Is citizen war in the USA even possible?
Nope, we are too busy for it
Is America a “normal” country? For weeks, the world watched in amazement as a collection of lumpen pilots prepared to turn the steering wheel of the ship of State. People who promised to immediately conduct an in-depth investigation into president Biden’s son. Or to sue the minister of Justice. They believe that certain books should be banned from the school library and that teachers should carry a firearm to protect students. And a few who think that humans can’t be descended from monkeys, because monkeys are still alive. The latter, by the way, can still become a senator for the state of Georgia.
It is still unclear, four days after the election, whether the Republican Party, of which these candidates are members, will achieve a majority in the House of Representatives and perhaps also in the Senate. But that majority will be too small to completely cripple the country’s government. And most importantly, the voters have shown that the cultural struggle that is furiously fanned in some media is not a priority for them.
If we have seen a “battle for the soul of America” on Tuesday, we now know that the Americans have not fought for respect for the flag, but for good economic policy, for investment in infrastructure and lower healthcare costs. And for the right of women to make their own choice about her pregnancy. In short, this seemed like a normal election, not the prelude to a new civil war that had been mirrored to us in the preceding months.
The current division of the US is simply reflected in the results. Citizens simply voted – the judge in Arizona had to order armed “poll watchers” to keep their distance. Losers have simply acknowledged the outcome, with a few exceptions, such as conspiracy thinker Doug Mas-triano who did not become governor of Pennsylvania.
That Mastriano and many of his kindred spirits were voted out will be the primary reason president Biden spoke Wednesday of “a good day for democracy.” “The Americans have made it clear that they do not want every day to be constantly smothered in political squabbles.”
Biden had more to worry about. Big losses were expected due to high inflation, Biden’s personal unpopularity (an approval rating of 41.5 percent), added to the political reality that the president’s party typically loses seats in a “gap year” like this. The Republican Party lost 40 of them midway through Trump’s term, the Democrats a whopping 63 in Obama’s first midterm. With 32 more districts whose result is not final, this time the loss of the ruling party seems to remain below 20 seats.
What seemed to be irreversible trends in recent decades – who is a Democrat votes for Democrats and vice versa and independent voters are numerically almost meaningless-has come across a special result in 2022. It seems to be influenced not so much by party loyalty and the ability to drum up as many of its own supporters as possible, but rather by the involvement of citizens in important issues.
It is striking that in states where it was also possible to vote for an abortion referendum, voters chose the “progressive” position on that point, also in conservative states such as Montana and Kentucky. For the extremely good result of the Democrats in Michigan – there they won the governorship, the most seats for the National House of Representatives and both houses at the state level – abortion is also looked at as an explanation.
It’s time to take a closer look at Biden. The old rot that defeated Trump so convincingly in 2020 has been written off many times since then. Too old, too disheveled, disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, mistaken for the persistence of inflation, humiliated in Saudi Arabia, where he came to beg for oil.
All true. But he has pursued an unwavering policy towards Russia, in which he and his allies and, for the time being, also his political opponents have been included. He has passed important laws with support from his own party, including the left wing, and with support from dumpling Republicans. And some of the Republicans who refused to support him in doing so did take credit in their home state for the benefits of those laws.
His stuttering during speeches (he repeatedly confuses Iraq and Ukraine) and his squatting motor skills make him appear weaker than his results. It resembles the baseball world from Michael Lewis ‘ Moneyball, in which systematically undervalued players – such as the pitcher who throws so much – unexpectedly form a top team together. The fact is that Biden helped retain the Senate seat and governorship for his party with his rallies in Pennsylvania, while former president Trump traveled to that state three times without being able to bring success to his candidates.
It was typical that Biden, in his speech on Wednesday, only briefly considered the relative electoral success of the Democratic Party and immediately switched to his remaining political agenda: fighting climate crisis, boosting US manufacturing, lowering drug prices.
This weekend he will travel to Indonesia for the G20 meeting. Then he meets Chinese leader Xi Jinping, America’s rival with whom, according to the agenda provided in advance by the White House, he wants to look for ways to continue to cooperate – normally.