Election 2018

The Meaning of the Midterms: They Solve Nothing, Mean Nothing

No blue wave, no "Trump bump." We're still waiting for politics to catch up with a world of increased individual autonomy.


The good folks at Spiked asked me (and four other writers) to explain "the meaning of the midterms." Here's my contribution:

This election solves nothing, means nothing, writes Nick Gillespie.

Spiked Online

There was no 'blue wave' and there was no 'red wall'. What we are experiencing in America is the politics of exhaustion, of two large, lumbering ideological golems whose energy and forward momentum is completely spent.

Party affiliation is at or near historically low levels, and who can blame us? Neither party even pretends to offer an appealing, let alone viable, vision of the future.

The Democrats are vowing to expand government bureaucracy. But in an age of Uber, Airbnb, Netflix, and Amazon, who wants the government to control every aspect of our personal, cultural, commercial and economic lives? Meanwhile, most of what the GOP talks about is a sense of being invaded—by people who talk and smell funny and eat weird food, or griping over the loss of factory jobs that started disappearing (thank God, says those of us who ever worked in a factory) in 1943.

The only interesting question is: what flowers, weeds, and, better yet, mutant plants will be fertilised as America's two major parties finally beat each other to death trying to make their desiccated visions of the past a reality? We live in a world in which economic, cultural and individual power is more dispersed and decentralised than ever before. In the richer parts of the world and, increasingly, the poorer parts too, elite fantasies of mass control and consolidated power have been replaced by something like autonomy. In America, we're still waiting for our politics to catch up.

Read more, including sharp entries from Sean Collins and Reason contributors Brendan O'Neill, Michael Tracey, and Wendy Kaminer, here.