It looks as though the nation may be starting to look more like Russell, frightening as that is for some of us. I am not talking about the election results, but rather the results of ballot initiatives. Eight states had initiatives banning same-sex marriage or defining marriage as being exclusively between a man and a women. (For the record I voted against Virginia’s proposed amendment, which I thought was both redundant and too broadly drafted.) Six states had ballot initiatives raising the minimum wage. All of these initiatives passed. In the case of the same-sex marriage amendments, they passed by very large majorities — 60 percent in some states. Trying to read cosmic shifts into the outcomes in particular votes is seldom a good idea, but if you wanted to parse the initiative results from yesterday it would seem that the nation that vented its ire on the Republican Congress remains staunchly unpersuaded by the arguments for gay marriage and unregulated wages. Of course, such a generalization is probably wrong. I certainly don’t expect that Democratic pandering to the labor unions is going to stop the juggernaut of globalization and we’ll repeal NAFTA. Nor do I expect to see vigorous enforcement of cohabitation statutes or blue laws to start springing up.
To the extent that the nation starts moving toward some sort of populist Nirvana, I suppose that things could be worse for Mormons, many of whom are likely to find such a world congenial. Of course, they’ll have to jettison the Book of Mormon’s teachings on free trade.