My wife recently started feeding a duck that frequents our backyard with several other wild birds. The duck has an injured leg and cannot compete with the others when our neighbor feeds them twice a day. We have become rather attached to the poor guy, even fondly naming him Hoppy after the fictional character Hopalong Cassidy that writer Clarence E. Mulford created in 1904. We thought about renaming him to take the emphasis off his disability but we got caught up in the excitement of the Nov. 8 mid-term election and postponed a decision.

It was evident, contrary to widespread predictions, a red wave of Republican gains did not swamp Democrats, who managed to hold on to their slim control of the U.S. Senate but were poised to lose the House by a few seats. There is no easy explanation as to why the Democrats bucked the mid-term curse of the party holding the presidency losing substantially in Congress. It could be due to a unique convergence of issues, with all or some playing a role: high inflation; crime; immigration; abortion rights; threat to democracy; climate change; and President Joe Biden’s low popularity rating. Every poll showed inflation headed the list of voter concerns, followed by crime, with abortion rights and democracy nearing the bottom. The results suggest that inflation was not decisive and abortion and democracy, along with a Republican schism, were.

It seems that many voters rejected the hyper divisiveness which Trump injected into politics and his hysterical promotion of the lie that he won reelection in 2020. It could be that they favored, instead, Biden’s calm and his urgent warning about threats to democracy which Trump and his Make America Great Again (MAGA) movement and its wacko affiliate QAnon created. Voters did reject all but one of the Trump zealots who ran for secretary of state — the official who controls elections — in battleground states. The losers include Jim Marchant of Nevada, who had had declared at a rally with Trump in October, “When my coalition of secretary of state candidates around the country get elected, we’re going to fix the whole country, and President Trump is going to be president again in 2024,” The New York Times reported. But the Post also reported that at least 150 election deniers were expected to win. That will play a role now that Trump announcing that he will run again, keeping election denialism at the forefront of the campaign leading to the 2024 presidential election. If he does, he will probably have to confront Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis in a showdown between the MAGA man and the messianic man. DeSantis has become further emboldened by a 20 percent victory in his re-election on Nov. 8. In between, he manipulated a malleable Republican-dominated Legislature to redefine freedom and wage a relentless culture war. He has stayed out of the MAGA world, instead maintaining he is on a divine mission and wearing the “armor of God.”

Days before the mid-term election, a DeSantis television campaign commercial caught the attention of an astonished Frank Bruni, a Duke University journalism and public policy professor, who wrote in a New York Times column: “In little more than 90 seconds, its unseen narrator mentions ‘God’ 10 times, beginning with the assertion that ‘on the eighth day’ God gazed at a newly created world and decided that it needed a protector. ‘So God made a fighter,’ the narrator says — sonorously, somberly. That’s the ad’s refrain, intoned again and again, and accompanied each time by a shining, commanding image of DeSantis.”

In this age of “cancel culture,” perhaps he and Trump will cancel each other out.

It would be good if the 2024 presidential election includes substantive issues but even before they were expected to win the House, Republican leaders were already gloating over a perceived opportunity to launch titfor-tat congressional investigations of Democrats, including Biden. There is a very good chance that voters will reject such a legislative agenda. In fact, what is needed is rejection of the wrong and embracing the right, not ideologically but in terms of decency. It was disgustingly wrong that the Oct. 28 hammer attack on 82-year-old Paul Pelosi, husband of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in their San Francisco home was floated by some people, including Elon Musk, not as an act of political violence but a gay lovers’ quarrel.

The trend in the mid-terms shows that voters are already choosing right over wrong in the candidates who won. They chose 25-year-old AfroCuban Maxwell Alejandro Frost for Congress from St. Petersburg; Ruwa Romman, 20, first known Muslim woman and Palestinian, for the Georgia House of Representatives; and Nabeela Syed, 23, first Muslim IndianAmerican for the Illinois General Assembly. The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) said an estimated 27 percent of Americans aged between 18 and 29 voted in election, making it the second-highest youth turnout in any mid-term voting. That was the right thing to do.

So too was the election of several other candidates who also made history, including Maura Healey as the first female governor of Massachusetts and Tina Kotek as the first female governor of Oregon, both openly gay. Voters elected Wes Moore Maryland’s first African American governor; Markwayne Mullin, a member of the Cherokee Nation, the first Indigenous senator from Oklahoma; and Summer Lee the first African American Congresswoman from Pennsylvania. Delia Ramirez, daughter of Guatemala immigrants, will be the first Latina American Congresswoman from Illinois and Yadira Caraveo, daughter of Mexican immigrants, is the first Latina elected to Congress from Colorado. Becca Balint will be the first woman and first lesbian elected to Congress from Vermont. Katie Britt is the first woman elected to the Senate from Alabama and Eric Sorensen is the first openly gay person elected to Congress from Illinois.

The list, which The Post compiled, is much longer, showing that voters are doing what is right by electing candidates reflecting the diversity of the nation, rather than being seduced by the falsehood that European Americans are being “replaced.”

As for Hoppy, in light of what has happened in the elections, we no longer plan to change our lame duck’s name, so we will not call him Joe.