US Midterm Elections: Joe Biden’s Democrats Give Center-Left Politicians Across the Globe Hope That the Right-Wing Revolution Can Be Defeated – Joyce McMillan

Joe Biden and the Democratic Party limited midterm election losses to a handful of seats, while Barack Obama lost nearly 70 in 2010 (Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Once-marginal Florida had voted overwhelmingly for Republican Gov. Ron De Santis, both houses of Congress would likely see Republican majorities, and it looked like Joe Biden’s presidency was dead in the water, as the now-orthodox narrative of inevitable gains of the right, and social democratic losses, has been deployed for the umpteenth time in recent years.

So it was a strange feeling to wake up on Wednesday morning with the news that things didn’t turn out so bad after all, for the global center left. It’s not that the threat of Republican majorities in both houses of Congress has disappeared; both could still happen, once all the votes are counted and each round of voting is over.

Yet, at a time of soaring inflation and enormous economic anxiety in the United States, Joe Biden and his party managed to limit Democratic midterm losses to a mere handful of seats – less a dozen – in both houses of Congress, while a more popular Barack Obama in 2010 lost nearly 70 seats midterm. It is already clear that factors were at play that prevented the usual iron rule of American politics – that the party in the White House suffer heavy losses in the medium term – from operating with its usual strength; and those who wish to halt the recent rise of hard-right politics in the West should therefore consider carefully both what those factors might be and whether they resonate elsewhere.

First, it appears that while economic factors played an extremely important role in shaping the election outcome, they did not always go as planned. Americans are certainly concerned about the current cost-of-living crisis and unimpressed with Joe Biden’s efforts to deal with it; but it seems, after decades of growing inequality in America, there has been a reluctance in some areas to jump to the conclusion that Republicans would fare better.

Then, despite the widespread view on Tuesday that Joe Biden’s focus on the future of democracy and the threat to abortion rights had little impact with voters, these issues clearly played a role. key in limiting the Republican advance. An exit poll suggested that while inflation was voters’ top concern, identified as the key issue by 32%, abortion rights were almost as high, at 27%; and in states where abortion rights proposals appeared directly on the ballot, the results were uniformly in favor of women’s right to choose.

While the future of democracy may not have been a widely expressed concern, it appears that many of Donald Trump’s militant “election denier” candidates have performed poorly; and Joe Biden’s controversial moves to invest in America’s transition to a low-carbon economy clearly failed to dip support for his party, in an election that saw younger voters to visit in particularly large numbers, in certain regions.

All of this offers an interesting idea of ​​the kind of alliance that apparently can still help stop far-right politics in its tracks, and has recently done so in countries as diverse as Brazil and Australia. There are, of course, many negative and disturbing counterexamples. Yet out there, in the haze of our apocalyptic times, we can nonetheless see the form of reality-based politics that could trump the lies and manipulations of far-right propaganda based on myth and conspiracy theories.

It is center-left politics based on the reality of recent struggles, over the last half-century, for women’s rights, gay and trans rights, and the right of black people to be treated as citizens. equal; and above all, today, in the growing struggle of ordinary workers and displaced communities everywhere to reclaim their fair share of the wealth increasingly plundered from our economies by the hyper-rich, and to join the fight to save our environment natural, both local and global, of the impending catastrophe of rampant climate change.

Citizens who engage in these struggles are, it seems, much more resistant to far-right propaganda than those who live alone on social media or in front of the TV screen; and they also have – as was evident this week – another campaign advantage, in the surprisingly irresponsible and unruly behavior in power of many who are drawn to far-right politics in these times. Undoubtedly, Donald Trump’s dangerous misconduct at the end of his presidency, after the election of Joe Biden, damaged the Republican brand for many in “Central America”; and his irritable inability to recognize the success of others, even in his own party, now seems bound to harm him further.

Add to that the recent unedifying mayhem of the Conservative government in the UK, under the influence of right-wing Tufton Street lobbying organisations, and it is clear that even bland and cautious centre-left leaders like Joe Biden and Keir Starmer can often benefit greatly from the misbehavior of right-wing parties they face and the factionalism that currently afflicts them.

The politics of cooperation and decency can be boring, in other words, and far from adequate to the demands of the times. Events this week, however, show that voters may not yet be quite ready to tear up all the democratic gains of the last century, and any decent push toward social equality, justice and compassion, by favor of some pseudo-radical right-wing parties revolution that will further enrich the wealthy, oppress those who are already struggling and ultimately burn us all. And this result offers the shreds of hope on which we can still try to build a decent future; as well as pointers on where to go and where we can find our greatest strengths.

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