As the midterm elections loom in the US, the fearmongering and spam of rhetoric from all sides fills the news cycle. Trump’s theatrics over the refugee caravan by sending thousands of troops to the border now – despite the caravan in question being at least two months away – and revived calls to end birthright citizenship are just some of the measures being used to rile up support for the Republicans. On the other side, chants of a “Blue Wave” to take back Congress for the Democrats are everywhere, and calls for more young people to vote are bringing in larger crowds across the country. But no matter who ‘wins’ these elections, the future bodes ill for America.
Seeing as the media’s constant coverage of every controversial move Trump made in 2016 amounted to billions in free advertising, you would think that they wouldn’t do the exact same thing again. But here we are, decrying the President for his election time stunts that mean absolutely nothing past face value rhetoric. Judging by shifts in opinion over the past couple of years, it seems likely (but not certain) that the Democrats will achieve at least a small victory this year. Even so, the results will contentious whichever way they end up going.
If the Republicans retain their grip on power, it will be the same aftermath as the 2016 election: accusations of Russian meddling; dumbfounded commentators asking how this could happen; increased solidification of Trump’s core voter base, validating his apparent successes. In the long term, it will be worse off. If, on the other hand, the vote slides to the Democrat’s court, obviously it’ll be an improvement, but the immediate aftermath might be worse.
There is a portion of Trump’s base that is incredibly reactive and violent – you only need to see some of his rallies, or pro-Trump gatherings to observe the mentality he incites within the crowds. If the Democrats regain some control, the attacks and rhetoric from Trump and the media that back him (like Fox or numerous provocative commentators) have the potential to spark real violence. Conspiracy theories will turn away from Russia and back to a dark underworld of powerful institutions attempting to ‘undermine democracy’ by taking down Trump. The explosives sent to Democrats and their supporters occurred in the lead up to the elections; can you imagine what may happen if the “Blue Wave” did succeed?
This is all speculative, of course. Keeping in mind the 2016 election, anything could happen, so predicting an outcome would be presumptuous. The Democrats could win and life goes on, or maybe violence could break out in the shadow of a Republican win. Either way, Trump will still be President, and change will be a slog. But one thing is certain, and it’s the one constant of American politics going back for decades:
The American people, and the world as a whole, will not win this election. We never do.