Thinking about the midterms from Paris

At 10 pm CET, Tuesday night, Voting Day in the USA, I was ready to go to bed. I’ve been sick and too tired to be anxious. I checked my e-mail from my sister who has worked her butt off for MI Elections: Her last e-mail reported: “We’re all going crazy with worry today–for Michigan and for the country.  I’m having a small election “party” but we all fear it’s going to be a wake…” This last e-mail I received was sent one hour later and read:`’Most of the people I invited aren’t coming because they are so depressed and just don’t want to face it. So it’s going to be weird.” She followed with “Not much is going to be known for MI even by tomorrow (my tomorrow). And if the D’s win anything, they’ll call it fraud, so it’s all a big mess.” 

I woke up Wednesday morning to two wins in MI, Governor Whitmer has retained her seat and a house member has also won. According to CNN, the Dems were very happy and relieved. I wanted to call my sister and wake her up but thought better of it. 

from Frank Bruni’s Op Ed piece in NYTIMES.

People have had a rainbow of reactions. I wondered about my own lack of anxiety. Perhaps it was because I’ve been sick for over a week and didn’t have the energy. Maybe I’m just too far away living here in Paris or maybe I’ve started to integrate that it’s useless to worry without enough information. I did pray- before I went to bed—I think it was a heartfelt prayer to whatever Higher Power watches over us. I prayed for kindness to the US. The papers were predicting a blood bath for the Democrats, and, naive me, just could not fathom that the God of my misunderstanding would send that kind of facism to the US. Unless it was to teach us a lesson. That particular god sent Hitler and the Holocaust. If there was a lesson there, it certainly wasn’t learned. With the arrival of Trump and all the ugliness out from under the rug, there is clearly as much antisemitism and white supremacy as ever.

I’ve been watching the Lincoln Dilemna on Apple TV+ and, it seems to my untrained historical mind, that things were worse back then. Worse to the point that eleven states ceceded from the Union and were willing to go to war for their beliefs. And though the South lost the war, they’ve never really given up or given in. Then there was Woodrow Wilson….”Wilson defended segregation on “scientific” grounds in private, and (scholars) describe him as a man who “loved to tell racist ‘darky‘ jokes about black Americans.” – Wikipedia. I’ve never seen statistics but I’d be interested to know how many Americans sided with Germany during WWII.

People say there will be another Civil War. I’ve said that I didn’t see massive change without violence—as if there wasn’t enough violence now. With the US’s hands in so many other wars, where would there be people willing to fight in a full-out war. The question people over here in Europe are asking is how could so much money be spent on these elections? 9.3 billion dollars. Can that be right? And now more millions will be thrown at Georgia between now and Dec. 6th. I had some naive hope that all the bullying and demanding e-mails for money might stop but no. I’ve received at least 100 in my Spam since the run-off was announced. 

There is great relief that there was no red wave. Biden called it a victory. My Letters from an American, Heather Cox Richardson, says Democracy won. There are still outstanding contests to be called. This morning I learned that Mark Kelly has been declared the winner of the Arizona senate seat. Forty-nine to forty-nine. So it could be that nothing has changed—the Senate divided fifty/fifty. The Times says the big change is Trump. He had 330 personally hand-picked people running. Very few won. 

Is there anyone who hasn’t seen this? 

Trump disgustingly threatened De Santos if he ran against him for President in 2024. Two men with god complexes running against each other. If it wasn’t so sad, it would be fascinating. The media view, one which I agree with, is that the Republican party is moving away from Trump—but towards what? A more eloquent white supremacist or someone else? 

There is still so much to learn from these elections, especially the two Senate seats in Nevada and Georgia. As of this writing, the two contenders in Nevada are neck and neck with a large percentage of mail-in ballots still to be counted. We won’t know Georgia’s outcome for at least a month. And now I learn that Nevada finished counting and has a Democratic Senator. A close call. Fifty/Forty-Nine.

Here in France, the midterms have been in the News. But my french friends say people are tired of us and these shenanigans (my word). Nobody understands what is happening to a great country like the USA. How could so much blatant hatred be tolerated? Of course, we have Marine Le Pen and her far-right but somehow to this American, it isn’t the same.

These are all thoughts. The next two years will be very interesting.

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A bientôt,


Author: Sara Somers

I am retired from my first profession, am from Oakland, California, living in Paris, France since 2013. I love books, movies, and watching everyday life in Paris out my window. Please enjoy my musings as I grow into the author others say I am. I am always open to thoughts and ideas from others about this blog. I like to write about Paris, about France, about the US as seen from France. About France that the US may or may not know.

7 thoughts on “Thinking about the midterms from Paris”

  1. I am hugely relieved by the results. I was involved, made donations, and got up in the middle of the night to watch the count. I am proud of my home state (NM) for re-electing our Democratic governor and unseating the Republican Representative in Southern NM. NM is fully blue. I feel like I can quit hunching my shoulders for a bit before the run-up to 2024 begins. Enjoyed your article, Sara!

  2. Trumpet has had it! He has lost his clout!
    His family is divided about him running, but he will because he is such a Narcissist! He will make it very difficult for all other contenders! That’s just his personality!
    I always enjoy reading your very informative articles.
    There was no red wave as expected!
    The Democrats are retaining the Senate.
    The House is a waiting game!
    Still counting votes.

  3. Sara, In response to your concern about America’s flirtation with fascism, I encourage you to listen to the podcast Ultra narrated by Rachel Maddow to learn about American Nazis conspiring against the U.S. Government (including several elected officials) in the lead up to WWII. Fascinating and deeply concerning.

    1. Thanks for letting me know Jessica. I love Maddow. I think she is leaving MSNBC so she must be doing podcast full time!!

  4. Such a relief that Democrats have kept control of the Senate and this midterms had the 2nd highest turnout of youth voters (18-29) who voted overwhelmingly democratic.
    This gives me hope.
    I was afraid to watch or listen to anything about the elections because I feared the worse but the predicted Red Wave turned out to a Red Trickle and I couldn’t be happier that the polls were wrong.
    Thanks for your article Sara and God Bless America 🇺🇸

  5. The news was like a brilliant ray of sunlight breaking through dark clouds. Happy about Mark Kelly in Arizona. He seems like someone who can be a bridge between our insanely separated camps. Hope you feel better soon Sara !

  6. Salut Sara ~ More than a week later so I am, perhaps, less exuberant than others. I am grateful that my state, Minnesota, is among the few that expanded their “blue” majority (governor, attorney general, secretary of state and both state house and senate). This lets me breathe … just a bit. But the loss of the US House (so close!!) means the next two years are a clown show of pointless hearings, blocked legislation and – sadly – the power of the nation’s purse strings. There are also “2020 election deniers” now in seats of power in the states and – near to my heart – too many local school boards with majorities of alternate facts in their ranks. And our media is addicted to the train wreck to come. Very sad for this nation. Very sad indeed. ~ Lisa

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