Midterm Elections 2022: An Historical Perspective: The MAGA Republicans tried to Destroy Democracy, but they instead Destroyed Themselves

Trump flunky in action.

The midterm elections nationally this year were supposed to be a “red wave” election in which the Democratic Party would be vanquished and reduced to hopeless minority status by the Republicans.  The GOP would win control of both houses of Congress, and the Democrats would henceforth be unable to enact a single substantive legislative measure.   During the rest of his term, President Joe Biden would be permanently weakened into an impotent lame duck status.  He would have no realistic chance of reelection – in fact, it was unlikely he would choose to seek a second term.

The MAGA goal was to end constitutional democracy as we know it in America and replace it with an autocratic fascistic regime.  The American Il Duce was Donald Trump himself, and his vanguard was the MAGA movement, this American equivalent of the Italian Blackshirts of the Mussolini era.

The 2022 appeal of the MAGA movement was focused on two issues: 1) inflation, an international issue whose origins were in the economic policies of the Trump administration; and 2) Crime, which was with regard to MAGA and the Trump administration a false and fraudulent issue.  Throughout the nation, Democrats in recent years have supported increased funding for police and police recruitment, while Republicans have voted against it.

The reason for the Republican emphasis on the crime issue was to frighten suburban women into continuing to vote for the GOP by falsely portraying the Democrats as soft on crime.  Suburban women left the GOP in droves in this election because of the US Supreme Court decision in the Dobbs case, which set aside the Roe v. Wade federal guarantee of abortion choice.  The Dobbs decision also precludes federal courts from setting aside as unconstitutional any abortion ban passed by the Congress, such as that proposed by anti-abortion extremist Lindsey Graham.

The major Democratic issue in these elections, both federal and state, was the protection of American democracy from the threat to it posed by Donald Trump, Trumpism, and the MAGA movement. And the nature and extent of the threat were obvious throughout the first two years of the Biden administration.

On January 6, 2021, Donald Trump became the first and only American President to attempt to supersede the will of the people by planning, fomenting, and directing an armed insurrection against the government of the United States.  While this attempt failed, Trump would be ready with something much more sophisticated and dangerous this time.

The core of the Trumpist 2022 attempt to eliminate American democracy was the politics of election denial.  The goal was to elect election deniers to those state offices involved in the election result certification process.  These officials would refuse in all cases to certify any winning candidates who were not MAGA approved.  At the same time, Republican statewide leaders would make loud accusations of election fraud in order to incite their base voter to violence.

The chief advocate for making the Trumpist threat to democracy the central issue in the campaign was Joe Biden himself.  He was mocked for this by self-anointed savants in both parties who contended that the threat to democracy was not a “kitchen table issue,” like inflation.

“Kitchen table issues” are defined as those issues that “ordinary folks” confront in their daily lives and are likely to discuss at the kitchen table. What Biden understood better than almost anybody else was that kitchen table issues do not have to be economic matters.  The frightening insurrection of January 6, 2021 was not a one-day story, and it continued to be discussed at kitchen tables for a long time.

So on Election Day, November 8, 2022, Republican election denier candidates for higher level offices involved in the election certification process were defeated across the board in virtually every battleground state.  Democracy is not just a process issue.  Democracy is cherished by Americans and in this election was saved and reaffirmed.

For the Republican Party, Election 2022 was a catastrophe.  The Republican Party which was a center-right shining beacon of democracy with leaders like Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, the Bushes, Bob Dole, John McCain, and Everett Dirksen no longer exists. It has become a hopeless personality cult, with a leader like Donald Trump incapable of being elected and dragging everybody down ballot to defeat.

American democracy has been saved.  Yet American democracy needs two vibrant parties to flourish, preferably healthy center-left and center-right parties.  The further descent of the Republican Party into Trumpist MAGA culthood is an unwelcome development for America.

Alan J. Steinberg served as regional administrator of Region 2 EPA during the administration of former President George W. Bush and as executive director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission.

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2 responses to “Midterm Elections 2022: An Historical Perspective: The MAGA Republicans tried to Destroy Democracy, but they instead Destroyed Themselves”

  1. TRUE——-The Republican Party is no longer the party of Eisenhower, Reagan, etc.,; it really has no belief or principles beyond Trump.

    TRUE——American Democracy has been saved……AND
    I rejoice.

    BUT, it was also a victory for civility, caring, honor, bravery, kindness,, common sense, politeness,, and honesty……again , I REJOICE!

    Thank you, Alan Steinberg, for an excellent, insightful column

  2. Every poll in the country showed a gigantic GOP landslide victory- ranging from red wave, to red tsunami. Polls even showed women moved 32 points from September to October in favor of the GOP.

    But in the end they all moved back to Biden and Democrats? Does that make sense to you?

    Second, every poll in the country showed the top two issues, by a mile, were inflation and the economy. And crime was in second place, along with open borders.

    And they all voted for Biden and the Democrats? Does that make sense to you?

    CNN’s own exit polls showed the GOP made massive gains among almost every voting group- men, women, white men, white women, blacks, Hispanics, young people. Everyone.

    And they all voted for Biden and the Democrats? Does that make sense to you?

    In this environment where Americans can’t afford gas…or groceries…or rent…with the economy failing…inflation raging…scared to death of losing their jobs…living in cities plagued by violent crime, mass shoplifting, homeless everywhere, streets lined with poop, pee, drug needles…and failing schools intent on teaching your children to become masked transgenders…

    In this environment, they all voted for Biden and the Democrats? Does that make sense to you?

    That they looked around at the disaster one man has created in only two years, and they defied a century of historic midterm defeats for the party in power…and voted for Democrats?Folks, you’ve been gaslighted.

    But the real proof the midterm was rigged and stolen is…FLORIDA.

    In Florida the GOP won a landslide. DeSantis and Rubio and everyone else in the Florida GOP won in a red tsunami. The same one the polls showed was happening in the entire country.

    Guess what Florida has? Florida has strict Voter ID, strict laws against voter fraud, severe prison terms for anyone caught trying to commit voter fraud, no mail-in ballots sent to every voter, no ballot drop boxes, no ballot harvesting, no ballots accepted for days after Election Day, no counting for days until the desired result is achieved by the Democrat Party.

    Isn’t it a funny and strange coincidence that in that state, with all of those strict rules against cheating, the GOP red tsunami happened as predicted? But everywhere else, where there are no strict laws against voter fraud, and they allow all that cheating, the red tsunami fizzled.

    And that under-performance is being blamed on Trump? And on conservative MAGA candidates?

    Yet in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis is the most Trump-like, MAGA, America First, anti-woke, anti-trannie, in-your-face, ultra conservative politician in all of America. And with that ultra MAGA message, plus strict voting fraud laws…the GOP swept to a landslide victory.

    And in most other places, they didn’t. Coincidence?

    Folks, we’ve been robbed. Again. This was a repeat of 2020. They’ve fixed, rigged and stolen the election. First, they robbed us of the Presidency. Now they’ve robbed us of a red Republican landslide. And now they’re trying to blame it on Trump.

    The election was stolen again!!!

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