The Democrats can take back control of the House of Representatives in Tuesday's elections.
Two years after Donald Trump unexpectedly reached the White House, Americans return to the polls on Tuesday to decide if they will bolster his political project or limit it. These are the midterm elections, held every two years and in which voters elect all the members of the House of Representatives — key for domestic politics — and a third of the Senate, especially important for foreign policy and in case of a presidential impeachment. The polls are predicting victory for the Democrats, who would take back control of the House of Representatives. This prospect has energized Trump, who has taken lead of the Republicans’ campaign because he doesn’t want to have to clash with Congress every time he wants to pass a measure.
Trump is using his favorite strategy of campaigning on fear of immigrants using false information and demagogic arguments, as can be seen in one of his latest television ads. It shows an immigrant named Luis Bracamontes, convicted of having killed two police officers, and ends with the following question: “Who else would Democrats let in?” The problem is that this rhetoric works, and the latest polls show a rise in those intending to vote for Republicans, thanks to Trump’s hyperactivism.
In any case, however, the United States is worse off today as a society than it was before Trump. The country is split in two, and although this is a historic division, the divide is much deeper now. The reason is very simple: Trump’s strategy is based not on unifying the country but rather on dividing it; based not on shaping an inclusive discourse like Barack Obama’s but centered around discord, inciting hatred of “different” people, and drawing borders along racial, cultural and economic lines. Trump has built his current dominance on this divided, closed-minded society, which distrusts government institutions and traditional media, clings to backward values like the right to bear arms, and defends the death penalty.
That’s why it’s so important for the Democrats to mobilize their voters, especially women — keeping with the spirit of the #MeToo movement and the protests against Brett Kavanaugh — young people and racial minorities, to stand up to the Trumpism in the House of Representatives. Accordingly, candidates such as Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez in New York represent a breath of fresh air in the face of the Democratic old guard, and can help lay the foundation to kick Trump out in the 2020 presidential elections.
The United States must decide on Tuesday if it wants to represent global stability or rather be a tension-creating element at the mercy of the decisions of a figure who is not even respected by members of his own party because they consider him a danger. Supporting Trump may come back to hurt the Republicans, but the Democrats also have a historical responsibility to defeat him at the polls and shape a feasible alternative two years from now. On Tuesday, we’ll see if they take the first step toward achieving this.