Jim Crawford: Two paths lie before voters

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Midterm voting is underway, and every indicator suggests that the 2022 midterm election will be a historically large vote with more voters and a higher percentage of voters than in any midterm election since the 19th century.

By most polling, the two political parties, Republicans and Democrats, stand almost perfectly balanced in anticipated voters, inviting an election defined by those voters identified as “Independent” and by new voters energized by single issues like abortion or inflation.

What can we expect the outcome to look like?

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With the slightest tipping of the political scale, given a bent towards past midterm outcomes, the party in power, Democrats today, will lose their majorities in both the House and the Senate.

That will create a political war setting where any meaningful legislation for the American people will be unlikely for the next two years. While Republicans have said little about their legislative plans, if any, they have indicated their concerns are inflation and crime.

It is unlikely President Joe Biden will find any of the Republican proposals acceptable in either area, thereby deadlocking Republican legislative goals. Republicans intend to turn to their investigative powers then, investigating both the Department of Justice and the FBI, along with the HHS Director and Hunter Biden, the son of the president. Republicans may also impeach Biden for reasons yet to be determined. This is an estimation of what the results of 2022 may accomplish given various Republican statements to date.

But, in politics, surprises happen.

While Democrats have made abortion a key concern for this election, polling has not suggested that abortion will sway the election to Democrats. It is possible that polling is not capturing the intensity of women voters enraged by the abortion issue.

There may be enough votes cast over abortion and the threat Jan. 6th poses to our democracy to overcome the polling indicators that predict the country is ready to return power to politicians who continue to support the “Big Lie” when the facts make that position laughable.

Alternatively, there may be enough voters with an honest recollection of the accomplishments of the Biden administration to grant the Democrats two more years to advance legislation for the people. While our Republican friends would like to ignore Biden’s long list of successes, a few stand out:

• The Chips and Science act is investing in national security and good jobs by bringing semiconductor manufacturing back to the US and investing in R&D to keep the U.S. the technology leader in the 21st century.

• The American Rescue Plan Act has invested billions into state and local policing to fight increases in crime.

• The Infrastructure Act is already investing billions into improving our roads, airports, and bridges, filling a decades-long need that no other president could pass into law.

• Increased investment in The Affordable Care Act has added 5.8 million insured in 2022 and reduced family costs by $800 annually.

• The Prescription savings law has limited Medicare’s out-of-pocket expenses to $2,000 annually and capped seniors’ insulin costs at $35.

• Student loan forgiveness will allow millions of Americans to escape onerous debts that have held them back from the American Dream.

In addition to these investments for the country, the third quarter GDP has grown 2.6 percent, signaling a growing economy; Biden has taken leadership of the free world in supporting the Ukrainian fight for freedom; the U.S. is a leader in climate change once again, and gas prices are falling as a direct result of Biden’s actions.

In 2022, voters can vote for the Donald Trump-led Republican Party and two years of conspiracy theories and insipid investigations, or they can vote to give Biden and the flawed Democrats two more years to demonstrate that legislation for the people is worth some patience.

Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.