The US midterms – what they mean and why they matter

Anonymous: Twitter

As US midterm election results are still coming in overnight, a myriad of thoughts/feelings are cascading in my brain right now…
Did the democracy-defending Democratic party pull a rabbit out of hat throughout the US? I was imagining a decisive landslide, unlike the US mainstream and Murdoch-funded media. So many purple (mixed red Republican and blue Democrat) states seemed ready to tip all-blue. Have they?

Part I:

US history has mapped out midterms as a chance for the party in opposition to surge forward, in Congressional legislative terms, and create lame-duck presidential administrations. Particularly if the President in office is Democrat. This is what the Republicans were hoping for again. They may still get it…but only just by a whisker. Be warned, with even just the thinnest of majorities–a Congress led by Republicans will wreak chaos. It will mean the legislative and judicial branches of US triumvirate government are held by Republicans and only the executive is fully Democratic. Politics and governing for Joe Biden will become a rear guard exercise. Cue: like 1.7 per cent Leavers winning a referendum on the UK remaining in the EU in 2016.

On the other hand, given the Guardian article just yesterday showcasing the Russian psyops humble brag that Russia has, is, and will continue to interfere in US elections, today’s US elections results are also looking better for democratic national elections than a certain dictator could have paid for. That may prove to be the good-enough victory Dems can exploit in 2024 when all this (and more) happens yet again. 

For a deep dive into the more than 290 at-risk races see this Washington Post article with continual updates through the day.
[For subscribers:]

Part II: 

I came to the UK to work in 1998, already a mid-life professional. The first 12 years were great and refreshing for my politics and evolution. Experiencing a social democratic process worked for me. I became a UK (and thereby) EU citizen. The second 12 years have been a grimmer story– as I’ve seen my working and representative rights decline significantly over successive Tory governments. Ancestral urges in my background are hard to suppress as new constrictions echo in my own life. Fleeing life-threatening circumstances over 100 years ago, three of my grandparents migrated to New York’s shores to find a thriving new home. 

In Newton Abbot the other day the vox pop-a-stickerers were ready to consider a new general election. I could see it on passers-by faces too…the 52/48 enthusiasm for/against a massive reset. Which – back in June 2016 – was enough for a decisive EU Referendum result, wasn’t it? 

Part III: 

In the US election pick-n-mix there’s cause for hope. The Blue Wave of 2020 that swept the Biden/Harris ticket into the White House is morphing into a Blue Wall of younger voters, undecided and non-affiliated (ie Independent) women and their allies particularly. Voters are showing up to assert their right to choose on reproductive and mental health, marriage, gun policy, social security, free education and climate.

Here’s the GOP (Republican) trick: in America, the election denier/fascist-leaning block vote tries to make the majority Democrats and centrist Independents believe they are in the minority. Truly, they’re not in overall head counts. But by fake polling and media narratives that spin endless lies they convince the real majority they’re in fact smaller and less powerful and more apathetic as a counterblock. So the GOP win–not on any merits, but via disinformation and projections carefully crafted to protect funder and media power structures that have seldom been challenged. I’m starting to sound like one of ‘them’ aren’t I? (Cry-for-help emoji.)

Here in the UK: 

Let’s keep calling for a new general election on these shores to prove our people want representation that reflects the coming modern times and our own true identity. The future is young and female all over the world. The future is diverse and inclusive. The future is not monolithic but proportionally represented, blockchain and federated. Let’s do this differently next time, and soon. The spiral of history is arching over us again; asking us to not cede the ground we’ve gained.