Election 2022

'This Is What Democracy Looks Like. And It Kinda Sucks.'

Plus: Peter Suderman may or may not attempt a rendition of a famous rap from the movie Bulworth.


In this week's The Reason Roundtable, editors Matt Welch, Peter Suderman, Katherine Mangu-Ward, and Nick Gillespie survey the political landscape ahead of the midterm elections.

0:31: Key midterm issues

11:50: Most laughable major party pre-election pitches

29:28: Weekly listener question:

"How small, of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure.
Still to ourselves in every place consign'd,
Our own felicity we make or find:" —Samuel Johnson

My pithy query is this: do you think candidates would attract the 8–15 percent of independents by refreshingly stating their actions in office will have little to no effect on individualized happiness? For example, Democrats and Republicans have squabbled over tax cuts—a somewhat nominal 39.6 to 37 percent for the top rate, while federal spending on every single mandatory and discretionary program has remained relatively unscathed, but the tax cuts are held up as an Us vs. Them when discussing policy. Will cynicism ever prevail?! Are there any real-life Bulworth examples? Thank you!

49:45: This week's cultural recommendations

Mentioned in this podcast:

"Neither Democrats Nor Republicans Have a Clear Advantage Going Into Election Day," by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

"'Election Fraud' Can Become Our Awful New Hyperbole," by Bonnie Kristian

"California's Anti-Vaping Ballot Question Isn't About 'Protecting Children,'" by Steven Greenhut

"Herschel Walker's Unseriousness Overshadowed What Should Have Been a Serious Race," by Joe Lancaster

"A GOP-Led Congress May Focus on Owning the Libs. Instead, It Should Focus on Owning Inflation," By Veronique de Rugy

"Turning 'Saving Democracy' Into a Campaign Slogan Isn't Helping Save Democracy," by Eric Boehm

"The Death of Social Security: Debating Bush's plan for private retirement accounts," by James Glassman and Tyler Cowen

"How Georgia's Outlandish Ballot Access Law Is Protecting Marjorie Taylor Greene (and the Two-Party System)," by Eric Boehm

"Morris P. Fiorina: Why 'Electoral Chaos' Is Here To Stay," by Nick Gillespie

"Still Fab: Why we keep listening to the Beatles," by Charles Paul Freund

"Long and Whining Road: The Beatles, the boomers, and boredom," by Nick Gillespie

"Has the Libertarian Moment finally arrived?" by Robert Draper

Bulworth raps

Send your questions to [email protected]. Be sure to include your social media handle and the correct pronunciation of your name.

Today's sponsor:

  • We all want to make sure our family is protected in a medical emergency. What many of us don't realize is that health insurance won't always cover the full amount of an emergency medical flight. Even with comprehensive coverage, you could get hit with high deductibles and co-pays. That's why an AirMedCare Network (AMCN) membership is so important. As a member, if an emergency arises, you won't see a bill for air medical transport when flown by an AMCN provider. Best of all, a membership covers your entire household for as little as $85 a year. AMCN providers are called upon to transport more than 100,000 patients a year. This is coverage no family should be without. Now, as a listener of our show, you'll get up to a $50 Visa or Amazon gift card with a new membership. Simply visit AirMedCareNetwork.com/reason and use offer code REASON.

Audio production by Ian Keyser
Assistant production by Hunt Beaty
Music: "Angeline," by The Brothers Steve