This year’s midterms arrive in the wake of another shocking act of political violence — the attempted kidnapping of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and attempted murder of her husband Paul, by an apparently far-right extremist.

This week in OtherWords, contributors try to make sense of the moment. Mitchell Zimmerman links the attack and its aftermath to an increasingly explicit embrace of political violence by a segment of the Republican Party.

Sulma Arias says that violence is the result of a years-long — and increasingly dangerous — strategy by conservative elites who want to keep Americans divided to better take advantage of them. Democracy itself is on the ballot, Sulma argues. But however the vote goes, the work of rebuilding it will continue for years.

Also this week, we revisit our pieces on some other big midterm issues, including crime, inflation, immigration, marijuana policy, and the social safety net. We think they’re still worth a read or, if you’re an editor, a reprint!

New This Week…

Democracy Is on the Ballot | Sulma Arias
The right’s decades-old strategy to divide voters has taken a dangerous turn. What can bring us back together?

The Party of Violence | Mitchell Zimmerman
The GOP’s gun-flaunting ads, apocalyptic messaging, and demonization of opponents are steering its followers toward bloodshed.

‘Where’s Nancy?’ | Khalil Bendib
When “free speech” becomes a tool of violence and tyranny.

Other Midterm Reads…

GOP Ads Cry “Crime!” But Homicides Are Actually Falling | Mitchell Zimmerman
Rather than running on their unpopular agenda, Republicans are conjuring a “crime wave” to scare voters.

Republican ‘Solutions’ Will Make Inflation Worse | Peter Certo
If cutting corporate tax rates and making billionaires wealthier actually fixed inflation, it would have been fixed ages ago.

The War on Immigrants Is a War on All Poor and Low-Income Americans | Shailly Gupta Barnes
If low-income voters stick together, they can stop politicians from turning a humanitarian crisis into political theater.

Biden’s Marijuana Pardons Are a Seismic Shift | Paul Armentano
The immediate impacts are modest, but the order marks a top-level recognition that 100 years of cannabis prohibition were a mistake.

Revive the Child Tax Credit. Our Children Deserve Nothing Less. | Maureen Bowling
Those monthly payments made the American Dream possible for millions of families, including mine.

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Peter Certo is the communications director at the Institute for Policy Studies and editor of

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