Midterm elections will leave us even more divided — the ‘Disunited States of America | Opinion

Miami Herald

Midterm elections will leave us even more divided — the ‘Disunited States of America | Opinion

Andres Oppenheimer – November 4, 2022

If Republicans win the Nov. 8 midterm elections by a wide margin, as several polls are forecasting, the U.S. Congress will be virtually controlled by legislators who have not accepted the results of the 2020 elections, including many who have supported the violent takeover of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

A Congress controlled by election skeptics and coup-mongers — people who are not willing to accept their rivals’ victory — may turn an already politically divided country into an even more polarized one.

Worse, it may lead to greater political violence, prompting more incidents like the recent attack on the 82-year-old husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi by a right-wing extremist. We may soon become known as the Disunited States of America.

According to a Washington Post investigation, 51% of Republican candidates running for Congress, governorships and attorney general positions in Tuesday’s elections have either challenged or questioned President Biden’s victory in 2020. Many of those candidates are likely to be elected, and will be in charge of certifying the votes in the 2024 presidential elections.

A similar study by the New York Times found that 70% of Republicans running for Congress on Nov. 8 have echoed former President Trump’ s false claims that Biden’s election was rigged.

For the record, virtually all of Trump’s lies about the 2020 elections have been proven wrong by numerous vote recounts.

In addition to the Electoral College, the conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court, more than 60 lower courts, Trump’s then-Vice President Mike Pence and former Trump Attorney General William Barr looked into Trump’s fraud claims and concluded that Biden was legitimately elected in 2020.

Biden won the Electoral College by 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232 and the popular vote by 7.5 million votes. By comparison, Trump had won the Electoral College in 2016, but lost the popular vote by 3 million votes.

Even the conservative Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, after supporting Trump during his term, concluded after the 2020 elections that the former president’s fraud claims were rubbish. The newspaper said that isolated disputes over mailed ballots did “not add up to a stolen election.” It added that even if Biden’s victory had been overturned in one of the contested states’ vote recounts, Biden would have won in the Electoral College by a comfortable margin.

And yet, despite all of this, Americans are likely to elect many Republicans who reject the basic foundation of democracy: the sanctity of the vote.

Historically, the opposition party tends to win U.S. midterm elections. And polls suggest that the same will happen on Tuesday, with Republicans almost sure to retake the House of Representatives and, perhaps, also the Senate.

Many voters are more concerned about inflation than about the future of democracy.

Although 71% of Americans say they are worried about the future of democracy, only 7% say this is the most important issue facing the country, a recent New York Times -Siena poll shows.

But the Republican Party has been successful in pushing the narrative that the high U.S. inflation rate is all of Biden’s fault and not an international problem mainly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In fact, America remains one of the world’s strongest economies. The country’s 8.1 annual inflation rate is below Germany’s 10.2%, or Great Britain’s 11.3%, according to International Monetary Fund data.

And Biden has done a good job countering Russia’s invasion, which is the biggest current threat to world peace. Biden managed to revamp U.S. ties with the European Union, which Trump had crippled when he threatened to withdraw from the NATO military alliance, and added Japan and other Asian countries to the trans-Atlantic bloc that is helping defend Ukraine.

Still, I’m pretty pessimistic about the future of America’s democracy. I’m afraid that despite the fact that many moderate Republicans don’t believe Trump’s election lies and are true believers in the rule of law, they will cast their votes based on other issues, and will elect a new generation of extremists who are not ready to play by the rules of democracy.

We are heading toward a more divided, and probably more violence-ridden country.

Author: John Hanno

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Bogan High School. Worked in Alaska after the earthquake. Joined U.S. Army at 17. Sergeant, B Battery, 3rd Battalion, 84th Artillery, 7th Army. Member of 12 different unions, including 4 different locals of the I.B.E.W. Worked for fortune 50, 100 and 200 companies as an industrial electrician, electrical/electronic technician.