Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The American Midterms: We live in Anxious times

The American midterms are not quite over and there could yet be significant changes.  Partly because of procedure changes and personal preferences the more prolific mail votes need to be verified more carefully (and slowly).  The final tally will not be available until at least December 9th.  

We were set up for a red wave, but fortunately enough rational people made wiser choices.  There will be Republican obstructionism ramped up, but not unified.  Enough voters rejected bullying, extremism and the lack of real Republican solutions that Democrats are able to maintain some power.  Many voters understood inflation is a problem, but could see that it was not entirely Biden's fault.  The pandemic left a lot of hard feelings and ongoing problems, but some realized the Trump administration was more responsible.  Still it must be admitted that the popular vote for Republicans was millions more than for Democrats which to me reflects poorly on national intelligence.

Apparently the Democrats will control the Senate (even without Georgia).  The House is unsure as of this post, but very likely Republican with a small margin.  This means the Democrats will be able to appoint judges and cabinet ministers without Republican support.  The filibuster will still restrict legislation.  The House will be able to block legislation that does not meet Republican requirements.

It is likely that the Republicans will be argumentative among themselves and with a tight margin the absence of a few members could be decisive. 

My bias is that climate change needs to be the priority.  Yes the economy is critical to getting through the week.  The threat of nuclear war can not be ignored.  Autocracy is taking over huge chunks of the world. Inequality is increasing.  Violence around the world seems to be increasing.  The pandemic and fear of future ones are likely to be a leveler.   http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2020/01/the-great-leveler-violence-and.html  There are a lot of grounds to be anxious.

Al Gore pointed out that we need to fix democracy before we can fix the climate while some citizens seem to feel a need for an authoritarian.    

Donald Trump was a braggart, a blamer and most of all a LIAR.   He should have been kept out of it, but couldn't resist for his own ambitions, ego and perhaps fear of legal issues.  Fortunately he didn't stay out of it and triggered some rational thinking, but perhaps is still part of the stirring pot.

How does one sort out all the problems and how do we make decisions to make things better?  

Politicians cannot do anything until they get elected.  The successful ones are smart to get attention and funnel their concerns.  The smart voters study the issues and take a long term view.

People have short memories.  It was only a very few years ago that people were dying in large numbers messing up things for those who survived.  Large numbers of people were shocked and desperate while others were outraged at they were inconvenienced and  hurt by these unexpected circumstances.  Net response for many was resistance to advice guaranteed a messy situation that soon metastasized to global economic problems and consequently social.  The adjustments are continuing and most of us do not really understand the dangers.

Scientists understand better what we are up against and what might work.  It is too bad that humans have come to discount so called experts.  http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2022/07/expertise-too-often-shunted-aside.html

If climate change is not dealt with we can expect more economic problems.  Insurance  companies are hard nosed and they are raising rates.  Still most people are unconcerned until climate disasters hit closer to home.  Bear in mind that large groups of people do not share a concern for climate change and to date are easily convinced other things such as the economy are more critical.  Or social concerns such as gay marriages, Critical Race Theory and abortion are priortized.

Georgia uses 50% plus 1 criteria. which is a fairer way--losers can better accept the will of the majority check:  http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2017/03/two-round-elections-food-for-thought.html.  Other states use a ranked system to determine who gets elected.

Americans rejected superior candidates such as Beto O'Rourke, Elaine Luria, Val Demings and also accepted election deniers such as Ron De Santis, Ron Johnson and JD Vance.  I enjoyed Vance's book.  http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2017/03/hillbilly-elegy.html

January 6th hearings will likely be curtailed as soon as Republicans can arrange it and replaced with some truly spurious hearings.  Elaine Luria was one participant who demonstrated her ability, but was rejected.  Will there be another hearing before the Republicans take over?  I hope so.

Another concern is that some of the Republicans have indicated that they want a check on money sent to Ukraine.  It has been said Putin delayed a military withdrawal from Kherson to encourage Republican voters.

Speaker of the House will be contested by the Freedom Caucus and Mitch McConnell under attack although his advice was largely ignored and would likely have been helpful for their cause.

For the next month or so the Democrats will control both Congressional houses.  The Lame Duck session is usually limited, but must be taken advantage of while possible.  The Democrats should expect obstruction in new term and need to get as much done before.

Donald Trump has a very high opinion of himself, but for many of us his thinking is distorted.  His credibility is diminishing, but he still has loyal fans.  At his first declaration we learn that he hired people to applaud him.  It looks like we can look forward to many distortions and lies stirring up divisions.

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