U.S. politicians and the chattering classes are focused like laser beams on the upcoming midterm elections in November. This is because the No. 1 job for all politicians is getting elected and reelected—everything else is a distant second.
'Where You Stand Depends on Where You Sit'Nelson Mandela’s famous quote elucidates the importance of perspective in simple terms. In political terms, the issues that a person holds most dear define one’s ideology and natural voting propensity.
For example, some people adhere to a basic philosophy that “anything goes” and thereby lean left in their politics while aligning with those who seek extra-constitutional methods to achieve their desired political objectives. Others are motivated by religion-derived moral values and gravitate toward politicians who support those values. Some people are single-issue voters (abortion); others are influenced by a broad spectrum of topics affecting economics, national security, and foreign affairs.
Candidates and political parties capitalize on these tendencies among masses of voters when the topics are beneficial and minimize public discussion when those issues are politically unfavorable—primarily through misdirection and misinformation by media allies. This is the essence of politics—the persuasion (or fooling) of sufficient numbers of people on key issues during the election cycle in order to be elected to office.
What are some of the top issues for many voters at the moment?
Derived from many polls on the subject, these include the following: the price of gasoline, inflation in general, illegal immigration, the Dobbs decision (overturning Roe v. Wade), the Russo-Ukrainian war, unchecked violent crime, supply chain interruptions, climate change, COVID-19 mandates, LGBTQI and woke activism in schools (both sides of the issue), gun control (both sides of the issue), etc.
Republican Versus DemocratRepublicans are generally right-of-center voters while Democrat voters trend left. Independents can be all over the political map, depending on the debated issue.
Biden administration policies have exacerbated the divisions through a complete reversal of Trump administration policies, with the result being high energy costs and spiraling inflation, a flood of illegal immigrants across the open U.S.-Mexico border, and support for LGBTQI and woke activism throughout the land using the full force of the federal government.
Constitutional Rights Versus AuthoritarianismRepublicans generally support the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution, especially the First and Second Amendments and the constitutional responsibilities of the U.S. Congress to write the laws of the land.
Democrats are criminalizing political speech, weaponizing federal agencies against their political enemies, advocating for even more unconstitutional executive orders from President Joe Biden to achieve their political objectives (for example, pushing for abortion “rights” by circumventing Congress), and doubling down on enforcement of LGBTQI and woke policies in federal agencies and public schools. Democrats also favor using authoritarian power for vaccine mandates, economic lockdowns, and other direct actions violating individual rights.
Inside the Beltway Versus OutsideSix out of ten of the wealthiest counties and independent cities in the United States are in the Washington area. Loudoun County (Virginia) is the wealthiest county, with an estimated median household income of $142,299. Many residents work directly for the federal government or as contractors supporting government agencies. Where they stand is where they sit: most support the party of government (Democrat), especially regarding the growth of federal budgets and control.
The rest of the country does not have the luxury of feeding off U.S. taxpayer dollars. Thus, there is more balance, if not outright skepticism, about much of what comes out of Washington.
Rural Versus UrbanUrban cities are run mainly by Democrats, while rural areas are generally aligned with the Republican Party. For example, the heavily urban Northeast and large coastal California cities vote Democrat, while the more sparsely populated central states typically elect Republicans.
The rural perspective is quite different from the urban one; most people from rural states/areas are involved in the production of basic commodities such as food, minerals, and energy supplies, while city-dwellers are consumers who are far removed from a basic understanding of the economics and physical laws that affect commodity production.
Wealthy Versus Low IncomeAnother way to divide voters is by class and income levels. Wealthy Americans do not feel the bite of inflation and high gasoline prices to the degree that lower-income Americans do. Inflation costs eat up a substantially larger part of the discretionary income of Americans of modest means.
Uniparty Versus SheepThe Uniparty consists of the Democratic Party and their Republican allies in Congress—call the latter Republicans-In-Name-Only, as appropriate.
The Uniparty also supports a never-ending stream of aid to Ukraine with no strings attached despite no public debate about whether and how U.S. interests are affected by Russian economic sanctions or the ongoing war itself.
We, the “sheep,” are more concerned about stopping the flow of illegal immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border than Uniparty support for the completion of a Polish wall to keep out Belarusian (and other) migrants fleeing the Russo-Ukrainian war.
Abstract Versus RealOr those who treasure ideology over real life. Breitbart said it well in this May article: “Senate Democrats are betting the midterm election on the issue of abortion instead of focusing on reducing inflation, [which is] the most important issue to voters.”
Concluding ThoughtsIn 2022, because of the disastrous economy—8.6 percent inflation with no end in sight and the highest gasoline prices ever—Maslow’s hierarchy of needs trumps esoteric and ideologically driven issues. The foundation levels of Maslow’s pyramid consist of physiological (food, water, shelter) and safety needs (physical security and stability). The more esoteric and abstract needs are layered on top, including love and belonging (friendship and family), esteem (recognition and respect), and self-actualization (realization of one’s full potential).
Many lower-income Americans are concerned about basic physiological needs—simply providing food for their families, holding onto their jobs, and dealing with high energy bills and inflation while living paycheck to paycheck. These are the issues that matter most to the largest number of Americans. Others like unlimited abortion, red flag laws, green energy, and LGBTQI “rights” are far down the list of their concerns (and are in the upper layers of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs).