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America's Silent Progressive Majority

The unanticipated outcome of the US 2022 midterm election shows that Americans can sense the challenges they face, and believe that they can do a better job of addressing them through civil, informed debate and well-designed public policy. In fact, whether they realize it or not, most support progressive objectives.

NEW YORK – The world heaved a sigh of relief this month when the feared “red wave” of Republican victories in the US midterm elections failed to materialize. While the Republicans took the House of Representatives by a narrow margin, the Democrats held on to the Senate. The Republican Party’s performance was not only worse than expected; it was the worst midterm performance in decades for a party not in control of the White House. 

Voters this year seemed to reject Republican extremism and hypocrisy, largely denying victories to the many candidates endorsed by former President Donald Trump. To win Trump’s endorsement, they embraced his lie that the 2020 election was “stolen,” and they openly called into question fundamental democratic principles, such as the peaceful transfer of power and non-partisan stewardship of elections. Most of them lost, including in key battleground states like Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

But we should not be too sanguine. In many cases, the margin of victory was slim. Large numbers of Americans voted for extremists, and some of those candidates did win. This should give us pause.

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