Here are my last-minute predictions for Election 2018. Rather gloomy ones, I’m afraid — but as with almost everything else I’ve written about politics in this century, I hope I’m badly, embarrassingly wrong. Anyway, here goes.
The Republicans will hold the Senate, as most people expect. They will hold the House as well, although with a reduced — perhaps greatly reduced — majority. (This despite the fact that, as in 2016, more Americans across the country will vote for Democrats in congressional elections.)
Given this result, in the months afterward the mainstream news media will begin to slowly evince a more respectful, “objective” tone toward Trump, owing to his “unmistakable appeal to the American people, which must be taken seriously.” The remaining “never-Trump” Republicans will jump on the Dear Leader’s bandwagon. (Most of them have already.) The “threat” of the so-called “Caravan” will suddenly and magically dissipate. But the election will have “proven” to the GOP that the use of totally false, inflammatory, openly racist and authoritarian fearmongering, blasted at top volume 24/7, is the best way to win elections, so we can expect the 2020 campaign to be completely off the scale in that regard, making George Wallace — or even George Lincoln Rockwell — look like Mahatma Gandhi.
Of course, if the Democrats do win big, or narrowly retake Congress, we can expect the latter as well: Trump will be absolutely unhinged in his fury, and he and the GOP will double down — triple down — on their far-right ranting and apocalyptic rabble-rousing. But a Democratic win — even with our current crop of Democrats, who have been just about the most useless, toothless, clueless political opposition I’ve ever seen in my lifetime — will put some at least some impediments in our mad rush toward klepto-plutocratic-theocratic nationalist authoritarianism. And as the Scarlet Pimpernel once said so plaintively, “Odd’s fish, that’s something, isn’t it?”