It’s early on the morning after the Big Election of 2022. All of the results and projections by mainstream mass media are in agreement that the pre-election expected—by both Republican and Democratic, mainstream mass media pundits—“red wave” did not and will not be materializing. On CBS radio this am it was being described as more like a “red puddle,” and it could end up more like “much ado about nothing.”
Given the repeated, alarmist, liberal news stories about what they said was likely to happen yesterday, there is no way to describe what happened, whatever the final specifics as far as control of the House—potentially Democratic, if unlikely, still!—and Senate, as anything other than a victory for the Democrats.
US democracy has survived to fight future battles, including the battle for it to become more democratic, less dominated by white supremacist, oligarch money, and that is a reason for relieved hope.
It is very hopeful that young people, apparently, came out in significant numbers. If deeper analysis shows this to be true across the country, it is probably the most important political development of this historic night. Large numbers of young people acting together for positive social change has been absolutely decisive in the past when it comes to important social movements for progressive change. It can be, it has to be, that way in the immediate future if this country and the world are going to positively change in this time of climate/democracy/increasing-inequality emergency.
It is also hopeful that there was significant voter turnout by Black and Latino voters, probably also Indigenous and Asian/Pacific Islander voters. It is inconceivable that the Democrats could have done as well as they did without this being the case.
How did the “red wave” not happen? In addition to and in connection with the youth and people of color turnout, a decisive component was the voter education and turnout work done by many organizations which operated independent of the Democratic Party while supporting in the vast majority of cases Democratic candidates. This was a major factor in Trump’s defeat in 2020, and in 2022 it might have been even more decisive.
The conscious recognition of the reality of this “third force”—not a “third party”—and its increased interconnection and coherence going into 2024 and beyond is an absolute essential if we are to break the generally 50/50 national split between the center/left forces and the right/extreme rightist forces. We need a unified, organized, mass people’s movement which can impact the US body politic in ways that will never come to pass via the Democratic Party as presently constituted.
We’re still here, we’re still standing, we’re still fighting, and there’s still realistic hope that we can defeat the Trumpists and make this the decade of major social and political transformation that it can be, that it has to be.
Ted Glick is an organizer with Beyond Extreme Energy, President of 350NJ-Rockland and author of the recently published books, Burglar for Peace and 21st Century Revolution. More info can be found at https://tedglick.com, and he can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/jtglick.