Still reeling from the shock of the 2022 midterm blowout, many Republicans are casting around looking for something or someone to blame. Some blame zoomers. Some blame the fact that Biden doesn’t inspire “passionate hatred” like Obama and Clinton did. But a surprising subgroup of Republicans are overtly blaming Donald Trump, and the Conservative media is increasingly echoing that sentiment.
It was more than just disaffection with Trump that carried (and is still carrying) the day, of course. It was also Dobbs. People were sickened that a Republican-biassed SCOTUS could repeal Roe. People were furious that a bunch of old white men could tell a woman what to do with her reproductive organs, even if it was at the peril of her life and personal well being.
But they are also sick and tired of Donald Trump and his glassy-eyed lickspittles endlessly replaying the 2020 election. They hated the half-wits and loonies the Republicans put forward as candidates.They wanted answers to the problems facing Americans today, and the Republican Party didn’t provide any answers.
Yes, people were worried about gas prices, Ukraine and inflation, but they didn’t see Republicans doing anything about those things. Instead they saw a lot of whining, a lot of pearl clutching, a lot of finger pointing, a lot of blame placing and a lot of legislators actually voting against real solutions to those vexing problems. But solutions of their own were few on the ground. So Republicans lost, and they lost big.
This was, finally, the repudiation of the Republican Party we have long been hoping for. It’s happened at last. The people have finally spoken. They have told the Republican Party they’ve had enough. They have gone to their metaphorical windows, thrown them open and yelled, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” And then they went out and proved just how mad they were. They voted.
The 2022 midterms could go down in history as the high-water mark of American insanity. For a time America had to endure a populist move toward fascism. But the mechanisms of the unique experiment known as the United States of America, together with its Constitution, the peaceful transition of power and the sum of all the traditions of democracy proved a sufficiently powerful bulwark against this tide of madness. We were almost swept away, but we were saved at the last minute.
I hope that’s what has happened. Because if it is then we are saved, and we have just glimpsed a miracle. It was the first and hopefully not the last of glorious and golden repudiations of MAGA Republicanism.
If true then Donal Trump will begin to fade. His loss of power will concomitantly make him more desperate, hectoring, infantile and immature. His tantrums will embarrass many who used to support him.
Stalwarts of Trumpism are even now turning away from him. The New York Post, the Wall Street Journal and Fox News are criticising their former president with negative, even scathing editorials. Trump screams into the night with rage and ketchup flying on “Truth” Social, but fewer and fewer are taking him seriously. Slowly but inexorably the lights are going out, one by one, at Mar-a-Lago.
Of course much of his MAGA base will remain intact. But depletion of numbers has rendered them largely impotent. We are the winners, and we will write the history of these last several years. And we will tell the truth. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.