November 8th, 2022 was a day filled with a lot of uncertainty politically in America. After the events of January 6th, 2021, there will seemingly always be a fear and concern about democracy in our country. There was, and still is, a fear that candidates that lose an election will falsely accuse the election of being fraudulent. We learned that people are willing to sacrifice their own lives, and the lives of anyone in their way, to demand that their candidate and political agenda are in place. Maybe more on those topics in future blogs, but I was pleasantly surprised with what we did learn yesterday and some of the certainties that we do know while votes are still being counted in several critical races.
Yesterday, I went in a cast my typical split ticket. I personally find it sad that you can go in and vote for a straight ticket. Regardless of any personal issues, ethical concerns, or voting patterns, a person can go in and just blindly vote for everyone associated with a political party because it is seemingly easier than actually looking at each office and candidate, and then deciding whether or not you want to even cast a vote. Truthfully, I leave a number of items blank on my ballot because I refuse to vote for things I don’t know about or understand. I’m not going to blindly support someone because of their political affiliation.
Yet, many were predicting that would happen yesterday. The Red Wave was coming and was going to sweep across our nation. Americans were tired of inflation and liberal policies. The Red Wave was supposed to come, it always has in mid-terms when there is a Democratic president, and vice versa. This is how our country works and what keeps one party from typically gaining too much power and control over our nation. It’s the system of checks and balances perfectly on display and working. If we don’t like the president, we have the opportunity halfway through his tenure to put representatives in place that can limit his or her powers.
Listening to some corners of the Internet and social media, it seemed almost certain that November 9th, 2022 was going to be the launching pad for another Donald Trump presidential run and Americans way to let Joe Biden know just how horrible of a job he is doing as president. However, yesterday was the first time in two decades that the president didn’t see a significant blow to his party’s endorsement from the American people. While it is still possible that control of both the Senate and House of Representatives go to the Republicans, it will be by razor thin margins. The Red Wave that was supposed to begin the drowning of Joe Biden and Democratic policies got lost at sea. Instead, we learned a lot of very important things about the pulse of our country.
Yesterday showed us that the majority of Americans, even Republicans, are done with the questioning of the 2020 election results. Candidates that ran on election conspiracy campaigns did not fair well overall. More importantly, candidates backed by Donald Trump had very mixed and lukewarm results. Traditionally, former presidents remain largely out of politics after their tenure in politics, but Donald Trump does not believe in traditions. In fact, he still believes he should be president. He was actively campaigning for various candidates in House and Senate races, along with gubernitorial candidates. Trump was hoping to see those candidates take their seats, which would indicate that he was still the driving force behind Republican success. This would propel him to a presidential run, and he would have helped seat a high level of officials who would support and back his election fraud claims if he lost again in 2024.
However, we saw his political rival and biggest challenger in the Republican party, Ron DeSantis, win by a shockingly large margin in the Florida gubernatorial race. Suddenly, the Republican party seems at one of its biggest crossroads in decades, even if they do regain control of the House and Senate. DeSantis’s win, along with tepid results from Trump endorsed candidates, seemingly shows that Donald Trump is no longer the strongest or only voice in the Republican party.
Furthermore, what we learned last night is that Joe Biden cannot be counted out in 2024. While inflation soared over the past year, Biden and the Democrats still managed to steady the ship, and possibly still keep Democractic control in the Senate. That was thought to be unthinkable a few months ago. However, when you start to exam the big picture of Joe Biden, OBJECTIVELY, things seem to be going fairly well for the country.
Inflation is bad. No denying it, most Democrats acknowledge it, but it hasn’t brought about catostrophic consequences to the country. The stock market has panicked a few times, but it always does around elections. The Dow Jones is down a bit from earlier this year, but it also hit its highest mark ever in 2022. Donald Trump used the Dow Jones as political propoganda for the health of our economy, but despite two years of Democratic policies it has continued to flourish. We will fall into a recession at one point, because all economies eventually do. It could be during the next two years, or it could come after the next election. Either way, whichever political party is in place during that time period will bear the brunt of the responsibility for it. However, Biden has managed to keep the economy in strong shape, even with the Federal Reserve working hard to slow it down and prevent a steep recession.
Democrats have a reputation for being big spenders on government, but when you look ever since Biden took over our national deficit has been steadily decreasing. In fact, it had decreased under Obama’s tenure as well, but was trending upward under Trump before Covid threw everything out of whack.
Outside of the economy, we have seen a relative calm in terms of casualties within our armed forces. The withdrawal from Afghanistan was completed under Biden’s watch, and since then the U.S. has not suffered any military combat casualties. The United States also has not seen any mass rioting during President Biden’s tenure due to civil rights concerns or police brutality. There was fear that liberal Democratic policies towards crime and the push to defund the police would cause a sharp increase in violent crime; however, the numbers show that has not been the case either.
Despite what one party will have you believe, Joe Biden is currently on track to go down with a favorable track record as president in historical terms. He has proven capable of getting some Republicans to support some of his legislative initiatives with the Infrastructure Act. Nearly 95% of Democratic initiatives and bills received support from at least one Republican in Congress. https://senatedemocrats.wa.gov/blog/2022/03/31/almost-95-percent-of-bills-passed-in-2022-received-bipartisan-support/ This is a demonstration that Biden and his policies are not as liberal and socialist as some in the Republican party would like their supporters to believe. Right or wrong, Biden is a politician that knows how to get things done when necessary. In fact, he has proven to be more successful working across the aisle than any other president this century. https://www.quorum.us/data-driven-insights/may-2018-congressional-activity-report/
I am not writing this blog to posture for Joe Biden or the Democratic Party, but more to demonstrate that America isn’t as far apart as politicians would have their party supporters believe. Last night, America showed that it looks to be slowing moving away from Donald Trump. It also showed that it might not be ready to part ways with Joe Biden. I hope that voters will continue to keep an open mind, and they won’t simply swear an allegiance to a party and their posturing with a blind eye.
As a Democractic leaning centrist, last night should show Republicans that Americans are not seeing any progressive ideas from their party. Their rallying cry was inflation and election fraud. Inflation was going to happen after a pandemic crash the global economy, and there has been no substantial proof of election fraud. Last night showed that the Republican party desparately needs to find a voice and a message that resonates with the American people. Donald Trump lost the popular vote in each of the last two elections, so why have him run a third time?
Mid-term elections are typically where Republicans outperform Democrats historically because their supporters had bigger turnouts at the polls, but that is no longer the case. The Republican party has lost a lot of its go-to voting base, and unless they change their message and voice it appears they’re not positioned regain it in two years.
Republicans complain that small geographical areas set the poltical course for our country, so what is the plan to capture those voters? What is the message to young, college educated voters that continue to move away from the Republican party? While some traditionally conservative states saw Republican candidates retain power, Republicans were largely unsuccessful in taking back states that have recently leaned Democratic.
Interesting times ahead for sure, but I hope the Republicans have learned their lesson that claiming election fraud and that the only reason they lost was because the election was stolen was not the way to go about regaining political control. As a Democratic leaning centristic, I am still waiting for the empathetic Republican voice that is willing to be tough on crime but accepting of all people and ways of life. I want fiscal responsibility, with a government that does not empower business owners to further widen the gap between the haves and have nots. I am anxious to see what 2024 brings for both parties, but I hope whatever happens these next few days and weeks as votes are counted will not push our nation further apart politically. Last night showed that the country does not seem to want to support those radical ideas, which is the entire point of a democracy in the first place.