Total disaster. In the “midterm” elections by which the United States of America on Nov. 8 elected in full the House of Representatives and about one-third of the senators who from Jan. 3 will make up the 118th federal Congress, not only did the so-called “red wave,” i.e., the clear victory of the Republican Party (roughly since 2000, the color red has been used ubiquitously to denote the Republicans), which on the eve seemed a reality, but their defeat was huge. In fact, it will be bitter defeat anyway even if the Republicans, finished with the final counts still in the making, were to win a majority in the House. For at least six reasons.
The first is that the Senate is lost. After the Nov. 8 election, the Democrats count 48 senators plus two “fake” independents who always take their side. That is, they total 50, which is half of the assize. Now, already this parity a Democratic victory and a Republican defeat, since, in the event that the parity also shows up on the floor of the Senate, the vote of the president of that “upper house” which coincides with the federal vice president, namely today Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s deputy, would be decisive. That any Democratic senator would break ranks in voting to alter the majority is unlikely, though not impossible: however damned hard. So, even if the Republicans win the as-yet unassigned senatorial seat in Georgia (it will be on December 6 by runoff), in the Senate the Republicans have lost.
The second is that in the Senate of the 118th Congress, the Republicans already have less clout than in the 117th Congress, even with the Georgia seat still to be filled, because, compared to, the composition of the previous assembly, not only did they not gain any seats, they even lost one: the Pennsylvania senatorial seat held continuously by Republicans since 1962, won by that state’s Democratic lieutenant governor, John Fetterman.
The third reason is that the Fetterman-agent of the scales already is a firm supporter of abortion, which he has placed as a “right” at the center of his political proposal, making it the main theme of the campaign especially in the last weeks before the vote, while too many Republicans have been, or seemed, timid on this which in the ads, should have been the theme of this election round.
The fourth is that since the Senate decisive for parliamentary ratification of bills, the Democratic-majority Senate “led” by the Fetterman Fetterman-agent of the scales already will now immediately jump in to fish on the bill that President Biden and the establishment Democrats have promised to give to the country to defeat and overturn what was well done by the Federal Supreme Court that on June 24 erased the lie of abortion as a “right.” Sure, among the Senate Democrats sit pro-life senators Rober Casey Jr. and Joe Manchin, but among the Republicans persist pro-abortionists Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski.
The fifth reason is that even if the Republicans win in the House, they would do so narrowly: according to some projections they would have a majority with only one more seat than the 218 needed to have control of the House. That would mean, yes, 13 more seats in the 118th Congress than in the 117th by winning 19, but also having lost 9, which was not at all predictable, and therefore in the end getting by with a result so narrow as to be easily overturned on the practical side.
The sixth is that in the five referendums (among others) on abortion held in California, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, Oregon and Vermont in conjunction with “midterm” elections, the right to life lost everywhere.
Trump has stewed
Yes, it could not have been worse, and this clearly indicates two things.
The first is that the Republican Party must overcome the Trump moment immediately. Indeed, former President Donald J. Trump is now an obstacle, and an embarrassment. All, or almost all, of the Republican candidates openly sponsored by him in the Nov. 8 election failed, and, for fear of competition, Trump even surreally criticized the only Republicans who did electorally well. But more importantly, Trump’s rhetoric no longer pays off and his policy proposals are not convincing.
What Trump has done in the presidency certainly remains. Especially what good, indeed very good, things he has done. Anyone now denying this would be morally unspeakable. The good that Trump has done for his country is on the table: starting with the appointment of federal Supreme Court justices and continuing with the many pro-life, pro-natural family, pro-religious freedom and so on. Those things will remain etched in the stone of history and will not disappear. Indeed, they will have to be reminded of them at every turn at the source of a mob of mooing orcs who will want to erase everything in the blur of a long night when all cows are black, so as to dispel all doubt.
But Trump has stewed. Recall now that the improbable Trump of the 2016 primary election, the one who really was not hoped to become president because far more and better were in the field there, gave way to the Trump who won the presidential nomination of the Republican Party. How Trump managed to do it is something that will still fill the history books for a long time to come, but at that point it was a matter of choosing between the very great evil promised by Hillary Clinton and a different, decidedly lesser, very minor evil represented by Trump. Most importantly, no third solution was given. Many, unceremoniously, sacrificing everything, embracing the impossible, chose at that juncture, including in Italy, to support Clinton against the absurd Trump; others (including the writer here) realistically opted for Trump.
Meanwhile, around the disliked Trump rallied a world that, for a certain large part, represented something really good, and so, draining the tones of the internecine civil wars, Trump became, perhaps in spite of himself, an alternative symbol and reality to the Democratic disaster. Impossible not to support it.
So Trump won the election, and that history of which he was at the center continued, not without moments in which a “grace of state” was seen at work centering unforgettable goals for which we have not yet finished thanking either Trump for what of his own he put into it (or for the obstacles he did not want to put in it), or those who that “grace of state” operated.
Finally Trump lost the 2020 election in the polls, at the same time he won among the people in record numbers, but he also let happen what we crossed our fingers at the time should never happen: the dispersal of that people. As if that “state pardon” had failed once he left the presidency.
This does not mean that since the Trump presidency he has been wrong about everything, but about a lot, yes, and in any case that is still not the point. The point is that Hurricane Donald swept both enemies and friends. Trump has never been a builder, even of apartment buildings. He has always lived off his income, that is, off the image that he has skillfully constructed for himself. It certainly helped, and the famous pardon mentioned above served it well; but then the contraption became a toy again and Trump a spoiler. In fact, a party pooper. Befitting him a gilded retirement, he instead put back on the jersey of the sfascist.
The United States continues to need those who can separate the wheat from the chaff, reaping Trump’s legacy without also keeping the chaff. Someone to end the pro-Trump versus anti-Trump derby and look beyond it.
Abortion, for example, which Democrats will now do everything they can to armor into a bloody law, and what others, including Trump, have done right on the issue will be undone.
T.S. Eliot no
The second thing highlighted about the Nov. 8 defeat is that, with all due respect to populist rhetoric about elites, today in the United States certain elites are better than the ox people and their horned shamans. Federal Supreme Court justices, for example, are better, much better than many U.S. voters: some choose the sanctity of life as the foundation of res publica; others want death. An infinite sadness, this, but one that does not deny the idea of the father of conservatism, Edmund Burke (1729-1797), that there is an atavistic wisdom inherent in the peoples: rather it confirms that the authentic consciousness of the people is not always the majority, i.e., that truth is not democratic.
The November 8 elections took this snapshot of what exists. The Republicans who came out of the game battered ponder it as they file the Trump case.
This second consideration in the aftermath of the vote also tolerates an important appendix. Democrats are smarter than Republicans. They have a goal, ideological, and they are aiming toward it at full speed. They don’t care about economics, they don’t care about foreign policy, they only care about purpose and they fight for it. Instead, Republicans sleep in the damp, and thus lose. How this is, today, possible would also require history books to be carefully explained. While waiting, it would be necessary for them to wake up.
That said, one wondered yesterday what the effect of Hurricane Donald on conservatism would be tomorrow. The answer lies in a thought penned by T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) in For Lancelot Andrewes: Essays on style and order in 1929: “If one considers a Cause from the broadest and wisest point of view, then there is no Lost Cause because there is no Won Cause. We fight for lost causes since we know that defeat and dismay can be the premise of victory for those who will come after us, although even that victory of theirs will be temporary; we fight more to keep something alive than hoping for any triumph.”
If any truth can be drawn from this, it is that the conservatism of nonnegotiable principles is not a nugget to be locked away in a safe, but rather a tree of true freedom to be watered, pruned, fertilized, and cared for every day. Forgetting to do so even once can cost exorbitant prices.