Photo by Tiffany Tertipes on Unsplash

Congratulations to the winners of the 2022 midterm elections.

What happened Nov. 8 was what was supposed to happen: People voted in a secure balloting system. One candidate in each race won. Others lost. No one worth fooling with complained about elections being stolen. They accepted the results — just like people do all of the time when one major sporting team beats another. And then they move on.

Even the so-called election deniers — the Republicans in Congress who in 2021 took a cue from one of the biggest political con men in history and claimed that Joe Biden “stole” the election — were pretty quiet.  (Reminder: Biden garnered more than 7 million votes to beat Donald Trump and later win the electoral college vote soon after Trump incited insurrectionists to riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.)

Did you hear any squeaks from South Carolina’s contingent of congressional deniers —Joe Wilson, Jeff Duncan, William Timmons and Ralph Norman?  Did you hear this week that there were any problems in their races  with vote counting? Of course not. They won reelection. But drill down deeper and think about what that means — by accepting election results that favored them, they again endorsed the election system and didn’t squawk about how their election was rigged  It’s still a marvel that in 2020 they claimed Trump’s election was rigged but they accepted results that favored them. (It still defies logic how results in one race on a ballot could be tainted and other races not.)

Think about this, too, as another backhanded endorsement that the post-election acceptance of results happened as it was supposed to: How often did you hear any Democratic losers complain about things being stolen from them? You didn’t. Why? Because they trusted the process.  

Maybe when all is said and done, the biggest takeaway of the 2022 midterms is that America is starting to trust the election process after being periodically swayed by a shiny ball of untruth offered by a petulant former president who upset the apple cart for a while.  

It’s kind of encouraging, in fact, that most folks seem to be ignoring a new spew of falsehoods emanating from Trump — that Republicans had a big wave of victories across the country. As comedian and South Carolina-raised Stephen Colbert observed, what happened at best was a “pink trickle.” So while the GOP might take control of the U.S. House, the margin will be much slimmer than most predicted. The Senate still is in play for the Democrats.

Historian Heather Cox Richardson observed Nov. 10 that Republicans may be tiring of the Trump bluster: “He has led the party to defeat now for the third time. In the 2018 midterms, Republicans lost control of the House, with Democrats picking up 41 seats. In 2020, of course, he lost the election, as well as control of the Senate. And while this year’s outcome is not yet clear, the Democrats have had one of the best midterm performances in recent memory. Suddenly, Trump no longer seems to have a magic formula.”

Part of being a mature democracy and the “leader of the free world” is to have elections, accept victories — and accept defeats. In the months ahead, let’s start working on relationships fractured over the last few years by the tempestuous Trump. He’s not a role model for a representative democracy. He’s an example of what our leaders — Republican and Democrats — need to strive to be the opposite of.

Andy Brack is editor and publisher of the Charleston City Paper and Statehouse Report.  Have a comment? Send to: feedback@charlestoncitypaper.com.


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City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.