Observations of an expat – Mid-term winner

Trump lost. Biden did not win. Democracy did. But Slow Joe may have damaged his 2024 options by securing democracy a place on the mid-term ballot.

At the same time, if President Biden takes the statesmanlike position and declares that he not a candidate for the 2024 election, then he is more likely to have a working relationship with a Republican-controlled Congress for his final two years.

He also ensures his place in history as the man who saw off the threat to American democracy as opposed to the 80-plus-year-old who clung to power past his sell by date.

But back to the loser. Donald Trump was not officially on the ballot. But he did everything possible to make the 2022 mid-term elections about him and his lies that the 2020 presidential elections were stolen from him in a massive fraud.

He refused to concede defeat and denied the validity of the American electoral process which is the foundation stone of the country’s democratic system.

He enthusiastically endorsed hundreds of candidates. Many were underqualified but they all shared the common platform of accepting his big election lie.

These candidates were overwhelmingly supported by Republicans in state primaries. Then they were either rejected, or barely scraped home, when their names were put to the public at large.

In Wisconsin, Democrat Tony Evers beat Republican Tim Michaels who promised to change the state’s electoral structures to insure Republican Party government in perpetuity. The margin was an overwhelming nine percentage points.

In the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race Democrat Josh Shapiro romped home against election denier Doug Mastriano in a state which only narrowly went to Biden in 2020. In Pennsylvania’s Senate Race, Democratic John Fetterman defeated Trump follower Dr Mehmet Oz despite the former’s inability to speak coherently due to a recent stroke.

So, if Trump is the big loser, then who is the man most likely to win the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2024. The smart money appears to be heading straight for the re-elected Governor of Florida, Ron de Santis.

De Santis is every bit as right-wing as Donald Trump. He is libertarian, anti-vac, anti-immigrant, anti-facemask, anti-Disney and anti-woke. When he was in Congress, de Santis was a founding member of the right-wing Freedom Caucus which includes such luminaries as Marjorie Taylor Greene. He was also an early supporter of Donald Trump. So far, a cookie-cut version of Trump.

But the comparisons end there. There is – so far – no suggestion of sexual impropriety, misogyny, corporate fraud or tax evasion. He bends the truth and provided some support to Trump’s election lie, but he does not appear to regularly trade in “alternative facts” and steers away from conspiracy theories. He is also a young, healthy, 44-year-old, former naval lieutenant with degrees from Harvard and Yale.

Most important, of all, from a Republican Party point of view, De Santis is seen as a winner. He narrowly won the 2016 Florida governorship, but this time around his margin of victory was nearly 20 points. On top of that, he is crediting with securing three additional Florida Republican seats in the House of Representatives.

The strength of Ron de Santis’s position is underscored by the fact that Trump is attacking his former acolyte before either of them have declared their candidacy. He has already dismissed him as “Ron de Sanctimonious” and issued the unveiled warning that he knows things about his would-be opponent which de Santis would prefer to be left unknown.

But the fact is that Trump is on the down slope. De Santis is on the up. And democracy chalked up a big win in this week’s mid-term elections.

 

 

* Tom Arms is foreign editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and author of “The Encyclopaedia of the Cold War” and “America Made in Britain". To subscribe to his email alerts on world affairs click here.

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2 Comments

  • George Thomas 13th Nov '22 - 3:22pm

    It appears that Biden’s manifesto is largely dead in the water because of a political system where GOP radicals in The House will unite to block center-left politics – this is different to Biden’s first two years where ‘moderate’ Democrats blocked Biden’s manifesto fearing losing their seat to Republicans – but The Senate will probably have a slight Democratic majority. Ukraine a winner but climate a loser.

    The only area of American politics which a) shouldn’t be political and b) of course it is, and there is a radical Republican majority is The Supreme Court.

    Call Trump a loser after MAGA Republicans lost confidence from the GOP if you like, but we have to recognise that Republicans used Trump to ‘win’ The Supreme Court and that will last much longer than Trump, Biden or Mitch McConnell.

  • Peter Hirst 13th Nov '22 - 5:02pm

    The USA desparately needs a revamp of its governance. Some parts are good like the greater power for the legislature and the separation of powers. On balance however its electoral presidential system, the politicisation of the Supreme Court and its divisive bipartite system is not fit for use in the 21st century.

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