I want to be optimistic about the mid-term elections. And I kinda sorta am, because I know there are more Democrats than Republicans.
But I also know that having a majority of voters isn’t enough anymore. I know Republicans have wildly gerrymandered Congressional districts to give themselves an advantage, I know Republicans have pretty much decided in advance NOT to accept any result other than a victory, I know Republicans are doing everything they can get away with (and they can get away with a LOT) to make it more difficult for Democratic voters to vote, and I know the news media is generally unwilling to report that a LOT of Republican candidates are flat out lying. I know that Republicans maintain a media advantage. I know there’s a massive double standard for reporting on Democrats and Republicans.
Here’s an example: yesterday Comrade Trump (on his Twitter-facsimile) wrote this:
Our Country is Rigged, Crooked, and Evil.
And not a single major news source reported it. Imagine if a Democrat had said that. Imagine if Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden or Barack Obama had said “Our country is evil.” Every Republican would be screaming in outrage, every news agency would make it a major story, every evening news broadcast would cover it and it would be endlessly repeated in every GOP political advert in every state. Any Democrat who said that would be vilified, and rightly so. But Trump can say it and all it elicits is a shrug. Because that’s what we expect from MAGA assholes.
(Tangent: to create an image to illustrate this, I typed Trump’s line into the ‘detailed description’ box of DALL-E2 to see what it would generate. What it generated was this: “It looks like this request may not follow our content policy.” Even artificial intelligence is offended by the line. I had to modify Trump’s words to make the description more palatable to the AI, which then generated the following image.)
I don’t believe our country is generally rigged, crooked, and evil. I DO believe many of the systems of the US are rigged against the poor and minorities. I also believe capitalism is inherently crooked. I’m not sure I believe in the concept of evil, though I’ve seen enough awful, horrible things that I can’t deny the possibility that it exists.
But if there is an intersection of rigged, crooked, and evil, it’s manifested in MAGA and the MAGA vision of America.
I want to be optimistic. I want to be convinced that enough Americans believe in democracy to vote to save it. I want to be confident that representative democracy is strong enough to stand up to MAGA. I really, really, really want to be optimistic.
But I’m just not. I’m not optimistic, but I’m hopeful. And I’m afraid of being hopeful.