Donald Trump will get all the support from his party
The majority of Republican candidates in the November congressional elections support Donald Trump’s view that the 2020 presidential election has been stolen. “This undermines the foundations of democracy.”
Democrats are expected to lose their majority in Congress in November’s election. All 435 members of the House of Representatives must be elected. The Senate holds a third of the seats, 36 in total.
The exciting thing is not only whether president Joe Biden’s party will be pushed into a minority position, but also to what extent the Republican faction will be dominated by people who support former President Trump.
According to a study published by The Washington Post this week, 174 of the 299 Trump-leaning Republicans will be elected anyway. Their election is fixed in advance because they are candidates in a district where the Democrats are in the minority. In addition, there are another 51 Republican candidates who have a reasonable chance of winning the majority. “It’s almost certain that the Trumpians are going to rule the Republican faction in the House,” said Larry Jacobs, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota.
If that happens, the professor of political science reckons with a lasting effect. “Denying the legitimacy of the elections is a disease that is spreading throughout our political process. Its implications are very far-reaching. This is no longer about Donald Trump. This is about the whole electoral system and what legitimate elections are. It’s all in the air now. In the long term, the democratic foundations of the country are at risk.”
Political scientists and historians in the US warn that delegitimizing elections is often the beginning of a overthrow of democracy. “Election denial is a form of corruption,” says Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a historian at New York University. “A party that does that institutionalizes this form of lying. And that’s dangerous.”
Ben-Ghiat fears that ” in a number of crucial positions, people will be elected who will not hesitate to manipulate election results if it suits them better.”Political scientist Jacobs does not rule out that immediately after the upcoming congressional elections, there will be “a lot of fuss” around seats that Trump-like Republicans have just lost. “I expect a lot of unrest.”
In november, it is not only about the election of Congressmen, but also about numerous political and administrative positions in the individual states, such as governors, deputies to the state parliaments and attorneys general. “Those, too, are functions that are sensitive,” Jacobs says.
The fact that the Democrats are at risk of losing their majority in Congress in november has several causes. First of all, an incumbent president should not normally count on a good result in the midterms. Rarely does his party manage to win seats or retain his majority.
In addition, President Biden’s administration has disappointed many people who voted for him. The chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, its inability to realize the promised welfare state reform, its approach to inflation, to immigration and its position in the international arena calls for criticism and resistance. Many Americans have had enough of the elderly, sometimes bumbling president. In addition, Biden’s progressive course on the emancipation of LGBTI people among moderate conservatives is of great concern.
This is especially true for Christians in the United States. The Washington Post Columnist and former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson recently wrote that the embracing Christians from the populist politics that Trump advocates is partly understandable. “The disorderly stream of new ethical standards and the condescension of the progressive elites have provoked a defensive reaction among many conservative believers and the feeling that they are strangers in their own country. Gerson speaks of an “inexorable modernity that makes these Christians feel threatened.”That explains, according to him, that politically moderate Christians, who are critical of Trump, still resort to him.
However, something has changed since last summer. Until this spring, almost every election analyst was sure that the Democrats would be defeated in the congressional elections in november. But that changed after the Supreme Court ruling that abolished the National Right to abortion. For American pollsters, there is such a thing as an era before and after Dobbs (as the pronunciation is briefly called). The verdict gave the Democrats a topic with which they could possibly get the majority of the US population behind them. Not surprisingly, they made this theme the bet of the elections.
In addition, Biden managed to get the climate legislation approved this summer and decided to (partially) waive student debt. Although he is still not popular, he managed to make percentage points profit.
This reversal, therefore, does not mean that it is a runaway race for the Republicans. Meanwhile, there is also discussion within the party about the use of the elections. A large group wants to put the abortion issue emphatically on the agenda in the hope of binding the Christian electorate in particular.
Another section, led by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, is calling for that right not to be done. That group wants to focus on Biden’s failing policies on inflation, poverty, immigration and health care. McConnell’s fears are that the emphasis on strict abortion policies will drive the hesitant part of the electorate into the arms of the Democrats.
The difference in vision has further strained the already difficult relationship between Trump and McConnell. Already during the Trump administration, there was talk of a cold relationship. That got worse when the Republican faction leader in the Senate condemned the Storming of the Capitol last January. Things have certainly not gotten better since then. Trump blames McConnell for giving the Democrats in the Senate their way too often. Partly because of this, he called the Senate leader an “Old Crow.”
At the end of last week, the former president said that the senator apparently wants to die by agreeing to some of the Democrats ‘ bills. “Does McConnell approve all these trillions of dollars of Democrat-sponsored bills, without even the slightest bit of negotiation, because he hates Donald J. Trump? He knows I’m strongly against it. ( … ) He has a Death Wish,” Trump wrote on his own internet platform Truth Social. The president advised McConnell to consult with his wife Elain Chao, whom he reproached for having a penchant for China. That advice is striking, because Chao was secretary of Transportation in Trump’s cabinet.
Trump’s recent rant against McConnell has baffled some Republicans. They accuse the former president of inciting violence. The Wall Street Journal called the comment “indecent, even by the standards of Trump himself.””According to the editors, he would endanger politicians. A survey by The New York Times late last week found that the number of registered threats from MPs increased tenfold between 2016 and 2021. Republican senator Susan Collins said she would not be surprised if a member of Congress was killed.
Yet the Republican Party leadership refused to condemn Trump’s threatening language. Senator Rick Scott, head of the group that raises campaign funds for the party, said Sunday only that he would do his best to bring people together. He explained Trump’s inflammatory remark with the fact that the former president “likes to give people nicknames”, although he added that it is never good to be a racist.
Political scientist Jacobs, in response to the mild criticism of the Republican Party leadership, says: “This marks the changed atmosphere within the party. Everyone is careful to contradict the former president. At the same time, there is resistance under the skin. That latent division can still break up the party in November.”