On Wednesday, the results of the US midterms were released which could have a monumental impact upon Trump’s presidency. In casting their opinion on Trump so far, the American people were as divided as expected. The usual red states (Republicans) achieved their victories as predicted. A particularly close run state, and an unexpected one when looking at historical voting, was Texas where Ted Cruz held onto his seat as senator. His opponent, Beto Rourke, however galvanised the youth of Texas and lost out on a majority by only 2%. Often these races for seats in the senate sided with Republican candidates by only a small majority – ultimately the Republicans took a slim 51%. This was Trump’s main win on the night, allowing him to continue utilising executive orders to follow through with his policies.
In the house was where a limited liberal victory took place. Taking a small majority with only 51%, the democrats dealt a blow to Trump’s ability to push bills through both houses at will, as he had done in the past two years. One memorable moment to remember is John McCain’s defiant thumbs down regarding Trump’s appeal of Obama care in July. Democrats have viewed the elections as an equally important victory. And rightfully so considering the landmark achievements of many representatives in the Democrat party. For example, Ayanna Pressley became the first black woman to be sent to congress from Massachusetts. Joining Pressley in the Guardian’s ‘trailblazing candidates’ was Jared Polis who has become the first openly gay man to be elected Governor. These achievements should not be underestimated. Personally I think the biggest milestone during the midterms were the elections of 2 muslim women to the American congress. Tlaib and Ilhan Omar defied Trump’s ban on external muslim’s during his travel ban by demonstrating how muslims can uphold the key principles of America as well.
The successes of the elections however have to be recognised also as a failure for democrats. The opportunities available for Americans to fully disrail Trump’s presidency were not taken. There was definitely cause for Trump to be completely routed when viewing the absolutely bleak state of some groups in America at the moment. As well as caging children and overlooking nepotism and racism, Trump now has a majority in the supreme court. These acts that have outraged people around the world made only a small impact in terms of voting. The important gains in the governorship of Ohio and Florida (as well as the majority in the senate) marked key successes for the Republicans. The power of whiteness secured these victories for Trump in a variety of ways. In an exit poll carried out by CNN, they highlighted how white voters went for Trump and the Republicans by a 10% margin. Amongst old white people, and those without a degree, the margins of success for Trump was even starker.
In terms of generating an overall campaign against Trump, the Democrats have ultimately failed to topple the building blocks of Trumpism. Some big landmarks have been made in specific incidents but more could have been done.
Image: Marc Nozell via Flickr