WASHINGTON – In this election season, we can say what Samuel Johnson said about Milton’s “Paradise Lost”: There is no hope left. However, if your idea of heaven is endless learning (is there a better idea?), Politics 2022 has been heaven because we’ve learned a lot about ourselves, even if we’d rather not learn a lot.
Fifty-eight percent of Americans own stocks individually, or through mutual funds, 401(k)s, IRAs, etc. As this is written, the Dow Jones industrial average is about 4,800 points below its all-time high of 36,952.65 on Jan. 5 this year.
Twenty-six days before Election Day, the latest pre-election inflation numbers show that government-made inflation, which the Biden administration 18 months ago called “transitory,” like all government programs is “temporary”: long-lived. By mid-year, the average household spent $460 a month more than the previous 12 months on the same set. It is always a fantasy for Democrats to think that, even if tens of millions of Americans supported overturning Roe v. Wade, abortion rights can be a more potent problem than inflation, which infuriates everyone. The Supreme Court restored the state’s authority to set abortion policy, making the governor the center of the debate. Republican pro-life gubernatorial candidates are leading in Georgia, Ohio and Iowa, and perhaps Arizona.
If Hispanic voters continue to turn away from Democrats on Tuesday, the reasons may include this: Self-identified “strong progressives” make up only 10 percent of the electorate, but they have a disproportionate influence in shaping perceptions of the Democratic Party. Sixty-six percent of them said that this is not the greatest country in the world, and 94 percent said that racism is built into the nation’s policies and institutions. Hispanics do not agree with those propositions by 70 percent and 58 percent, respectively.
Also, many Hispanics fled socialism, or have family memories of it, and are repelled by progressives who admire it from a safe distance.
In addition, because many Hispanics are upwardly mobile, they believe in American upward mobility, and therefore are not attracted to the Biden administration’s enthusiasm for a system of racial deprivation, aka, “equity.” This, as Christopher DeMuth of the Hudson Institute correctly said at Hillsdale College recently, “the program favors a long and elastic list of politically selected groups, including the catchall category of those ‘adversely affected by inequality.’ “Many Hispanics have lived experience in a government that picks winners and insures losers.
Until 1970, when Hispanics were less than 5 percent of the population, they were not a category counted by the census. Now, they are 19 percent of us, and they wonder why patronizing progressives might need to create for them the neologism “Latinx”.
Watch Tuesday night for evidence of continuing polarization in the form of partisan uniformities and clusterings. In 2020, Maine was the only state to elect a senator from a different party than the party of choice for the state president. In 1976, 26 percent of voters lived in districts that cast at least 60 percent of their votes for one presidential candidate. By 2016, 60 percent did. Polarization has grown since 2014, when a Pew Research Center report found “92 percent of Republicans are to the right of the median Democrat, and 94 percent of Democrats are to the left of the median Republican.” This year, one party controls the legislature and governor’s office in 37 states, up from 19 thirty years ago.
If Tuesday Herschel Walker captures our Georgia Senate seat or imposes a December runoff (if neither he nor the incumbent, Raphael G. Warnock, attain 50 percent), we will know 2022 is Year 6 PAHT (Post-“Hollywood Access” Tape). The tape has not shed its vulgarian star, and a Walker victory would suggest that blinkered partisanship now trumps all other concerns, including character. If this contest and Georgia’s gubernatorial rematch between Gov. Brian Kemp (R) and Stacey Abrams produce a record-high voter turnout, progressives’ (including Abrams’) denunciations of the Georgia Republicans’ “voter suppression” measures will continue. .
During Barack Obama’s presidency, 2009-2016, Democrats lost 1,042 federal and state offices. One of the consequences of this destruction of rising talent in the party was the rise of Joe Biden late in life. He becomes eligible for Social Security before the millions of eligible 2024 voters are born. If the Democrats lose the House on Tuesday, he will become the fifth president in a row to lose his party’s majority in the midterm elections. If, in addition, control of the Senate changes for the seventh time in 30 years, the Biden presidency will be in a coma. He will be what, during the 2020 primaries, he presented himself as, and what he should feel like: “a bridge, not like the others.”
George Will’s email address is [email protected]