As one of the more conservative independents on the board, I have voted for candidates from both parties over the years, especially on the local and state levels, but, since 2008, I have not pulled a lever for any Republican.
After all the lies and corruption of the Bush years on the heels of the very controversial 2000 election, I realized the
Republican orthodoxy was fraudulent and a path to nowhere for myself, my family and the country. I think a lot of people went through this transformation, but came to different conclusions.
Some agreed with and supported Trumpism, others did not, but were more scared of the Democrats than of staying loyal to the Republicans. Some fought against Trumpism and lost their party, friends and, in some cases, family connections. Still others tried to toe a line between the establishment and the Trumpists, working to keep the party together without endorsing the extremism in the new Trumpist party.
My overall conclusion was the Republicans no longer believed in governing, no longer cared about anything besides winning and therefore were open to really dangerous ideas, actions and leaders. Obama's popularity and the emerging demographic changes scared them so deeply that winning became an existential requirement.
Enter Trump and Trumpism. Trump and his minions saw the fertile ground that no one else was farming. They saw the shell of the Republican party and understood it could be taken over and manipulated for their own ends. They knew there was no leadership capable of articulating another vision or standing in their way. They saw the Republicans were desperate to win and would choose whatever horse offered them that chance, regardless of ethical, constitutional or legal problems.
Plus they also saw the rural white anglo saxon protestant working class base had finally lost faith with the Democrats failure to deliver the economic and cultural results they wanted, but did not respect the Republican establishment that had destroyed their livelihoods for decades by serving the top 1%, off-shoring jobs, slashing services, not investing in infrastructure & education and leaving the poor to fend for themselves. They felt betrayed and cheated by both groups which provided a huge vacuum for a third group like the Trumpists to feed their fear and offer them lies in exchange for their votes/support.
Mid-term elections almost always damage the party in power, but this was more orchestrated than most. The country needed Biden to beat Trump in 2020, but the price of that victory has been steep with the expected consequences of the global pandemic coming home to roost amid a multitude of other unfolding crises: 1) loss of trust/confidence in our constitutional form of government 2) climate change 3) growing corporate power 4) massive people migrations 5) war in Ukraine 6) rise of authoritarianism across the globe 7) disinformation & corruption of media etc.
Add this to the gerrymandering, voter suppression, voter roll purges, attacks on election officials/systems, dark money, PACs and it has become a winner take all contest based on the lies & fear mongering that can turn out the vote.
That is how a Republican party with no ideas, no interest in governing nor care for the future of the country can create such chaos that they may take both houses of Congress back and gain even more on the state & local levels. Once in power, they will work on throttling Biden's ability to govern, cutting taxes and investigating the government i.e. working to get Trump off the hook of his crimes. None of that does anything for the benefit of Americans and their families. It is shameful and disgraceful.