The midterm elections in America are a dangerous station
The historic significance of Tuesday’s US midterm elections should not be overstated. The expected Republican gains and consequent loss of Democrat control of Congress—if achieved—would not be extraordinary. The party in power usually does poorly in the middle of an election cycle, especially when the incumbent is unpopular, and Joe Biden’s 55 percent disapproval certainly is.
From another perspective, the immediate importance of the vote to an angry and divided America (51% to 47% between Biden and Donald Trump in 2020) cannot be overstated.
Economic recession and pessimism about the future loom, deep divisions over race, abortion rights, crime, gun control and the climate, and a rise in political violence fueled by disinformation, far-right critics, conspiracy theorists and paramilitaries.
The state of the Union is hectic
The state of the Union in 2022 is so hectic that some are asking: Can democracy endure? The main concern is that the radical Republican Make America Great Again faction continues to deny Trump’s defeat in 2020, while many moderate Republican candidates refuse to challenge them. In many states, Trump supporters are working to reform election rules and intimidate opponents.
The basis for this sinister campaign lies in the implicit or explicit use of political violence. Recorded examples include stalking poll workers, threatening judges, armed demonstrations across states, attacks on abortion clinics, debates over COVID-19 rules, and harassing librarians about which books should be kept.
Biden again warned of the dangers to democracy, and last week the US President directly linked the shocking hammer attack on Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband to “Trump’s big lie” about the stolen election. “We are at a pivotal moment,” Biden said. “We must speak with one overwhelming voice as a nation and say that there is no place for voter bullying or political violence in America.”
out of control
But his claim that “democracy is on the ballot for all of us” is flatly dismissed by conservatives, who argue the president is stoking fears of winning votes. About 63% of likely Democratic voters agree with Biden that a functioning democracy is more important than a strong economy, according to a poll, but 70% of Republicans say the opposite. And 79% of voters said they felt “things got out of hand” in America.
In a recent CBS poll with YouGov of 2,100 registered voters of all stripes, 53% said they believe the Democrats would cut police funds if they won the election, while 59% said they would close the U.S.-Mexico border to restrict illegal immigration. Neither proposal is considered Democratic Party policy.
In contrast, 63% said they believed Republicans would seek to impeach Biden, while 56% expected the GOP to reverse Democrat victories and impose a national abortion ban. 89% of them said they would definitely vote. Based on this evidence, reports of the death of democracy are grossly exaggerated.
Meanwhile, neither Republicans nor Democrats have magical answers to fundamental global problems, including recessionary stress, energy costs, post-pandemic supply concerns, climate impacts, China’s economic downturn, and war in Europe. Like the Brexiteers, it is foolish to think that the United States is somehow immune to such global challenges.
The escalation of political violence, often emanating from the far right, also reflects a broader crisis facing all Western democracies: the frustration and anger that ordinary people feel at distrust of self-serving political elites and at the fact that their voice is lost. In the US, the failure to fix constitutional anomalies such as the electoral college and individual allocation of Senate seats regardless of population is a handicap in itself.
And finally, as if these weren’t enough problems, there’s Trump. Amidst the election landscape like an exploding thundercloud, the former president is getting closer to announcing his 2024 candidacy every day, saying in Iowa last week, “To make our country prosperous and safe, I want to do it again, I guess. Get ready, that’s all I’m telling you. soon. Getting ready.”
Obviously, Trump has learned nothing, has no regrets and only cares about endless self-promotion. It is amazing that he is not in prison and faces charges of disobedience and vandalism during the January 6, 2021 Capitol riots, voter fraud in Georgia, criminal theft of White House records, fraudulent business dealings, and a lawsuit brought by a writer who says he raped her, but not only is he a free man, he’s the favorite in the Republican nomination.
Given his record in office and his behavior since then, it’s hard to imagine a more dangerous prospect for American democracy and global security than Trump’s second presidency, but it’s the results of this week’s midterm elections that hinge on his final decision to run could. Well, for no other reason: we hope that Americans will vote for the Democrats.
Trump apparently has learned nothing, has no regrets, and cares for nothing but endless self-promotion.
Among respondents, they believe Republicans will try to impeach Biden if they win the congressional election.
#midterm #elections #America #dangerous #station