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American Character and the 2022 Election Not Changing Much Socially or Politically

American Character and the 2022 Election Not Changing Much Socially or Politically The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

For the past several months leading up to this moment in the U.S., a “red wave” was predicted. Now that Election Day 2022 has come and gone, however, the actual results are looking rather underwhelming for Republicans. It seems, therefore, as though the status of conservative ideals prevailing at a national level is still “not yet.” And from where I sit, not much is going to change either socially or politically as a result of this year’s election.

Though we’re told it may take days or weeks for final counts, Republicans are probably going to have to settle for retaking the U.S. House of Representatives, and not much more. Maybe they get a narrow majority in the Senate as well. But we’ll see how the Georgia run-off between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker goes. It’s still going to be close at best.

So what in the world just happened? And why were the expectations so contrary to what the reality has turned out to be?

Aside from concerns about election fraud, or effective media manipulation and propagandizing, it seems Republicans were banking overmuch on high unfavourability ratings for President Biden, plus economic troubles at home and abroad. These lattermost, we all assumed, were supposed to do most of the heavy lifting in the making of case that Americans should vote straight GOP tickets coast to coast.

Taken by itself, that should have been reasonable to expect.

Wokeness regarding gender and racial issues has been self-evidently toxic and disruptive for America. The fight against Climate Change is every day hurting more and more our budgets for fuel, electricity, and food. Yes, inflation is out of control, depressing the standard of living for many Americans, even as wages remain stagnant and massive layoffs slam major corporations, sending thousands of families at a time into unemployment. And, yes, the housing market has crashed, leaving sellers with nowhere to unload their properties even as prospective buyers can’t afford the interest rates that are available.

Given these facts, how could Republicans not have swept the field? How could all these things be true under Democrat policies and government and Americans still not want to vote for the other guys?

Though I don’t hear anyone talking about it, I think the easy answer to that question has to do with the character of the American people. And what I mean is that our national character has not changed much, if at all, in the past two years.

If circumstances had caused us enough grief to break through our other interests, and if we had not been stubborn, then perhaps we would have done the appropriate soul-searching. We do have many things to repent of as a people, after all. And the pain and discomfort we are increasingly suffering ought to have helped us to see that.

All the same, it might just be that most Americans have suffered, or enjoyed, no such result of our trying circumstances, that we would turn from wicked ways and seek the Lord’s face, because our character is just that poor.

Instead, most of us have remained largely fixed in either one of the two primary camps we were in before, and kept on blaming the other side for everything. Or else we’ve stayed in the middle, and kept on wanting nothing so much as for all the drama to stop. Whatever the cost, just make the fighting and stress go away. We’ll vote for whoever seems most likely to effect that outcome.

If this is accurate, that most Americans have either remained stubbornly polarized, or else defiantly disengaged and ambivalent, it would not be all that surprising if the election outcomes are still coming in upside down compared with reality, however much we should wish they were not. That is, if our character has not changed, or if it has gotten worse, then we should not be surprised at how the election just went.

Character, after all, is upstream of every step in the process. Who runs for office, and what their positions are; whether we recognize and actively support good candidates when we have them; who all shows up to vote, and how they vote; how we respond when suspicions of cheating and dishonesty overshadow the entire election process, whichever side of those suspicions we’re on – all of these are questions of character.

Sadly, so long as our national character is such that those embracing corruption and untruth get power because they are most passionate about winning office for themselves and their party, or those who want nothing more than to not be bothered are willing to look the other way regardless the cost, or those who love goodness and truth are less than fully committed to good government founded on sound principles – so long as these remain features of the character of our society, America will keep on getting more of what it got in 2020. 

This is not a call to fatalism, mind you. A pox on that. My family and friends live here, and I won’t accept throwing in the towel. Instead, I say our work continues, and it must proceed apace in a certain direction, to think and act in relation to the big picture and the long-game with regards to the formation and expression of good character.

First, we must focus on having and modeling good character ourselves. Then we must set about to instilling and encouraging good character in our children, and our neighbors. Even if sometimes only for an audience of one, integrity in our own persons must be enough for us, since we know what it profits a man to gain the whole world and yet forfeit his soul, and there is clearly no other path forward which is open to us at this time.

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