Defeat Trumpism—Vote in Droves to Save Our Democracy October 30, 2022
November 8, 2022. Mark this date on your calendar, if you haven’t already. It’s getting extremely close. It’s Election Day, the first midterm in Joe Biden’s presidency. All 435 members of the House will be up for re-election and one-third of the U.S. Senate members. In addition, many governorships and state legislative chambers will be up for grabs. The party holding the White House, in this case, the Democrats, often loses seats to a stirred -up opposition in midterm races. I will repeat the key facts, just in case you may have forgotten them. The Democrats have a mere 5-point- edge in the House. In the Senate, there is a 50-50 balance that requires Dem. VP Kamala Harris to break any ties. And, of course, vote earlier than 11/08/2022, if you can like many Democrats in Georgia and other states are already doing in record numbers. Early voting encourages more on our side to come out and banks away votes that we need. GOPers mainly vote on Election Day itself, so our early votes must counter them “big time.” Yes, Demagogue Donald sits in his Napoleonic exile in Mar-a-Lago, but many yet run again in 2024, if “Team Red” recaptures the House, the Senate, or both of these chambers. I know, many people get sick and tired of hearing that this midterm election is one of the most important ones our country has ever faced, but this fact remains absolutely true. ALL elections count, and especially Midterm 2022. In 1994, 2010, 2014, and 2016 too many Democrats stayed home and carped about their choices when midterm elections and even a presidential one were at stake. In former President Obama’s words, midterms are not “sexy enough” for our base. (“Sexy” applies to the bedroom, not the ballot box). As a result, the GOP took back the House and Senate in 1994. In 2010, the fanatic GOP anti-government Tea Partiers recaptured the House and cut into our Senate margin. In the 2014 midterms, “Team Red” took back the Senate and in 2016 kept both Houses as Donald won the Oval Office. In Campaign 2014, turnout fell to its lowest point since 1942, when many Americans were fighting in WWII (latimes.com, Lauter, 10/24/22). Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were stymied in passing much of their legislative program because of all of these “Team Red” victories. And Democrats, from 2016-2018, were shut out of the Oval Office and both legislative chambers. They were relegated to a minority that too many members of the media ignored. Do not let this happen again!
I will repeat this. In midterm 2022, the fate of our democracy is truly on the ballot. Although he himself is not a candidate in the 2022 midterms, Demagogue Donald is virtually on the ballot and hovers over it. Trump’s false/ malignant anti-democracy views have not gone away with his overwhelming 2020 defeat. Far from it. In fact, Trump’s most dangerous belief, his “Big Lie,” that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him has been taken up by at least 345 candidates, all of them GOPers. These GOPers, running for the House, Senate, and Secretaries of State, who have control over counting election votes, will be able to cause much political damage (See brookings.edu, Kamarck & Eisen, 10/07/22). According to many polls, GOP voters are more “enthusiastic” than Democrats about voting, although that margin has narrowed. GOPers are also driven by hate and fear, hate of Democrats, immigrants, and President Biden. Too many races, enough to give “Team Red” control of both congressional chambers, have been labelled “Toss Ups. ” In normally “Blue” California, although Dem. Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic Senator Alex Padilla look like “shoe- ins,” the down ballot races, especially for several House seats, have far too many “Toss Ups.” If GOPers win these, they can easily take back the House nationally. In the 27th CA Congressional District (CD), one that includes the Santa Clarita Valley, GOP Rep. Mike Garcia, who won election in 2020 by just 333 votes, is facing an extremely close rematch against Dem. Assemblymember Christy Smith, despite his consistently extremist hard-right record. This area used to be a strong GOP one, but now has a D+3 Cook Partisan Voting Index (PVI) rating (Cohen & Cook 2022 Political Almanac). LA Times writers Hannah Fry and Seema Mehta indicated that this northern part of LA County now represents one of the Democrats’ best opportunities to defeat a GOP incumbent (Lauter, latimes.com, 10/24/22). How can Smith win? Only if Democrats in the Santa Clarita and Palmdale area heavily vote in Campaign 2022. In another CA area, Orange County’s “Little Saigon,” first-term GOPer Michelle Steel is facing a fellow Asian-American, Navy Reserve intelligence officer Jay Chen. Chen can win, in this R+1 45th CD, but only if he keeps countering the Joe McCarthy-like mailers Steel has sent out to this strong Asian-American constituency. These mailers ridiculously attack Chen for being “soft on China.” And in this district that straddles LA and the OC (Orange County), Chen must also get out a very heavy Democratic vote. Again, turnout, turnout, turnout. It’s “elementary.” In CA’s 47th CD, incumbent Dem. Katie Porter and former GOP Assemblymember Scott Baugh are contesting the OC area of Laguna Beach, Seal Beach, Costa Mesa, and Irvine with a Cook PVI of just D+3. Porter, a Democratic up-and-comer, opposes drilling off CA’s coast and a cap on local and state taxes. Her GOP opponent agrees with her on these issues, but disagrees on just about everything else. Again, Democratic turnout is EVERYTHING (Lauter, latimes.com, 10/24/22). There are many similar races throughout the country where Democratic turnout will make the difference between an anti-democracy GOP House or one that will continue Biden’s progressive agenda. Vote, vote, and vote.
And then, there is the Senate. Reactionary but politically savvy GOP leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stated that “candidate recruitment,” has hurt Republican chances of recapturing the upper chamber. However, don’t bet that the GOP still can’t retake the Senate. Mr. “here’s my toy sheriff’s badge,” GA’s Herschel Walker remains, according to polls, in an extremely close race with incumbent Democrat Sen. Raphael Warnock . Warnock was the pastor of former Dr. Martin Luther King’s Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. AZ GOPer Blake Masters, a supreme “wackadoodle,” once talked favorably of Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering and the Unabomber. Masters is giving Democratic incumbent and former astronaut Mark Kelly the fight of his political life. Like Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul, Kelly’s wife, former AZ Dem. Rep. Gabby Giffords, suffered severe head injuries when a deranged individual attempted to kill her. There is a very close race going on in Colorado between Michael Bennett and reactionary Joe O’Dea who keeps trying to hide his true MAGA beliefs. In OH, Dem. Cong. Tim Ryan is going against Trump idol JD Vance, called an “ass kisser” by Donald himself. Vance once considered himself a “never Trumper” sort. Not anymore. Vance had no problems calling psycho Alex Jones a “credible source of information.” Jones, remember was ordered by a jury to pay nearly $1 billion to families of the victims of the Sandy Hook, CT 12/2012 massacre because he called this shooting a “fake.” And, please don’t get me talking too much about top-notch snake oil GOP salesman Mehmet “Dr.” Oz who is running against PA Democrat John Fetterman. In their 10/25/2022 debate, Oz, was asked about abortion rights. Oz literally stated that he wanted the choice between abortion and women’s health to be made between “women, doctors, and local political leaders (10/25/22 Fetterman-Oz debate, dailykos.com, Einenkel, 10/25/22).” Get that? “Dr.” Oz, you have perfectly stated your party’s talking points in a nutshell. Politicians should have the right to intrude on women’s privacy and bodily rights! PA Democrats in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh area must vote in droves to keep the anti-choice “Lizard of Oz” out of the Senate. You get the idea. Democrats can win and add to seats in both legislative chambers, but only if they understand it’s all about the “T” word, “turnout, turnout, turnout.” And the right to choice, folks, is also on the ballot not only in PA, but also, nationwide. If Democrats keep and add to their House and Senate numbers, they will pass a law that Biden will sign that codifies the Roe pro-choice right that the Supreme Ct. recently overturned in the Dobbs case. If the GOP takes back either chamber, let alone both, such codification will never happen.
Democracy is precious. It is, even in our country, over 200 years after its founding, very vulnerable to demagogues, as Trump’s election showed. Far too many Democrats, who should know better, too often don’t bother to vote. When Democrats don’t vote, we get Trump and his rabid Fox News followers running the government. Again, if we vote in droves plus, we win this midterm and defeat Trumpism. As Founding Father Benjamin Franklin noted, the 1787 Constitutional Convention gave us a “republic if we can keep it.” And how do we keep it? Vote, vote, and vote. It is our duty as American citizens.