Who Will Prevail in the Congressional Elections?

Fueled by dug-in, fiercely held convictions by folks on both the right and the left, there is no mistaking the fact that this Congressional campaign has been white hot. “The most important election of our lifetime,” some have called it.

Will enough progressively oriented young people, concerned minorities, and pissed-off suburban women voters turn up to retake (at least) the House for the Democrats? Or will the Republicans, re-energized by the messy Kavanaugh confirmation process and running scared of the marauding hordes heading steadily toward our southern border, be able to turn back this threat from the “radical left”?

Republicans are still favored in most district maps, and certainly are favored to retain control of the Senate, where they have to defend fewer seats, and where the dispersed votes of their rural base count more than those of liberals concentrated in urban centers.

So, of course, I asked the I Ching. And, again, the wise old oracle returned sensible answers.

My questions:

  1. What is the likelihood that the Democrats will win enough seats in the House in tomorrow’s election to regain the majority (and, hence, take control)?
  2. What is the likelihood that the Republicans will win enough seats in the House in tomorrow’s election to retain control?
  3. What is the likelihood that the Democrats will win enough seats in the Senate in tomorrow’s election to regain the majority (and, hence, take control)?
  4. What is the likelihood that the Republicans will win enough seats in the Senate in tomorrow’s election to retain control?

The I Ching readings:

Will the Dems win the House? Hexagram 8 (title: “Holding Together”*) changing to Hexagram 3 (“Difficulty at the Beginning”). Hex 8 concerns cohesive communities, such as what would constitute an electorate, especially one that’s locally based, such as a Congressional district. And the changing line discusses sincerity as a means for uniting that community. “People will join the union.” Hex 3 concerns birth – of a person, an idea, a circumstance. In other words, something becoming a reality on the physical plane. So, this reading seems to indicate that enough people in Congressional districts will believe in the sincerity of their Democratic candidates, and vote them into office, thereby creating a Democrat-controlled House, i.e., the birth of a new circumstance. This is an exciting time, the beginning of something new, as the inchoate but boundless creative energy of Heaven coalesces into physical form on Earth. However, the I Ching does warn that new circumstances are also inherently difficult owing to their fragility (“tiny sprout”), so caution must be exercised. However, the final text in the judgment does indicate it is a favorable time to “establish feudal lords,” an ancient reference to government.

Will the Republicans retain the majority? Hexagram 13 (“Fellowship”) to Hexagram 49 (“Revolution”). Hex 13 also refers to a group of people, but it tends to refer to a closer-knit group, i.e., people who hold the same interests. The only change line, however, discusses “seeking harmony in the countryside” with an unfavorable result: “One’s ambition is not yet fulfilled.” By “countryside” the I Ching is referring to places where there are few people, and we can see how this would readily hold true in this election in that rural voters are the most reliably loyal to Trump and the politicians that he supports. This reading seems to indicate that there will not be enough of these voters to defeat the Dems. And the resulting Revolution hexagram does indicate a change of government.

Prediction: The Democrats will win control of the House, and will face the customary challenges in assuming power.

Will the Dems win the Senate? Hexagram 49 (“Revolution”) changing to Hexagram 17 (“Following”). The one change line is not favorable: The text mentions adversity because the change that the Dems wish to bring about has not yet been adequately articulated to the American people. In a word, we as an electorate are not yet ready to embrace a Democrat-controlled Senate; the Democratic candidates have not yet made a sufficiently compelling case to move the masses. Hex 17 completes the reading by advising the Dems to “follow the time” and accept the results.

Will the Republicans retain the Senate? Hexagram 6 (“Conflict”) to Hexagram 18 (“Work on What Has Been Spoiled). While this sounds like a “bad” reading, it actually is better than the one above owing to the text in the 3 change lines – all of which are giving advice of how to deal with adversity. One line indicates that the Republicans will benefit from their “inheritance,” which is most likely an allusion to their incumbency. The next line advises them to change their position, a strategy we are seeing, especially with respect to the health care debate. (Suddenly, Republican candidates are acknowledging the value of plans that cover pre-existing conditions!) And the third line indicates that “supreme good fortune” will prevail because the candidates have displayed “fairness, justice, and reasonableness.” Finally, Hex 18 is also quite positive, because it indicates that the querent will have a chance to transform what has been spoiled. So, it’s possible that, owing to the fact that the Republicans are forecast to lose the House, they will need to transform their tactics for exercising power in the Senate, displaying more “fairness, justice, and reasonableness” in the process. One can only hope!

Prediction: The Republicans will retain control of the Senate, but will need to work on “what has been spoiled” in their relationship with their Democratic colleagues and, by extension, the liberal base.

*Titles vary by translation. For this blog, I used those developed by Richard Wilhelm and Cary F. Baynes in one of the first authoritative I Ching translations to appear in English, The I Ching, or Book of Changes, (1950/1967).  (R. Wilhelm & C.F. Baynes, trans.).  Princeton, NJ:  Princeton University Press.

Quotations are from Alfred Huang’s book, The Complete I Ching. (1998). Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions.

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