Updated: Nov 25, 2022
I often tell people that I’m not the best source for accurate predictions. I’m not a fortuneteller, soothsayer, or prognosticator. Generally speaking, if I speculate about a future event, I’ll likely be wrong.
That stated I’m going to use deductive reasoning—progression from general ideas to specific conclusions—to make a prediction. Rather than basing my formulated assessment on a rigorous scientific method, I’ll use observational data to support my conclusion.
Before I begin, and in the interest of full disclosure, I think it warrants stating that I’m apolitical. I don’t align with any United States (U.S.) political group, I’ve never voted, and I’m unconcerned with the shaming techniques people employ regarding my decision not to participate.
It may be helpful for the reader to understand the process I’ll be using when commenting on the 2022 U.S. midterm elections that will take place in a few days. Though some clinicians are averse to discussing sociopolitical matters, I disagree with the reinforcement of avoidance.
I find value in knowing about what actions my clients form beliefs, and which result in consequences I address in clinical sessions. Hiding under a metaphorical blanket of safety isn’t my preferred approach.
As such, I will use deductive reasoning herein. According to one source, “Deductive reasoning is the mental process of drawing deductive inferences. An inference is deductively valid if its conclusion follows logically from its premises, i.e. if it is impossible for the premises to be true and the conclusion to be false.”
To better understand logic—the study and use of principles for correct reasoning—I present a simple syllogism. Per one source:
Syllogisms can be represented using the following three-line structure, in which A, B, and C stand for the different terms:
1. All A are B.
2. All C are A.
3. Therefore, all C are B.
Another way of saying the same thing is as follows:
1. If A = B
2. and C = A
3. then C = B
Notice how the “A” functions as a kind of “middle” for the other terms. You could, for instance, write the syllogism as: C = A = B, therefore C = B.
I will use the following syllogistic formula:
Premise 1: If A equals B
Premise 2: and C equals A
Conclusion: then C equals B
Some logical premises are correct and lead to factual conclusions, such as:
Premise 1: All people will eventually die.
Premise 2: Rupert is a person.
Conclusion: Rupert will eventually die.
However, not all premises are correct. Here’s a logical syllogism with a false premise and nonfactual conclusion:
Premise 1: If all humans have brains
Premise 2: and dogs have brains
Conclusion: then dogs are humans.
It’s important to understand that logic and reasoning aren’t necessarily the same processes. Per one source, “The primary difference between logic and reason is that reason is subject to personal opinion, whereas logic is an actual science that follows clearly defined rules and tests for critical thinking.”
The formulaic approach to logic might be off-putting to some people. Instead, they may prefer to reason using general statements that seem sensible. For instance, if I tell you that placing your hand over an open flame for one minute will lead to burn, you may reason that my conclusion is practical.
Regarding deductive reasoning, one source states, “Deductive arguments are not spoken of as ‘true’ or ‘false,’ but as ‘sound’ or ‘unsound.’ A sound argument is one in which the premises guarantee the conclusion, and an unsound argument is one in which the premises do not guarantee the conclusion.”
Sure, you could say, “Deric, I could put on a flame-retardant glove and hold my hand over fire for a minute without getting burned; therefore, your argument is false.” However, in order for your premise to be reasonably sound, you had to change the premise of my argument.
In general terms, sound reasoning concludes that placing one’s bare hand over an open flame—which was implied in my original premise—will lead to a burn. I encourage you to detach from a desire for a gotcha moment when considering what I have to say herein.
Similar to reason, one source states, “Rational thinking is the ability to consider the relevant variables of a situation and to access, organize, and analyze relevant information (e.g., facts, opinions, judgments, and data) to arrive at a sound conclusion.”
Let us simply stick with logical, reasonable, and rational discourse.
When considering my approach to deductive reasoning, I will follow the format of this source:
Having differentiated between logic and reason, and with advocacy for rational thinking when using deductive reasoning, I will express my thoughts about what may happen as a result of the elections held on November 8, 2022.
Existing theory –
Before I identify the “theory” to be discussed, it may be worth noting the difference between a hypothesis and a theory. Too often, I hear people suggesting they have a “theory” about matters for which they actually have an educated guess—also known as a hypothesis.
According to one source, “A hypothesis is an assumption made before any research has been done. It is formed so that it can be tested to see if it might be true. A theory is a principle formed to explain the things already shown in data. Because of the rigors of experiment and control, it is much more likely that a theory will be true than a hypothesis.”
Still, it is worth noting that in law, “The theory of the case is the basic, underlying idea that not only explains the legal theory and factual background but also ties as much of the evidence as possible into a coherent and credible whole.”
In this regard, scientific and legal “theory” is not the same. Moreover, in common parlance, a theory can be described as “a hypothesis assumed for the sake of argument or investigation.”
Regarding this definition, one source declares, “In everyday use, the word ‘theory’ often means an untested hunch, or a guess without supporting evidence.” Rather than the scientific or legal framing of the phrase, I will assess the term “theory” with which so many people seem comfortable.
Such a “guess without supporting evidence” relates to Republicans potentially declaring victory over Democrats for the midterm elections. Some even refer to this matter as a “bloodbath.”
Putting forth this hunch, Joe Rogan recently stated of the midterms, “The red wave that’s comin’ is gonna’ be like the elevator doors opening up on The Shining,” and, “They’re [Democrats] making Republicans.”
Setting aside a minor quibble about the elevator doors in the film not having opened, as the blood rushed forth nonetheless, Rogan’s point is reasonably understood. As Republicans are represented by the color red, Rogan appears to predict a flood of Republican success similar to a political bloodbath.
To properly assess his reasoning, I want to first highlight the understood premises of Rogan’s argument. This is an example of how to incorporate the steel man technique into logical form:
Premise 1: If former Democrats reject current Democratic Party behavior
Premise 2: and John Doe is a former Democrat
Conclusion: then John Doe will reject current Democratic Party behavior.
Premise 1: Democratic Party behavior is unappealing to potential voters.
Premise 2: Jane Doe is a potential voter.
Conclusion: Therefore, the behavior of the Democratic Party is unappealing to Jane Doe.
The logic checks out and the reasoning is sound, as the premises guarantee the conclusion. We may conclude that Rogan’s “theory” is essentially that Democrats will likely not retain control of the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, or perhaps both.
Rather than discussing the merits of the why argument (i.e., “They’re [Democrats] making Republicans.”), I will instead hypothesize about the what proposal (i.e., “The red wave that’s comin’ is gonna’ be like the elevator doors opening up on The Shining.”).
Will there be a red wave for the upcoming midterms?
Formulated hypothesis –
To assess Rogan’s “theory,’ I will use a logical hypothesis—assuming the relationship between two variables without collecting data or evidence. (Yes, I know what happens when a person assumes something.)
I posit that given observational data, understanding that what I experience is subjective and serves as anecdotal evidence, Rogan’s prediction is accurate. Democrats will likely experience a red wave of Republican success for the 2022 midterms.
Data collection –
While I could gather extensive aggregate polling data, interpret the opinions of various journalists and political pundits, or conduct qualitative online surveys, I’ll forego the rigors of quantitative research and instead stick to biased observational evidence.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, Deric! How do you expect anyone to take you seriously? Who will listen to a clinician that doesn’t sit upon an ivory tower from high and meticulously sort through mountains of information?”
I suppose a more rational question is why would anyone listen to anyone else if that form of gatekeeping was the common standard? I’m not conducting collegiate-level research here. Besides, the academic ivory tower smells of farts and I dislike fart-sniffing.
Though there are many options available, I’ve narrowed my preferred sources of information. Nowhere close to what I would consider trustworthy, I will employ use of “the cathedral” for information herein.
The usual suspects:
According to Slate, “As things stand, the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 8, is setting up to be one of the best nights in a while for Democrats … to go to the movies and not watch the news.”
Per The New Yorker, “In the House, a modest gain of just five seats would lead to a G.O.P. takeover; on average, the party in power in such midterms loses around twenty-five seats. In the Senate, Republicans need just a one-seat pickup. Math is math.”
Axios states, “With less than a week left to go before the midterms, just about everything is breaking in Republicans’ favor.”
CNN reports, “The bottom line is that if there is a Republican wave nationally in 2022 – which seems to be a strong possibility – we’ll likely see it in New York.”
Per The Hill, “The warning signs are clearly flashing for the Democratic Party,” and, “Based on current trends, Republicans will likely gain between 30 to 35 House seats, and come away with a one or two-seat advantage in the Senate.”
While I could continue citing numerous sources, most of the data I’ve observed essentially suggest the same effect. There appears to be some evidence supporting the potential for a red wave regarding the 2022 midterm elections.
Data analysis –
Rather than rigorously analyzing data in a highly disciplined manner, I will instead appeal to the senses of common people. Those of you who also opt to forego flatulence inhaling of the hoity-toity betters may understand how I assess the data through a sociocultural lens.
Regarding’s Slates suggestion for Democrats to “go to the movies and not watch the news,” what has been your experience with film as of late, dear reader? Do you enjoy cinematic expression from a largely left-leaning collective that pushes propaganda on you?
One source queries, “Perhaps the writing is on the wall for Wokeness in the entertainment industry… Is the cultural tide turning?” While Democrats may practice escapism when seeking respite from a potential red wave by going to the movies, I suspect that as the political tide turns, the cultural wave will likely follow.
For those who like woke washing, “reimagined” stories for a “modern audience,” I’m not here to tell you what you should, must, or ought to do. As for me, I don’t enjoy the actions from a disproportionately left-leaning conglomerate which will likely impact the midterms as well as cinema.
As for The New Yorker’s assertion, “Math is math,” one may not want to speak so flippantly among mixed groups of people. Some left-leaning individuals maintain that “math is racist.” I’m not joking.
Per one source, “Racism, sexism and other forms of systematic oppression are not unique to mathematics, and they certainly are not new, yet many in the field still deny their existence. ‘One of the biggest challenges is how hard it can be to start a conversation’, ‘because mathematicians are so convinced that math is the purest of all of the sciences.”
If we can’t agree that 2 + 2 = 4, what more is there for us to discuss? I can understand how fed up people are that they may vote against their favored political party. Can you?
Concerning Axios’ take, why wouldn’t “just about everything” break in favor of the Republicans? Reader, what Democrat do you know that isn’t perpetually fearful, angry, sad, or disgusted?
Is it even allowable for a person to be openly joyous when aligned with left-wing ideology? With Maslow’s hammer in hand, everything must resemble a nail. What peace may be enjoyed if one is too focused on dismantling, deconstructing, disrupting, destroying, or decolonizing this nation?
CNN is honest enough to report that there will probably be a red wave, adding that “we’ll likely see it in New York.” And why wouldn’t you? Per one source, New York City’s (NYC) “bail reform was followed by a significant increase in criminal reoffending.”
Aside from those who fled NYC in response to COVID-19 governmental action—presumably to take with them the same voting habits that created the misery from which they fled—those who remained in NYC report a crime surge. Do you think that’s due to Republican policies, reader?
As for The Hill, which states, “The warning signs are clearly flashing for the Democratic Party,” I wonder if Democrats will use self-reflection and introspection, or merely double down on potentially worse losing strategies. Time will tell.
I admit my snarky reflection regarding outcomes suggested in the data isn’t persuasive. I didn’t go out of my way to use a methodological approach to this matter. Admittedly, bias is present in my analysis.
Though there were independent pieces promoting hope for the Democratic Party’s success, I excluded these sources in place of “biased observational evidence” I initially said I’d use. Evidence I’ve reviewed herein suggest there will be a red wave for the 2022 midterms.
Do or do not reject hypothesis –
In his “theory,” Joe Rogan suggests, “The red wave that’s comin’ is gonna’ be like the elevator doors opening up on The Shining.” I posited that given observational data, Rogan’s prediction is accurate—Republican’s will likely experience success for the 2022 midterms.
Given the assessed data and my disapproving analysis of left-leaning behavior associated with the Democratic Party, I do not reject the logical hypothesis presented herein.
What do I know? I’m not the best source for accurate predictions. I am but a lowly clinician who’s capable of observing patterns unfolding before my eyes.
I have no vested interest in who prevails in the coming week, Democrats or Republicans. Personally, I dislike the political structure and government entities almost as much as cultural propaganda in film. Almost.
Despite the outcomes of the 2022 midterms, I can accept that such matters are out of my control. Truly, I’m not typically one to disturb myself with the U.S. democratic process or promote rigid prescriptions about how others should, must, or ought to behave.
As well, I suspect that you, dear reader, will be able to manage regardless of whether or not there’s a red wave. Personally, I’d appreciate it if people would simply allow one another to live in one accord and not divide along silly partisan lines.
If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how irrational beliefs impact your life in an unhelpful way, and who will use humor along with logic and reason when working with you, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.
As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.
At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!
Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW
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