It seems the Democrats, and their allies among the media elites, have adopted a pretty cynical strategy for the upcoming 2022 midterms. Exploiting the hysteria of the January 6 attack on the Capitol Building to paint everyone who doesn’t embrace their agenda as lunatics and white supremacists, they’re now consistently claiming that our democracy is in danger and that, if the Republicans win the House and Senate later this year, it will mean that our elections are illegitimate and the U. S. will be in the hands of a political party that represents a threat to the entire world.
Ian Bremmer, president of something called the Eurasia Group, said in an interview on “CBS Mornings” that the November 2022 midterms were the most important in American history. Okay, every election cycle we’re told that these elections are the most important in American history. I’m sure people are worn out now by the claim that every single election is the most important election EVER! Why does Bremmer say these midterms are the most important EVER? “We have January 6 coming up in just a day,” Bremmer explained. “As you know, since the profoundly challenged elections of 2020, no lessons have been learned at all in the United States. The country is much more divided … The United States has an election process that is increasingly broken, increasingly delegitimized. In the midterm elections especially, if you have a significant win for a Trump-led Republican Party, means that 2024 is going to be seen as illegitimate and potentially a constitutional crisis. In the world’s most powerful country, it’s hard not to rank that high on your list.”
Why was the challenge to the 2020 election so profound? Well, because the Democrat candidate won, and the sore losing egomaniacal sitting Republican president couldn’t handle it, so he challenged the results, all challenges amounting to nothing close to overturning the election. But before any official challenges could be resolved, an attack was planned by a band of his most extreme supporters, an attack that was organized using social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, an attack the authorities knew about. However, those authorities chose to do nothing to protect the Capitol Building, resulting in hoodlums breaking into the Capitol, destroying things, stealing things and, tragically, all of this led to the deaths of five people. The attack on the Capitol Building was, indeed, unprecedented and profound. What was also unprecedented, I suppose, was the fact that Facebook and Twitter failed to shut down those organizing the attack, and the authorities whose duty it was to keep the peace allowed anybody to get within a football field’s distance of the Capitol. I still have no idea how any of this was allowed to happen.
Though the attack on the Capitol Building was a unique horror in U. S. election history, plenty of other elections have been challenged and those challenges could be regarded as “profound.” The election of 2000 was challenged and ended up having to be settled by the Supreme Court. That was unprecedented. The election of 2016 was challenged. You want to talk about a “profoundly challenged” election? How about the losing party spending three years and millions of taxpayer dollars trying unsuccessfully to prove that the duly elected president wasn’t legitimate because of foreign influence, all the while knowing that it was their own candidate’s campaign that cooked up the false allegations of collusion? When that didn’t work, they concocted an impeachment based on trumped-up charges. So, what’s worse? A band of fanatics being allowed by the police to attack the Capitol in an effort to overturn an election, or a political party exploiting the instruments of government to remove a sitting president for the “crime” of winning an election?
Mr. Bremmer is correct in saying that the country is much more divided. Why is that? Because the leaders of both parties are driven more by their own personal gain and agendas than they are inspired to do what is best for the country as a whole. The pandemic especially was exploited for political advantage and to increase the power of those in political office. This led directly to a lack of trust in those in government. Who would trust a person who told others to limit their interactions or risk death, arrested people for playing outside, forced businesses and churches to close, then went about their own lives as if the rules didn’t apply to them? Who would trust a person who said on Monday that it was perfectly fine to visit downtown, then on Tuesday blasted those who visited downtown as responsible for the deaths of thousands, then on Wednesday lied about having ever said it was fine to visit downtown?
Mr. Bremmer said that American elections are “increasingly broken, increasingly delegitimized.” In 2020, in response to the pandemic, states loosened up access to voting to accommodate people who didn’t feel safe going out to polling places. Drop boxes were created and records for mail-in ballots were broken. Now that people are more comfortable, even though the pandemic continues with new variants, states have cut back on some of those accommodations. Drop boxes were kept, but not as many. Mail-in ballots are still an option, but some states have restricted them to those who request them. Ballot harvesting is off limits. Some states have gotten rid of same day voting registration, and others have increased ID requirements. All of these are painted as attempts by Republican-majority states to suppress minority votes, as if minorities don’t have IDs and aren’t capable of picking up a phone or going online to request a mail-in ballot. Procedures that, a few years ago, were accepted as normal (and often remain in place for Democrat-majority states) are now labeled suppressive and a danger to democracy. Chuck Schumer, Senate majority leader, has called the filibuster that requires a 60-vote majority for certain legislation a threat to democracy and has vowed to try to get rid of it, though in 2017 he told the then-majority Republicans in the Senate that, if they couldn’t get 60 votes for their agenda, it was not right to change the rules and get rid of the filibuster. So, which is it, Chuck? Is the filibuster a safeguard of democracy or a threat to democracy? I guess it depends on who’s in charge of the Senate. There’s a good chance the Democrats will lose both the House and the Senate in the 2022 midterms. Schumer and his cohorts are delusional if they get rid of the filibuster now to push through their agenda but think the Republicans won’t do the same when they’re in the majority.
So, that is the strategy, and it’s a particularly cynical one: vote Democrat or democracy is over! Vote Democrat or the whole world will be threatened with a Republican majority in Congress! This isn’t much different than their strategy for 2020: Vote Democrat or there’ll be violence in the streets! After the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton called Trump an illegitimate president. When Joe Biden was running for president, he made it clear that, based on his lead in the polls, the only way Trump could win was by “shenanigans.” In other words, if Trump had won, Biden had no intention of accepting the result. Biden won, and Trump and many of his supporters have no intention of ever accepting the result. Is this the new normal? The candidate and party who lose the election, rather than gracefully bowing to the will of the people, will now cast doubt on the result, accuse the other side of cheating, and insist that the only way they could have lost was that the election was rigged?
I pray for my country. I pray for the people whose lives and whose livelihoods hang in the balance because politicians can’t handle the idea that their policies are unacceptable to the majority, or who can’t imagine anyone of sound mind voting against them. If the only way to win is to demonize the other side, than we have reached a point where civil discourse and political compromise are regarded as surrender to an evil force, and that spells doom for those whose lives and livelihoods depend on statesmen making good decisions and enacting sound policy. Sadly, those most impacted by the civil divide in our nation will be those without the resources to largely escape its impact: the poor and those living paycheck to paycheck.
Wise men and women will take to heart the admonition of the Scriptures to “Put no trust in princes, in children of Adam powerless to save. Who breathing his last, returns to the earth; that day all his planning comes to nothing” (Ps 146:3). I live in a very red state. Neither of my senators are up for re-election in 2022, and my Representative in the House is safe from any serious challenge. I will pray for all of those out there who have decisions to make that will impact the future. But I will not despair the fall of democracy in America. Our democracy remains strong. If nothing else, the challenges to it in recent years have proved its fortitude.
Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.