I am writing this on Monday night. Since I have no crystal ball, it is impossible to give an opinion on the outcome of yesterday’s midterm elections. But that doesn’t really matter.
It doesn’t matter because, even though some winners may be known after tomorrow, the results for a significant handful of Senate and congressional seats may not be known for more than a month. If you are at all like me, you will just be glad it’s over.
Well, it will almost be over. In an electoral contest where just a relatively few votes here or there will determine winners and losers, and when control of both Houses hang in slim balance, winning by a few votes is 'hoooge.' A win is a win.
And so, like pundits and journalists and ordinary folk, we are all left to speculate as to who will be the winners. We’ll have to wait for the results from states like California, or perhaps Georgia, where, at this time, it seems that a December run-off may be necessary. In the meantime, looking back on the campaigns, here are a few thoughts that may interest you.
First, no matter what happens in the midterms, Donald Trump will still be the president of the United States. Presumably, his base, too, will remain intact and loyal.
If Democrats succeed in winning the House, it is likely Trump will be impeached. By law, the impeachment process must originate in the House. The actual process, however, could last over a year. Given the pace of change in this country and the world, who knows what could happen that might change everything over that period of time?
This would be true in the outside chance that Democrats also won the Senate. For good reason, the bar for removing a president from office is set so high that it is next to impossible to do so.
Second, President Trump must be given due credit. He is an excellent infighter. As we know, throughout the 2016 presidential campaign he cut through many worthy opponents like a knife through warm butter.
In the presidential contest, much to the surprise of pollsters and pundits, using whatever means necessary, he beat the favored winner, Hillary Clinton. Even Clinton (who won the popular vote by 3,000,000 people) was surprised. To nearly everyone’s amazement, Donald J. Trump became the 45th president of these United States.
Third, a month or so ago I was listening to one of my least favorite politicians, Newt Gingrich, explain why he thought the House and Senate would remain under Republican control. He said there were two words to explain his opinion: Kavanaugh and Caravan.
As I listened, I nearly choked on my popcorn. Kavanaugh? Did he mean the Supreme Court nominee charged with sexual assault who posed as a virtuous victim? The same Kavanaugh who attacked members of the Senate Judiciary Committee who were interviewing him for the Supreme Court assignment?
Yep. And Gingrich was half right about that. What he knew was that many white male voters (who mostly favor Trump) would identify with Kavanaugh. After all, in a society where a young man gets projectile drunk and sexually accosts a young girl, such behavior is normal, even admirable. That’s what a real man is supposed to do, right?
Then there was that sham of an FBI investigation into the true victim’s charge. The investigation was constrained to talking to only a handful of people, not including the accused or his accuser. Investigators were also constrained from following up on leads that might have proven the accuser’s charges to be true. Trump claimed victory, and Kavanaugh is now a life member of the highest court in the land.
As to the caravan, what Gingrich was referring to was the 7,000 Central Americans seeking refuge in the United States. Trump used this as an opportunity to claim these mostly poor, barefoot men, women and children were a threat to 330 million Americans.
A week ago, he ordered 15,000 soldiers to our southern border to help agents defend against them. After all, the refugees had thrown rocks at Mexican law enforcement officers and, according to Trump, a rock was the same thing as a rifle. Shoot to kill.
The bottom line, unfortunately, is that whatever happens in the midterm elections, I think things will get worse before they get better. So fasten your sofa seat belt, grab your popcorn, and watch the madness unfold on your favorite television station.
Have a nice day.
Anderson resident Primus Mootry is a retired school teacher. His column appears Wednesdays in The Herald Bulletin.