Lessons from the midterm elections


It wasn’t Armageddon. And it wasn’t a red tsunami, either. Last Tuesday’s election results reflected a thoughtful yet divided electorate focused on issues and candidate quality. In a historic departure from midterms shellacking the incumbent president’s party over the past several decades, Democrats took a hit but were not knocked out. In January, Americans will return to divided government but just barely.

At a time when President Joe Biden’s popularity is low, inflation is high, and crime and immigration issues worry voters, it was expected that a Republican wave would grab decisive control of the House and a shift in control of the Senate. But that didn’t happen.

Instead, when all the votes are counted, Democrats will control the White House and the Senate, and Republicans will have a small majority in the House. That’s not a bad thing. Whether it translates into gridlock or a new focus on the importance of legislating from the center, it will be up to the men and women who have been elected to begin to move forward.

Efforts to reach consensus will be particularly important for Republican pragmatists who may otherwise be stymied by their party’s hard-right wing, known as the Freedom Caucus — a group of House members who are elections deniers, and bent on chaos and the destruction of those they consider the enemy. Now, with only razor-thin majorities in both houses of Congress, neither party will be able to govern from the fringes. Negotiation and some degree of compromise will likely be the only way to get things done.

There will, of course, be investigations of the Biden family and efforts to impeach the president. But most of that will be background noise as more serious efforts to run the country and serve the American people will require careful legislative navigation and execution. And if Republicans insist on squandering valuable time on wasteful activity, they will likely face further voter rejection — particularly from independents — in the next round.

There is another significant takeaway from last week’s results. When Donald Trump was president, he promised his followers so many victories that they’d get tired of winning. But saying that didn’t make it so. And it hasn’t happened. Republicans lost the House in the midterm election in 2018. Trump lost the presidency in 2020. His Republican Party lost control of the Senate in 2021. And last Tuesday showed Trump losing significant traction with voters as many of his hand-picked candidates were rejected. At the same time, Trump’s nemesis in Georgia, Brian Kemp, was handily re-elected governor, while Trump-picked, scandal-ridden Senate candidate Herschel Walker has been forced into a runoff in a largely red state.

An increasing segment of the GOP is finally beginning to recognize that Donald Trump is a drag on the party. His narcissism and reflexive bad judgment single-handedly cost Republicans control of the Senate in last year’s Georgia elections and again this year. As many have observed, elements of the electorate may support Trumpism, but they have had enough of Trump himself.

There are alternatives.

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  1. By focusing on a Democratic Party perspective on the midterm elections, you have overlooked what I believe to be the most significant result of the midterms. The Republican majority in the House of Representatives, razor thin though it may be, will give the Republicans the opportunity to chair House committees, especially the Judiciary committee and the Government Oversight committee. As a result, the Republicans will be able to thoroughly investigate critical issues concerning the Biden administration that the previous Democrat majority failed to pursue, and that the mainstream liberal news media managed to suppress.
    Prospective committee chairs have already promised to pursue major issues that, hitherto, have received little or no attention including: The Hunter Biden laptop scandal and whether President Biden was complicit in the influence-peddling deals that Hunter made with foreign governments; Why President Biden ignored the advice of his military advisors in ordering the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan; Whether Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas should be held accountable for undermining national security in allowing millions of illegal immigrants to cross our borders, along with a concomitant increase in drug trafficking; Whether the People’s Republic of China should be held accountable in some way for the worldwide transmission of the Covid-19 virus; How to address the sad state of American education today where thousands of public schools and colleges have abandoned traditional education in favor of indoctrinating students with unproven theories of race and gender ideology; and Whether accommodation of these same unproven theories in our nation’s armed forces will negatively affect our military’s preparedness to fight for our nation.
    I am sure that most American citizens would agree that these critical issues urgently need to be addressed in the People’s House. I hope that the nation’s news media will give these upcoming investigations the attention they deserve and will report the findings with impartiality.


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