It’s a Cold and It’s a Broken Hallelujah

Proud, patriotic Americans hoped the midterm voters’ response to the the challenges facing the country could be captured in a single word:

Hallelujah.

But as it turned out, it was not meant to be. There was, in fact, precious little to be thankful for. The red wave wasn’t even a small red tide. It was merely a ripple.

The resounding results demonstrate that the dark night that befell us just two short years ago has not come to an end. It is going to be more of the same and gridlock in D.C. The president himself said, “nothing will change” in his press conference. He also said he was running in 2024.

In the five major areas that were contested, Biden and the Democrats were able to stop the red onslaught and there was certainly nothing like a red tsunami, except for one place: the state of Florida. Perhaps all Republicans should focus on that success and copy it. The winner overall was the confident Governor Ron DeSantis, who could be the leader of the party very shortly. 

The Republicans did not bring about a dramatic and compelling defeat as many pundits predicted but they do take away a few hard-earned lessons. Politics is local. You need strong candidates. They must be funded. Endorsements mean little. You have to get out the vote.

Inflation at a 40-year high, the recession deepening, the border insecure, crime escalating out of control, and parental control in question, all seemingly indicated certain disaster for the donkey party. Instead, the Democrats maintained a number of seats that were up for grabs and won races like the U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania with a candidate who is a crackpot socialist who probably should be hospitalized. 

We fell short, even if, as Trump boasted, his 197 candidates won. Yes, they did—but some highly recognizable ones did not, and a few were wiped out.

Leonard Cohen’s famous song “Hallelujah” tells a very moving story about broken love, true love, love’s memories, mourning, guilt, penance, and finding peace. The thematic content is extremely bold and is fitting for the times. The Democrats also found the song comforting after their surprising loss in 2016. The refrain “hallelujah” takes the listener on a journey of pain, joy, suffering, and finally, celebration. 

We sorely sought victory in November 2022, but it’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah. 

The election outcome is emblematic of the Biden term in office; and the freedom we wanted to feel and experience two years before its due date will now have to wait. One consequence of the election will be to move the 2024 cycle up. Can Trump lead a party when many of his candidates failed, with a few notable exceptions; where his endorsement meant so little; and when he did not put his money where his mouth was? The pundit class has called Trump the man into question but does that spell the doom of Trumpism as a force, a movement, an ideology?

The election debacle was the worst news in a long time. You really can’t put a pretty face on it, as some conservatives have tried to do. You can actually hear the moans of horror and exhortations. There was no celebration in our circles as we fought the atheistic, secular, woke, globalist, and wrong-headed socialist party, and sought to teach them a definitive lesson. And what a message it was intended to be—a total realignment of politics as we know it. 

Now the Republicans may not control both the House and the Senate but more importantly, the Biden term in office is for all intents and purposes put on hold. He can’t pass any legislation, will witness massive hearings and interrogations, and if there is justice, we will witness his imminent impeachment, but the Senate will not convict him.

The song, “Hallelujah” was of course written by Canadian songwriter and singer Leonard Cohen, and was originally released on his album, “Various Positions,” back in 1984. You can listen to it here.

The word hallelujah is Hebrew, and means “praise the Lord.” 

There is still much to be thankful for even if we find disappointment in earthly political life at this moment in time. Republicans will control the House, serve as speaker, and control all the committees and schedule (and more critically perhaps, given the state of the economy, spending).

It is indeed the Almighty we should be thanking for what He hath wrought. On many occasions in the history of this country, founded by the faith of our forefathers and their willingness to sacrifice and shed blood for our freedom, we have seen the hand of the Lord. This is but another frame in which we have been so blessed. We should remain prayerful and patient for better results in the next round.

Singing aloud, we should recall the words of a song written about the Battle of Baltimore and its Fort McHenry, on September 14, 1812, when a huge American flag was raised to celebrate the victory of the Americans over the British. The sight of those “broad stripes and bright stars” inspired Francis Scott Key to write a song that eventually became the national anthem. It commemorated something sacred to all Americans: freedom. It is still worth fighting for and is a beacon for all peoples.

That is why at around midnight on November 8, 2022, at a Republican election party I attended, the large and enthusiastic crowd spontaneously broke into a wonderful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, even as it became apparent that we would not see a total red takeover, as was anticipated. The crowd sang these familiar words, sung down the ages.

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

We are disappointed, remain faithful, and while we are not dancing in the streets we maintain our commitment to the things the founders framed—which make and keep us great.

About Theodore Roosevelt Malloch

Theodore Roosevelt Malloch, scholar-diplomat-strategist, is CEO of the thought leadership firm The Roosevelt Group. He is the author of 18 books, including The Plot to Destroy Trump and, with Felipe J. Cuello, Trump's World: GEO DEUS. He appears regularly in the media, as a keynote speaker, and on television around the world. 

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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