Last week, as I listened to the political commentary leading up to the January 6 committee hearing, one thing continued to stand out: Republicans have a good chance at winning big this November.
That’s right. According to top political pundits, the party under investigation for promulgating a deadly attack to overthrow a democratic election is widely expected to win the U.S. House — and possibly even the U.S. Senate — in the upcoming midterms.
Now certainly it’s not unusual for parties to swap control in the midterms. This has occurred with much frequency in our nation’s history and under more usual times I would not be so shocked at this possibility.
But this is not a typical midterm election.
This is a midterm election that will determine if supporters of the former president and The Big Lie will gain leadership positions. It is a midterm election that will determine if the Supreme Court can be hijacked by justices who lied under oath and with spouses who attempted to have 29 lawmakers overturn a popular vote. It is a midterm election that will determine if illegal activity by those in some of America’s most powerful positions can be considered at the fullest extent of the law.
If this is not how you define the 2022 midterms — especially in light of new information from the January 6 committee hearings on just how dangerously close we came to a successful coup — it’s time to ask yourself why. I know there’s a lot going on these days, but I assure you, whatever your voting hook is — taxes, guns, abortion etc. — there is simply no policy of any kind that could ever be more important than preserving democracy at large.
Unfortunately for us all, this November these are essentially our only choices in a two-party system: Democrats who support democracy, or Republicans who more than likely don’t.
I’ll be the first to admit I don’t love reductionist politics. I don’t always love Democrats, either — especially as of late. But at times, compromise and practicality must dictate, and it is astonishing to think that any reasonably informed American would even consider still supporting the modern-day Republican Party, especially as even more details of the insurrection and attempted coup emerge.
In Colorado, voters have an outsized role to play in booting insurrectionists from office. Marking a giant stain on our electoral map, removing Rep. Lauren Boebert of the 3rd Congressional District continues to be a No. 1 target nationally for preserving democracy. While many other insurrectionists posing as elected officials also deserve prompt removal, few have been as vocal in inciting violence and hate as Boebert. She is truly dangerous to our nation.
While removing her in a solidly conservative portion of the state is no easy task, for those on the fence about her — but torn on voting for Dems — there’s another option.
By far the easiest route to remove Boebert would be for registered Republican and unaffiliated voters to support her Republican opponent, state Sen. Don Coram, in the ongoing primary election. While I personally disagree with much of Coram’s political takes, he is one of the few Republicans remaining who does not appear set on dismantling democracy. (Yes, the bar is sadly this low as of late.)
There’s also still time for voters at large to change their tune. Some 20 million viewers watched the January 6 committee hearing across all major networks except, unsurprisingly, Fox News, which didn’t air it. Will it remind voters of the stakes? Will it change their voting priorities? Is it enough to change the polls before November?
The former president may be out of office, but he and his supporters continue to be a core threat to democracy. Voters must vote accordingly, setting aside personal policy interests; without democracy, we will have none of it.
Trish Zornio is a scientist, lecturer and writer who has worked at some of the nation’s top universities and hospitals. She’s an avid rock climber and was a 2020 candidate for the U.S. Senate in Colorado.