The midterms are upon us. We are only six days away.
On Nov. 6, Americans will have the chance to go out and vote for many federal, state and local races.
The Democrats have a realistic shot at taking control of the House of Representatives to send a clear message against Trump’s agenda. They only need 24 more seats from the Republicans to regain the majority.
The Republicans know how crucial it is for them to remain in full control, and the recent confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court shows how critical staying in complete power is for them.
Even though Trump is not on the ballot, a bad midterm showing will undoubtedly be portrayed as a referendum opposing the Trump presidency. It could also mean an end to talk about a border wall.
The stakes could not be higher, and it’s time for Americans to vote their conscience.
If I told you I recently moved to the U.S. from Pakistan, you’d probably wonder why I’m giving political advice. The answer is simple: Trump.
There has been a switch in political landscape all over the world since the election of Donald Trump. He is what got me interested in American politics. He is now the main talking point on most news channels, and most countries worldwide have comedians who impersonate Trump regularly.
The ‘Trump effect’ really exists and has created chaos in political institutions all over the world. I’ve been fortunate to visit America ever since I was a kid to spend a month every summer with my family. The landscape of America is much different than it was just a few years ago and I have never seen the country this divided.
The major catalyst that has led to a nation divided is the president himself. The Republican party is now entirely Trump’s party and even candidates like Ted Cruz, who Trump famously used to call “lying Ted,” asked him for help during the campaign trail. The president loves targeting and name-calling people, mostly on the left.
However, Republicans who go against him are also not spared. As long as Trump’s base keeps on supporting him, he can keep on doing what he wants. His actions have shaped how both political parties operate.
The Republican party and the right-wing media promote policies and issues that heighten racial and economic injustice. They frequently highlight controversial topics such as terrorism and immigration, which increases social division.
The left has had a problem figuring out the identity of its party after Hillary Clinton’s shocking defeat. It still hasn’t decided the direction it wants to head in, with a set of leaders ranging from highly liberal to centrist. While the Democratic party is still looking for its message, Trump is enjoying campaigning more than being president.
Increasing tension has led to Democrats talking about socioeconomic issues from a different perspective. Through this, the left gives opportunities to more people of color, women and otherwise progressive candidates. The differing viewpoints of both parties add to the divide.
David Barker, the director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, said the upcoming election features “partisan polarization (and) tribalism, the likes of which we haven’t seen in 150 years.”
In recent times, there has been a massive rise in populism all over the world, which explains why Americans are so polarized across party lines. Populism that led to nationalism was one of the major reasons Trump’s ‘America first’ message resonated with people.
Shockingly, just two days ago, Brazil elected a president who openly supports dictatorship over democracy. This wave of populism is clearly visible in America if you think about policies and actions such as dropping out of the Paris Climate agreement and the pursuance of a border wall.
Recent trends show how critical these midterms are.
Voter turnout is expected to be high for both sides. Furthermore, polls show young voters are expected to turn out in record numbers. One of the primary reasons for this is an increase in political awareness all over the country.
A general increase in awareness is one of the few positive things to come out of this presidency. Increased political awareness will lead to more young people running for government positions which is vital for America’s future. Politicians that currently represent this country are just too old, and their ideas are outdated.
Will the 2018 election be a historic one? It depends on the results, however, it could be because Democrats have a chance to start progress toward impeaching Trump if they win enough seats. On the other hand, if the Republicans win big, Trump could stamp his authority even more before the crucial 2020 presidential election.
The future of America is at a crossroads, and it’s up to the people to choose what direction they want to head in.
Saad Mansoor, ’20, is an associate news editor for The Brown and White. He can be reached at [email protected]