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Marc Dion: Voters Establish a Little Balance in the House

We, the people, dammit. We are sometimes hard to look at, but we are the many-headed god to whom the big gods bow.

In the most recent elections, the pundits say, Democrats “took back” the House of Representatives. But if you want to know the truth of it, it was just good old tax-paying, tattooed, truck-driving us bringing a little balance back to things.

Because we do that, we, the people.

We are cagey people out there in karaoke land, situated between the two coasts, and in those despised big cities ringed by hostile suburbs. We’ve worked enough, and worried enough, and bought too many bad used cars to ever really trust anyone. If you’ve ever had your cable bill go up suddenly, or been laid off, you are a person who smirks just a little when the boss talks.

So, after President Donald Trump rolled the country up like a carpet, using the narrow wedge of the Electoral College to do the rolling, there was a midterm election and we, the people, brought back a little balance.

Some of us who thought we liked an all-conservative government changed our minds, and some of us who hadn’t been voting decided to come out this time, and, if we didn’t restore balance, we at least gave it a push.

Oh sure, they tell us this Democratic House guarantees gridlock, but in some ways, democracy is gridlock and its many horse-trading solutions. Let the folks in office work it out. We decided not to trust either side too much, and to remind both sides that we’re in charge.

This is why the United States is not a dictatorship; just before the torchlight parade starts, we get a little doubtful, and we restore a little balance.

It’s a beautiful thing to watch, as delicate as heart surgery and as unsubtle as using a nine-pound hammer to bust up a concrete sidewalk.

Oh, the folks on the right, the old men in the shiny ties, they said they were about to roll to final victory. And the old men on the left, the ones pretending to be just like us, they said they were about to turn back the clock to Obama Standard Time.

But we fooled ’em. Knowing that victory is the ultimate giver of spoils, we split the pot. Neither side got the big win. Let ’em fight it out. We, the people, though despised, cannot be ignored, not as long as we have the vote, and not as long as we can’t really be trusted.

We’re a disorganized bunch, unlovely, loud, believing things that aren’t true, scrapping with each other, hating each other, refusing to stand for the National Anthem, or joining the Marine Corps.

We are the lifters-up of ambition, and the gravediggers of overreach. We can’t always be predicted, we are not here to be liked, and we’re not loved until we’re needed.

The founders made us the first and last check on power, the alpha and the omega. And if you consider how many times we’ve pulled back from the terrifying edge of extremism, you see the wisdom of the decision.

Eating takeout pizza from a second-rate pizzeria because we had a two-for-one coupon, in the kitchen with the husband and the kids, with the 6-year-old SUV safe in the driveway for the night and the doors locked, we are the rulers of the country. We didn’t run into any senators when we picked up the pizza, and we never will.

But it’s all right. We own it all, and we’re smarter than the people at the top think. We’re not cartoon drawings of gun owners or liberal snowflakes or welfare recipients. We’re real people, and we gave ’em a little balance.

— Marc Dion is a columnist at the Fall River (Mass.) Herald News and author of The Land of Trumpin’, a collection of his columns about the man who heads what was once the mightiest nation on earth. Contact hin at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter: @MARCMDION. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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