Opinion | Want to Understand the 2022 Midterms? Meet Joe and Marie.

In other words, the Washington Tuesday race is a near-perfect microcosm of the broader political forces at work in the fall midterm elections.

You’ve heard: Until recently, it seemed inevitable that a red wave would hit America in November. The Democratic congressional majority is paper thin, with the ruling party often losing seats mid-term. period and Joe Biden’s poll numbers are very low. But recently, the forecast has taken a turn for the worse, and counties like Washington Tuesday have become surprisingly competitive.

Across the country, Republicans have nominated politically inexperienced MAGA fanatics who could lose in invincible races — the likes of Ohio House candidate JR Majewski, a promoter of QAnon, performer of pro-Trump rap songs and misreported his military service.

Kent is one of the more highly regarded among the MAGA candidates. His military service – 11 tours, mostly in Iraq – is very real, and he has a deeply sympathetic personal story. In 2019, his wife, a Navy cryptographic technician named Shannon Kent, was killed by an IS suicide bomber in northeastern Syria, leaving Joe a single father of a toddler and toddler. This terrible loss, he said, helped propel him into politics. Kent holds what he calls the “administrative state” responsible for his wife’s death, arguing that unelected officials debunked Trump’s attempt to pull American troops out of Syria.

“They were supposed to be out on Christmas Eve 2018,” he told me, accusing those close to Defense Secretary James Mattis, who resigned over the Syrian withdrawal, of slowing progress. submit. “I 100% blame the administrative state.”

Kent’s anger is understandable, as is his deep disillusionment with the war on terror, which he now views as a plot, built on a foundation of lies, to do rich for the military-industrial complex. America’s foreign wars, he said, are “a great way for the ruling class to exploit its wealth and give itself more power.”

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