Though the US mid-term elections don’t normally attract as much attention as those that include election of their president, the one taking place this week might turn out to be the most pivotal election in the USA’s history, maybe in the world’s history.With a daughter and a little grand-daughter living in the USA, along with other family members, I feel strongly tied to what is happening there.
Throughout much of the world we’ve recently had to watch politics moving not just to the right, but into real fascism. You have to wonder how far this can go. Yes, Bolsonaro was defeated in Brazil last week, but just barely. At the same time, in Italy the far right has just triumphed.
Though six months ago the right seemed to be fading in the USA, with democratic wins in individual bi-elections, now, according to the polls, the republican vote is moving ahead.
But for some reason polls have become less reliable. They seem not to be taking their samples from the whole pool of votes. For example in the 2020 USA election, they didn’t forecast the degree of the increased democratic vote in Georgia, resulting in two new Georgia democrat senators. In our last election here in Canada, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals were predicted by the polls to lose ground and possibly be forced from power. Instead, they gained seats. The vote on the right was significantly over-rated.
So I’m hoping that something similar is about to happen in the USA.
But I keep asking myself, how can it be that after Jan 6th and all that has been revealed in the investigation of it, and then the discovery that Trump has been illegally classified documents that he took from the White House, and lying about it, and with legal actions closing in around him from multiple directions, Americans on the right don’t seem to have moved away from him at all.
I watched the Florida senate debate between existing senator Marco Rubio, who ridiculed Trump in the 2020 primary debates then had to kneel to him afterward, becoming one of his loyal followers, and Val Deming, the one-time police chief of Orlando, now congresswoman. Deming in her straightforward eloquent fashion, made mince-meat of Rubio, yet the polls didn’t move at all, Rubio still reportedly slightly ahead.
I watched Beto O’Rourke best Greg Abbot in the Texas governor race, and Tracy Abrams outperform Greg Abbott in Georgia, but again there seems to be no change showing. This is hard to understand, unless of course you accept that the many efforts at voter suppression since 2020 are working.
The American right now is not ‘conservative’. These are radical people, ready to discard as much of the past and break as many laws as necessary to get control of their country.
Political analyst Barbara Walters, a consultant to the US Dept of Defence and the United Nations, has written a new book, How Civil Wars Start, in which she warns that the USA is showing strong signs of moving into the chaos and violence of modern civil war. (she talks about it in this YouTube video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IOQuymOvZzo).
Religion seems to be playing a part. I can’t help seeing how similar the situation is to the one that brought Hitler to power in 1933. In that election, the vote was strikingly divided on religious lines. Every state with a majority of Catholics, voted against Hitler. Every one with a Protestant majority voted for him. Today the mid-west, the heartland of American evangelism, remains the core of Republican strength. Despite Trump having probably been the least Christian president America has ever had, they seem to remain solidly behind him.
Can it really be that Americans are ready to move away from the democracy that created their country? Are they really going to go down that dark road? The Germans were able to come back, but only because of the devastating defeat in World War II. When the Romans, and earlier the Greeks, abandoned democracy, they were never able to get it back.
I hope Americans realize that if this new Republican party takes over the House of Representatives, with so many additional Trump followers, they’ll likely cut military aid to the Ukraine. Are Americans really ready to abandon that country for the sake of protecting Trump’s friendship with Vladimir Putin?
I suppose if that happens, we’ll see if the EU is prepared to become the world leader that it should be. They are perfectly capable of providing the military aid the Ukraine needs, especially with the UK, Sweden, Finland and Turkey with them. The economy of the EU is far larger than the Russian Federation’s. Maybe that will be the silver lining in these dark clouds.
Anyway, Tuesday night, November 8th, we’re going to see which way the world is about to turn.