I've been a freelance writer focusing on movies, hiking, stamps, volleyball, and politics.
Is the Tide Turning?
Early in 2022, it appeared as if the Democratic Party was going to get lambasted in the end-of-year midterm elections. Inflation was sky high, President Biden's agenda had stalled thanks to a 50-50 Senate, and the misstep of the withdrawal from Afghanistan was a stain that caused many to lose faith in the ability of the current administration.
Add to that a former losing President and a conservative media that have waged a campaign to undermine the current administration since the moment the election was decided, and it's created an environment where many Americans have been programmed to look negatively on the Biden Administration, and Democrats in general.
But a varying series of events and poor candidate choices has led to a very exposed GOP and the war they seem to be waging on various different groups in America, instead of being helpful in solving the country's many problems.
Coupled with the GOP's many issues is the fact that the Democrats have discovered how to govern and are seeing improvements on the many issues facing the majority of Americans. The GOP has consistently shown resistance to those solutions and keeps missing chances to prove to the American voter that they can put country before party.
This has created momentum for the Democrats where they are now favored to keep one, and potentially even both, chambers of Congress in November.
The GOP's War on a Woman's Right to Choose
Chief among the swing in voter enthusiasm is the decision by an extremist Supreme Court to overturn the Roe and Casey decisions, leaving states to determine the legality of abortion rights.
Soon after the Dobbs case was settled, many GOP-led states saw trigger laws begin to take effect that severely limited or banned abortion, even in cases of incest or rape.
The most concerning of these scenarios played out in Ohio where a 10-year old rape victim had to cross state lines and get an abortion in Indiana because Ohio's laws would have forced her to carry her rapist's baby to term, despite her not even being a teenager yet.
The first display of voter motivation was shown in Kansas, a deep-red state, where the measure to overturn the State Constitution and remove abortion protections was soundly defeated by the voters. This show of support to keep the choice in the hands of the woman had to be a wake-up call to Republicans across the country.
This issue is a huge motivator and won't help a party that was already hemorrhaging suburban women after the 2020 election that saw Donald Trump soundly defeated.
The GOP's War on the LGBTQ+ Community
First, you get the infamous "Don't Say Gay" bill in Florida where the government feels the need to monitor elementary school classrooms and put a microscope on teachers who might be open about their alternative lifestyles.
Then you add in the culture-war attacks on the transgender community and the efforts to restrict them from being able to compete on interscholastic and collegiate teams.
Read More From Soapboxie
Lastly, you have ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas stating that he sees the same application they chose in Dobbs being applied to same-sex marriage. Conveniently, the same principle would apply to rulings about interracial marriages, but since Thomas is a part of one of those, it surprised no one that he left that part out.
Either way, you have the GOP showing open hostility to a whole community of Americans in states all across America. It's become readily apparent that the new far-right Republican Party is no friend to the LGBTQ+ community.
You Nominated Who?
Another important factor is who the Republican Party, oftentimes with the support of Trump, has nominated for certain candidacies.
In Georgia, Herschel Walker has great name recognition, but is carrying just about as much baggage as Donald Trump has. A history of domestic abuse, children he fathered but did not recognize publicly, and outright lies about his past have all sprung up to cast a shadow on his race for Senator.
Dr. Oz, a longtime native on New Jersey, moved in with his mother-in-law to establish residency to run in the state of Pennsylvania against Thanos lookalike John Fetterman. Fetterman has been skewering Oz in social media for his lifestyle and New Jersey roots and has extended out to a double-digit lead.
Also in Pennsylvania, you have one of Trump's staunchest election deniers running for Governor in Doug Mastriano. There has already been a Republican group formed to support his Democratic opponent in the race since Mastriano is seen as so extreme.
In Ohio, JD Vance is in a race he should easily win, but Tim Ryan is within striking distance.
While over in Arizona, the GOP just gave their nomination to 2020 election denier Blake Master who has so many ties to white nationalist organizations that it might be hard for him to win over moderates. That is, if there any moderates left in that state as they also put forth election deniers for Governor and Secretary of State.
All in all, you have a whole slew of candidates who are perceived as far to the right and out of touch with reality when it comes to the 2020 election. How anyone could believe these people would faithfully discharge an oath of office when they cannot even recognize the dozens of court rulings and testimony from elections experts about the free and fair 2020 election is beyond reasoning.
Let's Play Politics Instead of Helping Vets
In their latest move of stupidity, the GOP in the Senate got so miffed about the Democrats agreeing to a reconciliation bill designed to address inflation and climate change, that they torpedoed a bipartisan bill aimed at helping veterans who were suffering health dangers from toxic burn pits.
After a small technical glitch forced a minor edit of the bill, the Senate went from passing it with 84 votes to having 25 Senators change their vote and it failing to pass. Then they went on television and tried to lie about it being about a change in the funding as a reason for their new resistance to the legislation.
Noted comedian and lobbyist for veterans and first responders, Jon Stewart, publicly called them out for their lies about the bill's funding having been altered and veterans' groups made their voices of displeasure heard loud and clear.
The bill passed just a week later by a wide margin, but the fact that disgusting representatives in the GOP would put party over country even when it came to legislation affecting veterans was put on full display for the nation. Many are sure to remember that move when it comes time to vote in the 2022 midterms.
The January 6 Trump Factor
What the January 6 hearings have done is expose the reality that Donald Trump knew the 2020 election was legitimate and chose to lie about the outcome any way. He was the main organizer behind the rally on January 6, and he was the one that decided to send his supporters to the Capitol, despite the rally only having a permit for the Ellipse.
The committee has shown that he knew they were armed and no danger to him, as well as having testimony that Trump enflamed the mob by tweet after the violence had already begun, thus endangering his Vice President and his family in the process.
Trump was repeatedly told there was no fraud and chose to try and remain in power by illegality such as the fake elector scheme and the Electoral Count Act that his advisors conceded was likely unconstitutional.
Those candidates that Trump has endorsed will not be seen in a positive light by the moderates in either party, the key swing voters that both parties desire to win a national election.
Trump has been so tainted by the committee's findings that being linked with him could be more toxic than helpful. With more hearings to come in September as we get closer to the midterms, having the Trump endorsement might be more of a burden than a benefit.
The Big GOP Talking Point
All we've heard from the GOP in the last year is the word inflation. The finger-pointing and blame towards Biden on this issue has been like a broken record.
Despite this being a global issue or the fact that one of the leading causes, stimulus bills, were enacted by both Biden and Trump, the right has tried to frame this as the major issue that people should be considering in 2022.
Gas prices have been the most visible area of people's dissatisfaction on the inflationary front, with new records being reached above five dollars in early 2022. The right, with their rose-colored glasses, can set aside the April 2020 cut to global oil production of 20% that Trump negotiated with the Russians and Saudis to still falsely claim that the United States was energy independent under Trump.
While that claim might have been true pre-Covid, it certainly was not by the time Trump left office thanks to his disastrous response to the pandemic and his negotiations to cut oil production by so much.
As we head into the fall, gas prices have now fallen at a record pace and may continue to drop, which will weaken the right's most important talking point that people should vote based on the economic factors.
Legislation to Help Americans
On top of the falling gas prices, only one party has supported legislation to help reduce inflation and that is the Democrats. The GOP continues to obstruct any solutions to the problems facing America.
The first piece of legislation was the American Rescue Plan which passed with zero Republican support. Much like the American Rescue Plan, the Infrastructure and Jobs Act was fully supported by Democrats and resisted by the GOP despite being very popular with the majority of Americans.
To their credit, a major piece of gun reform legislation passed with bipartisan support, but all those who stood against it were from the GOP.
The most recent move by Democrats appears to be legislation to combat inflation, climate change, and ensure rich corporations pay their fair share in taxes. All three issues are wildly popular with the majority of Americans, so it will likely gain no support among the Republican Party.
Not only that, the right-wing media ecosystem seems to have taken the stance to lie about who will have their taxes increased as a result of this bill, which was directly refuted on Fox News by swing voter Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
It seems that any popular legislation that is supported by the majority of Americans will be resisted by the obstructionists in the Republican Party. This kind of party-before-country politics has become tiresome to the majority of Americans and is only favored by those on the fringe of the party.
Subsequently, those same people seem to the the ones completely loyal to Donald Trump, who supports pure partisanship over trying to make positive changes for the nation.
Either way, handing power over to a party that has openly stated that their goals will be to run partisan investigations, raise taxes on the middle class, and sunset Medicare and Medicaid does not seem to be in the best interest of those wanting solutions to America's many problems.
Joe's Building That Wall
To add insult to injury, another major talking point for the right is that Biden and Democrats are soft on immigration. However, it was recently announced that the Biden Administration has agreed to fill in some sections of the border wall that are seen as trouble areas in Arizona.
Of course, the right will frame this as Trump was right. But what they cannot say is that Biden has not taken any action to try and curb the flow of illegal immigrants into the country. Biden has listened to the agents in those areas and taken an action that they recommended to try and help the situation.
On top of that, the United States has seen cooperation in Central America to go after the people peddling disinformation that leads to an increased flow of illegal immigrants. As a result, the number of incidents at the border has come down.
Of course, that was something the GOP also railed against and would not support, to no one's surprise.
Why Would Anyone Support Such Divisiveness?
What has been put on display this year is a question many Americans must be asking themselves: Why would anyone vote for the current GOP?
They don't support solutions to America's problems. They lie about easily provable issues like the 2020 election and who will see increases in taxes. They care more about politics than veterans. They are waging a war on women's rights and marginalized groups like the LGBTQ+ community.
And worst of all, the most popular figure in their party, Donald Trump, seems to have suffered a major break with reality in that he cannot come to terms with the fact that he lost the 2020 election. That so many believe this should be the person that represents their party is one of the most troubling things about the current state of the Republican Party.
Because of these factors, many Americans are crossing over party lines to support Democrats who are more trustworthy and less divisive than Trump-backed candidates.
That should make for an interesting 2022 midterm season, where the GOP should have made gains, but might not due to their extremist policies and candidates.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2022 JOC