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Editorial

Basslines and Protest Signs Part 89: Keep the Midterms in Mind

God knows, many of us are suffering with PTSD following the chaos and carnage of the last presidential election. The relief when the result was called was followed by a rollercoaster of emotions as former president Trump attempted to overturn key state’s numbers in every court in the land. He was laughed away with swipes by judge after judge while the weeks dragged by as Rudi Giuliani literally melted on TV,  a pillow salesman got involved, and we witnessed an attempted insurrection on live television. The fact that former vice president Pence eventually did the right thing and certified the results, then president Biden was sworn in without incident, did little to soothe the wounds: It was a big fucking nightmare.

Add the fact that we’ve been living with an ongoing pandemic, most of us doing our bit to help but too many being selfish, remaining unvaccinated (without good reason) and unmasked. We’re all just exhausted. The turmoil has been agonizing. And it’s not over.

But here’s the thing, we can’t afford to take a break when it comes to the 2022 midterm elections. The Republicans are counting on us taking our foot off of the gas.

There are a few things that tend to happen in the United States. Presidents usually serve two terms. Trump and Bush Sr. are recent exceptions, but that’s just usually the way it goes. Similarly, there are exceptions but the people in this country generally vote against the party currently in power when choosing a new president. Reagan to Bush Sr. is the last time a president handed the reins to somebody from his own party and, again, that Bush only had one term in the White House. 

Another thing that often happens is, when a party wins a presidential election they suffer in the following midterms. This seems to be because voters need to be angry in order to be inspired to get out and vote. This has been amplified by the Big Lie, a massive percentage of Republican voters have bought into Trump’s nonsense about the presidential election being rigged. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, they’re still buzzing about this and it WILL drive them to get up and vote in the midterms. They will feel, as they’re being told to feel by various candidates, that they can “right a wrong” by voting.

This fact alone should provide Democrats with the inspiration, the drive, to get up and vote in massive numbers too. Why do you think Republicans are so desperate to cling to state power? We’ve already had candidates for governor in Georgia state that they wouldn’t have certified the results. These are the people they want to sit in the hot seats. These people are not interested in democracy — damn, they’ll argue against their own form of government as they erroneously point out this country isn’t a democracy (for the record, a democratic republic is still a democracy). 

No, they just want to have the ability to ignore election results and handpick their guy. This is dangerous to a massive degree. So we can’t afford to sit this one out and claim election fatigue, because that thinking will lead to a second Trump presidency three years from now, whether he wins or not. If not him, one of his disciples — such as the vomit-inducing Matt Gaetz or Marjorie Taylor Greene. That is what’s at stake.

If that isn’t enough to light a fire under your asses, how about the war on women that is currently taking place in Texas and Mississippi? We discussed that at length in a previous column but since then the Supreme Court upheld the new evil Texas law and, honestly, all signs are pointing to them overturning Roe Vs. Wade at some point in the near future. Then, it’ll come down to state laws.

Gavin Newsom (photo: JD Lasica)

California Governor Gavin Newsom, who recently survived a ridiculous recall effort, is getting wonderfully creative. Newsom has said that, ok, if Texas can pass a law effectively deputising the citizens and allowing them to sue abortion providers in civil court, California can do the same thing with gun manufacturers. Same law, better cause. The Supreme Court upholding the Texas law is a legal precedent. If they want to retain any respect and dignity, vehemently claiming that they are an impartial court and not a political arm, they would have to abide by their own precedent.

It’s a stroke of genius by Newsom and one can only hope that it passes soon. Some level of gun control is long overdue. You only have to look at Ethan Crumbley opening fire on classmates in Oxford, Michigan — the teenager’s parents were also arrested — to know that something has to be done.

Who do you want in power after the 2022 midterms? The people who will abide by election results whether they like them or not, or the people who won’t? The people who will fight for the rights of women and of children to not get shot, or the people who rally for the exact opposite? 

Kathleen Hanna (photo: Paul Hudson)

The Dems did well in the 2018 midterms because we were so riled up about Trump. We can’t afford to lose that energy. Back then, Bikini Kill singer Kathleen Hanna told Pitchfork that, 

“I already voted absentee because there is no way in hell I would miss this election. I’m voting Democrat down the ticket, even though I think the two-party system is inherently flawed. I need for Democrats, even those I don’t 100 percent love, to take over the House and Senate because we are living under the threat of a white nationalist president rolling back everyone’s rights. And I want more women of color in office. I am voting because watching the Kavanaugh hearings was like having Fred Durst sing ‘Nookie’ into my face for 12 fucking hours. I am voting because the whole Republican/Trump strategy is, ‘I’m rubber, you’re glue,’ aka let’s call the people who are being terrorized ‘terrorists.’ And it is making me so pissed to see the healers and the true soul rebels of this world being cast as villains while the racists are cast as the victims. Trump and friends are actively supporting hate crimes, the erasure of transgender people, and the abolishment of women’s bodily autonomy. They are demonizing people of color to further their agendas and foment fear.”

Hanna was spot on then but it’s equally true now. Perhaps moreso. So please, let’s shock the pollsters and buck the trend. Start thinking about it now and be prepared to vote in 2022. 

Our future STILL depends on it.

 

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