2018 promises to be an exciting year for Spirited Reasoners. Of course, this year is an election year for the U. S. House of Representatives and approximately one-third of the U. S. Senate. That means we can expect lots of political commentary about the effect of the Trump presidency on the success of the Democrats and Republicans who dominate the House and Senate.
If Democrats win back a majority of seats in the House, pundits are certain to claim that the American people have decided to repudiate the Trump presidency. If Republicans maintain or increase their current majority, pundits will claim that the American people have come to accept the Trump presidency. If Democrats win back a number of seats, but not enough to claim a majority, some pundits will focus on the Democratic gain while other will focus on the continuation of the Republican majority. This last of these is the most likely, and it is the one that most of us have come to expect–i. e., elections with results that can be spun one way or another by whichever camp feels the need for spinning.
Spirited Reasoners, on the other hand, will be looking for something very different. We will be hoping to witness an increasing interest among American voters for candidates without a party label, or perhaps for those with labels other than Republican or Democrat, or those who begin to express an interest in leaving the party system altogether.
Could 2018 be the year when pundits finally begin talking about a rising spirit of independence in American politics?
Hope springs eternal . . .