Is Democracy a Luxury?

The absurdity of anyone voting Republican in the midterms.

With the 2022 midterms only 19 days away, the oddsmakers tell us that the GOP remains favored to retake the House, while the Senate is a razor thin contest that could go either way. This, after Democratic hopes rallied in late summer off the latest barrage of scandals battering the Republicans’ undisputed maximum leader, even though he is not on any ballot anywhere, and the manifest poor quality of GOP candidates like Herschel Walker, Blake Masters, Don Bolduc, and Mehmet Oz. (But don’t take my word for it: Mitch McConnell will tell you.)

We shall see. Previews like the August referendum in Kansas, in which voters shut down an attempt to make abortion flatout illegal in that ruby red state, suggest that the usual midterm shellacking for the sitting President’s party may be mitigated by Republican own goals like the Dobbs decision. But then again we are told that furor over Dobbs has dimmed somewhat of late as more prosaic issues have risen in the collective public mind.

I myself remain hopeful, even as I am worried that the polls that are optimistic for Democrats may be undercounting the right wing vote, as just happened in Brazil. A lot of reactionaries love to fuck with pollsters, while more shame-faced others are simply embarrassed to admit who they intend to vote for. And the polls have lately swung slightly back in Republican favor in any case.

And yet.

At the risk of sounding like Pauline Kael (at least apocryphally), I cannot for the life of me understand why any thinking American would want to return the Republican Party to power. Why would anyone vote for a group of people who less than two years ago tried to seize power in a violent coup? Or who willfully — criminally — mismanaged a historic pandemic, spreading anti-scientific disinformation and outright lies that resulted in the needless deaths of hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans? Or who has openly announced that, should it regain power, intends to shitcan democracy as we know it?

Naturally, we can leave out those ten millions of American cretins who enthusiastically support that agenda, many because they believe themselves to be part of the privileged class — white Christians — whom that autocratic regime will favor. (Good…

Robert Edwards / The King's Necktie

Writer, filmmaker, and veteran — blogging at The King’s Necktie @TheKingsNecktie