“And so tonight-to you, the great silent majority of my fellow Americans-I ask for your support.”
-Richard Nixon, November 3, 1969
Maybe Nixon was right about something. I know you must be thinking I’ve lost my mind to say such a thing about that man, but hear me out. Nixon coined the phrase “silent majority,” a phrase used ever since to describe American politics. The idea being that most Americans go about their business, keeping their politics to themselves, except in the voting booth. (This was of course, well before the advent of social media…) They are a fickle people who don't lean one way more than the other. They are the people who make most of the decisions in this country.
Today’s election, and the results that are coming in tonight, show a shift in the tide. How deep a shift and how long it’ll last is anybody’s guess. But could it be that the Silent Majority has had a year to live with the results of last year’s presidential election and has decided to be silent no longer? Have they quietly watched their fellow Americans being threatened for their religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, immigration status, and race, and realized that this cannot go on any longer? Have they seen their cities taken over by Nazis and nationalists with tiki torches and swastikas and decided it had to stop? Have they seen the president act petty every time he opens his mouth? The disrespect he’s shown for soldiers and natural disaster victims don’t seem to be warming their hearts.
Does this mean that the majority of Americans in this country really are good people who are horrified by what is going on in this country right now and that we’re all being held hostage by a small minority of terrorists? I like to think so. Or at least I like to hope so.
I don’t care if you stay silent in your words, Silent Majority, as long as you act and vote as loudly as possible. I would hope that the Silent Majority will show up again next year for midterms. We could definitely use their help…even if they do so quietly.