterwards (soon to become ossified as inside-the-Beltway ‘conventional wisdom’) is going to be important to the 2018 midterm cycle….A Democratic sweep tomorrow does not in any way guarantee a Democratic wave election in 2018. A Republican victory in Virginia, conversely, in no way means that such a Democratic wave election won’t appear next Novemember. Either way, though, the narrative will impact the way politicians on both sides of the aisle see 2018, and they’ll likely adjust their strategies and tactics accordingly. So even if the narrative proves to be illusory, it will indeed have a major impact on next year’s politics.”
To prep yourself for the narratives for 2018, may I suggest a reread of Don Quixote?