Election 2022 results: first impressions

Nothing will fundamentally change.  

==Candidate Joe Biden, to donors, in 2020

The complete results aren’t in, but we know enough to see that this election settled nothing.

Republicans probably gained, but not as much as they had hoped or Democrats had feared, and so the balance of power is roughly the same.

Republicans have enough power to block Democratic initiatives, such as they are, but not enough to enact a program of their own.

The result is that the USA will stay on economic pilot for undeclared war against Russia, along with the Covid pandemic, climate-related disasters, economic stagnation and racial tensions, until the multiple crises become too great to be ignored—which is a very real possibility.

The end of the mid-terms are the start of the 2024 Presidential election campaigns.

In the Republican Party, Ron DeSantis, thanks to the size of his victory for reelection as Florida governor, is the chief possible alternative to Donald Trump.

Both stand for the same things, but DeSantis is more self-disciplined and a better political strategist.  From the standpoint of Democrats, he is much more dangerous.  It would be better for Democrats if Trump stayed in the race than if he dropped out..

Joe Biden said he was running as a “transitional” President, but it now looks as if he will run again in 2024.  If he does, barring the unexpected, he will lose.  No Democrat emerged in today’s election who seems like a possible replacement.

I was told, for the fourth national election in a row, that it was duty to vote because democracy is in peril

I voted, but democracy is still in peril, just as it was in 2016.  Democracy is in peril from election tampering by Republicans and by censorship of dissenting opinion and reporting, coordinated by Democrats, in the news media and social media.

By the standards of most countries, differences between Democrats and Republicans are small, and yet many in each party see members of the other party as a dangerous threat.

There is a great sense of foreboding in the USA about the future and I think that fear drives voting.  It would be comforting to think that all the danger comes from an opposition political party, because that means the danger is manageable.

I’m not sure why I take the trouble to vote anymore.  I used to think there was a meaningful difference between the two major U.S. political parties.  

I now have a low opinion of both the Democratic and Republican parties on the state and national levels, and news coverage is not such that I am able to cast an informed vote in local elections (I go mainly by endorsements).  I suppose it is a way of expressing support for the idea of democracy and the hope that our system is not doomed.


Democrats pulled off one of the best midterms ever by Matthew Yglesias for Slow Boring.

Midterm Elections: MAGA Candidates Flounder by Ari Blaff for National Review.

Why Is There Still No Strategy to Defeat Donald Trump? by David Brooks for The New York Times.  [Hat tip to Steve from Texas]

Ron DeSantis landslide victory brings Trump and 2024 into focus by Martin Pengelly for The Guardian.

Why Democrats Are Losing Hispanic Voters by Tim Alberta for The Atlantic.  [Hat tip to Steve from Texas]

Beto O’Rourke’s political future in question after losing three elections by James Barragan for The Texas Tribune.  [Hat tip to Steve from Texas]

John Fetterman defeats Mehmet Oz to seize Pennsylvania’s key Senate seat by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  [Hat tip to Steve from Texas]

[Added 11/10/2022]

The Red Wave That Wasn’t by Rod Dreher for The American Conservative.

The Status Quo Wins by Michael Lind for The Tablet.

Youth Voter Turnout in the 2022 Midterms Delivered Key Wins for Democrats by Rachel Janfaza for Teen Vogue.

On Donald Trump and the Democrats’ Not-So-Awful Election by Susan Glasser for The New Yorker.

Calcified Politics Gives Us Another Calcified Election by Amy Walter for Cook Political Report.

Why Democrats Don’t Win the Way They Should by Margaret Kimberley for Black Agenda Report.

[Added 11/11/2022]

The Real Reason For Dems’ Rust Belt Revival by Krystal Ball for The Lever.

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One Response to “Election 2022 results: first impressions”

  1. davidgmarkham Says:

    Hi Phil:

    There is a big difference between the political parties if you observe the policies they promote and enact. The quality of life on most indicators is much better in blue states than in red states. This observation is not well known because the media and the campaigns don’t focus on the social science data.

    Pick any social indicator and then look at the state differences. You will find huge differences. For example New York State is seventh in health care in the United States. It is second best in DWI crash deaths, 5th in the natural environment, 11th in crime and corrections, 16th in education, 1rst in managing the coronavirus, etc.

    One of the most interesting dynamics in American Culture is the focus on the wrong things. The things that Americans are conditioned to fear are very remote while high risk situations are ignored or taken for granted.

    For example, people have been told to fear terrorists and yet the risk of death from a drunk driver is many times higher.

    Voting does make a difference. Democracy takes much more than voting though. It begins with education and organizing and values clarification. Americans have become cynically polarized because they have lost any sense of vision and mission. There is no cultural inspiriting narrative widely shared. Therefore our cultural life has devolved into nihilistic narcissism.

    Lastly, our society has devolved into one the values celebrity and entertainment rather than competence and performance. If the Roman Empire disintegrated due to its emphasis on “bread and circuses” it is a warning from the past about what ails us currently in the United States.


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