American Mid-Terms and the Lesson in Democracy
It seems like the world has been so heavily focused on the Trusses and the Sunaks of the world (and rightly so) that everyone had momentarily forgotten about the Trumps of the world. Luckily, a characteristic feature that defines Trumpness is bringing the spotlight back onto oneself so that lack of attention did not last long.
This week, millions of Americans will be casting their votes to elect members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, which will determine how much of and which of Biden’s policies will come into being in the US. In a dramatic turn of events, immediately after this Donald Trump will be making ‘a big announcement’ on the 15th of November. It doesn’t take a genius to guess what that announcement will be- he will of course be announcing his intention to run for President. Yet again.
I would say this is odd, but the world we live in today has bypassed odd for good measure. We live in a world where a former colonial power has had three Prime Ministers in one year, where a country is devastated by floods caused because of rash environmental decisions made by wealthier nations, where the same country’s ex-Prime Minister is shot in the leg and he claims it’s the current Prime Minister and his cabinet who are responsible, where police murder a woman for not dressing ‘appropriately’ and the entire country is taken over by protestors, many of whom are arrested in a display of what can only be described as an abuse of power, and where a man is so desperate to get back to history that he openly talks about not shying away from employing his nuclear arsenal to destroy the world. So, trust me, nothing that happens hence is odd.
So, yes, Trump will once again run for President. And the way things are looking at the moment, he might even win.
The Democrats and Republicans have launched their respective campaigns to gain control of the democratic institutions of America. Where the Democrats are focusing on the genuine threat to American democracy, Republicans have chosen to focus on fixing the economy. The Democrats want to uplift the democratic spirit of the self-proclaimed leader of the free world, while the Republicans want solutions now to the economic problems that have been caused, in their view, by Joe Biden.
It would appear that the Republicans have got their campaign right. Amidst economic turbulence, not a lot of people seem to care about saving democracy, rather, they would like to focus on saving themselves from the shitshow that is the world. High energy prices, high inflation, high-interest rates, low incomes, and low employment opportunities do not necessarily paint a pretty picture of the state of affairs.
Not to say that the Democratic campaign is ill-founded. Absolutely not. The Democrats want to focus on the very foundation of democracy- which is essential. They want to focus on gun control, abortion rights, and the bigger picture of freedom. But at this time of country-wide anxiety about their future economic freedom, I would think this stance would not yield an easy victory for the Democrats.
People are worried, it’s as simple as that. The future is uncertain and bleak. If I am struggling to make ends meet, I won’t think about the future of democracy. I will think about a quick fix. And I am right in doing so, no matter how important the Democratic campaign is.
Those who are unreservedly supportive of the Democrats will continue to vote for them and the same will happen for the Republicans- so this leaves the dynamic quite unchanged. However, the problem arises when the task of voting is left up to those who have no affiliation and will vote for the representative who makes the best case for themselves. This is where the rocking of the voting boat will happen. This is what the anxiety on both sides is about.
For onlookers from the world over, this is an important display of political representation that everyone must pay attention to, for the outcome will affect the global political framework. Donald Trump rising to power again is an important consideration because not only does that mean that a man with no government or military experience can become the leader of the government for two terms, but also that democracy may sometimes mean that perpetrators of violence and those who have a previous record of impeachment can once again join the race for President. And what’s more, is that the US will not be the first country to have a man with a noted criminal record in power. 42% of the ministers in Indian PM Modi’s cabinet have known criminal convictions on their record- and they are the ones making decisions for their country.
Some may claim that by virtue of being democratic, a system cannot have limits placed on who can and can’t run. But isn’t risking the future of millions of people to — to paraphrase Dolores Umbridge- preserve something for the sake of preserving it, also quite undemocratic?
Whichever way the midterm elections head, one thing is for certain- this is a remarkable moment for American and global politics.