Another Voice: 2022 Midterm election – Ukiah Daily Journal

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As I write this, the Democrats have retained control of the Senate, even with Georgia going to a runoff.  The House GOP will have a razor thin majority.  The election results were less than I hoped, but better than I feared, as the red tsunami never materialized.  In a 10 November, 2022 Daily Kos piece, Thom Hartmann described a possible reason.
The history of the world can be viewed as a progression of expanding society, organized first around families, then larger groups of tribes, regions, and eventually nations, including more people at each stage.  At the birth of America, Thomas Jefferson noted that every generation brings new people to power, shifting the perspective of what society should support.  This was expanded in 1997, by Strauss and Howe in “The Fourth Turning”, which recognized that every fourth generation, about 80 years, the world is confronted by massive crisis, both economic and political, caused by limitations of the preceding generations.  Addressing that crisis transforms society for the better.
For example, the American Revolution empowered common people in response to the tyranny of elite royalty, but the franchise was limited to white men.  Four generations later, the Civil War ended slavery and the economic structure it supported.  Four generations after that, women earned the vote, and the end of World War 2 saw the rise of the middle class.  Now, four generations later, our country and planet are in crisis again.
Multiple states are reverting to Jim Crow racism.  American students are saddled with trillions in dept.  Our country is awash with more guns than people.  Wealth inequity is extreme, with billionaire funded media concentration pumping out prejudice, hate, and lies.  Homelessness is everywhere, and affordable health care is scarce.  Our biosphere is shredded, with critical insect species going extinct, threatening our food supply.  Carcinogenetic and hormone distorting chemicals, and plastic microparticles, pollute our blood stream.  Finally, the climate is heating up, threatening the foundation of the global economy.
All these issues stem from rapacious, exclusive gain capitalism, the life blood of the Republican donor base.  With no financial incentive for change, the GOP has embraced extremism and fear to maintain political power, with no plan for progress, only for revenge.  Based on history, the GOP expected a decisive victory this election.  Despite their best efforts, and expending billions of dollars, the fact that they failed in that goal is encouraging.  One way to read the midterm election result is the extremist strategy didn’t play well with the voting public, specifically with the young
Broken down by generations, the Boomers (over 65) skewed GOP by about 13 percent, and the next youngest (45-64) went GOP by 11 percent.  The Millennials (30-44) were about evenly split, but Gen Z (18-29) went 28 percent Democratic, which made the difference.  By 2024, the two youngest generations will outnumber the oldest almost 2 to 1, which is why the GOP is so frantic to suppress the vote.
It is no accident that young folks are more concerned about the climate crisis, since they are going to live long enough to see the real impact in their lives.  This also fits into the idea that society is moving toward greater inclusion.  The climate issue is global, impacting everyone, and requires a global solution.  Nothing less will do.
As I have mentioned many times before, the reality of the world is unity, and short-term exclusive gain is a bankrupt suicidal fiction.  We can no longer indulge this fantasy because we are too numerous, and our whims are now amplified by technological powers previously attributed only to gods.  We must mature or die off.  All over the planet, more people are beginning to understand and experience this.
I worked in earthquake research, studying sudden physical changes, which encouraged my impatient expectations for social change.  But transformation is difficult and ponderous, much like turning a very large vessel at sea.  We are transforming embedded programing, patterning, and stories with roots going back many generations.  While these are often not in our own best interests, they shape the world we experience, defining our reality.
However, a fundamental tide is turning, perhaps barely perceptible at this moment.  But I am comforted by the unity of reality, as expressed in the climate issue, which cannot be denied, and must be embraced.
Crispin B. Hollinshead lives in Ukiah.  This and previous articles can be found at
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