Ken Connor

The results are in, and  in the words of former President George W. Bush, it was a thumping.  What this nation witnessed on November 2nd was not merely a wave election, it was a tsunami.  The obvious  beneficiary of the voter's frustration this time around was the GOP, but as many have emphasized, it would be a huge mistake to interpret the outcome of this election as a mandate for the Republican establishment to carry on with business as usual.

As I cast my ballot on Election Day, it was difficult to shake feelings of trepidation and cynicism, despite the energy that has animated my fellow conservatives in the past several months.  According to a new poll, I wasn't alone.  A record 75% of voters surveyed prior to the midterm elections feel that things are not going well in America.  Now that the suspense is over and the dust has settled, many questions remain.  Is the uncertainty and doubt that has characterized the mood of the American people something that the new crop of reformers can overcome?  Are these newly elected agents of the people ready to do the work, take the chances, and make the sacrifices necessary to bring about real change in the way our government does its business?  Will the American people's vote of confidence be rewarded, or betrayed?

In the immediate aftermath of an election, it's difficult to tell whether or not the campaign pledges that landed a winning candidate in office will go on to guide their service, or be left on the cutting room floor.  For the next couple of months, the winning candidates will bask in their victory and recover from the rigors of the campaign trail.  But come January, the American people will be anxious to see if their representatives meant what they said.

Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.