There is much to celebrate after the recent election. We have reason to give thanks.
First, give thanks for dedicated law enforcement. Election security in the most threatened areas was admirable. Officials in both Maricopa County, Arizona and Shasta County, California had been subjected to intimidation, accusation, and death threats. In both places, law enforcement stepped up, and violent cranks stepped back. To all who chant “abolish the police,” we can say (as we did after the January 6 riot) how grateful we all must be for professional law enforcement.
Second, give thanks that voters helped the Republican Party save its soul. In recent months, numerous candidates made it clear that they were more loyal to a cult of personality than to the country. These were largely rejected.
Although I count myself a moderate independent, I have argued for years that what the United States needs, more than anything else, is responsible conservatism. Now comes an opportunity for leaders to move off the old political formulas, and collect the support of discontented voters by addressing their issues instead of amplifying their anger. In rural California, for instance, assuring that emergency wildfire money is followed by continuous funding for healthy forest policies would be immensely popular.
Finally, give thanks that “horse race” quality election coverage is declining. Rules that slow the counting calm the contest. Predicting outcomes has become much harder (mostly because people do not answer pollsters calling their cellphones the way they did on landlines). Also, the media has learned not to expect final results the same day. We are all better off feeling that voting is deliberate, not frantic.
For these reasons and others, 2022 has been good for democracy. We can all be thankful for that.