A look at how ballot issues fared in the election seems to show a country that is becoming, at least for now, a little more liberal. Except, of course, when and where it isn't. Consider:
Gay marriage was the big loser, with state bans enacted in Florida, Arizona and even California. That makes 30 states in which hetero majorities have denied marital recognition and rights to gay and lesbian couples, thereby accomplishing – what?
Yet polls continue to chart steadily broadening movement toward the understanding and acceptance of homosexuals in the population generally. Marriage is coming.
And lawful abortion is settling in. Propositions to severely restrict it failed in South Dakota and Colorado, as did a pitch for requiring parental notification in California.
The environment had a good election, on balance. Florida voters OK'd a tax exemption for land placed under permanent conservation protection.
Mass transit won vital votes. Californians fronted $10 billion to begin creating a system of high-speed rail transportation between major cities.
Where given a chance to, voters continued to show, as they often have, that they are far less hysterical about marijuana than nearly the whole politician-police-prison circuit is. Massachusetts became the 13th state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana and Michigan the 13th to approve its medical use.
A quick assay suggests a nation in a cautiously progressive mood for the most part. And there's this development, which hasn't attracted the notice it deserves:
Come next year, New Hampshire will have a female-majority senate, the first such in the country. Hillary Clinton didn't crack the Big Daddy of all glass ceilings, but she left it spiderwebbed with cracks and ready to go, .