logo

11/07/2018

The US Midterm elections: a new geopolitical reality

The US Midterm elections: a new geopolitical reality

Midterm elections took place Tuesday in the United States. While the Democrats managed to take the majority in the House, the Republicans maintained their control over the Senate.

Donald Trump turned out to be correct when he predicted that his name would appear in all the headlines during the midterms elections; even if the election directly concerned members of the House and Senate, at the end of the day, the election was primarily about Donald Trump. Some experts have compared the elections to a referendum on the economic results and unconventional managerial style of Trump’s first years in office. The election was predictably saturated with propaganda against the president, often referring to him as a racist and misogynist.

In light of gains made by the Democratic party, Trump’s position will likely significantly weaken during the second half of his first term. With the gains made by the Democrats, impeachment procedures are a likely possibility.

Trump’s colleagues have already expressed some fear about the new possibilities open to the Dems. Trump’s midterm campaign strategy reflected an awareness of this fact, as he primarily focused on close runs in the Senate, where a 2/3rds vote is required to confirm an impeachment procedure.

The Republicans, however, are already preparing for such events: in August, they distributed a list of potential Democratic investigations, according to Axios the list included:

  • Trump’s tax returns

  • His family business

  • Russia-gate (highlighting Trump’s political and / or economic connections to Russia)

  • The Stephanie Clifford case (Stormy Daniels)

  • The firing of James Comey and other US attorneys

  • The transgender ban in the armed forces

  • Use of government email accounts for personal affairs (office expenses, travel etc)

  • Business relations with the Minister of Finance Steven Mnuchin

  • Opening of classified information from Mar-a-Lago

  • The Jared Kouchner case

  • Members of the EPA board who were dismissed

  • The family separation policy

  • Mishandling of the hurricane crisis in Puerto Rico

  • Election tampering (blaming falsified results or hackers for Trump’s election victory)

The current situation significantly limits the president, and the start of a procedure for impeachment by the Senate is probable.

Without having (for now) a real opportunity to announce the start of the impeachment procedure, Democrats will attempt to stir chaos in everything connected with the presidential Administration. They will try to block any large-scale proposals by Trump, along with any new legislative initiatives. The Democrats have already successfully destabilized the political situation due to their opposition to the president– now, in aiming for an impeachment process, they will double their efforts regarding personal investigations of Trump and those close to him, using anything they can to discredit the White House.

The Democrats will also use the House of Representatives as a platform to foreshadow the policies they will put forth in 2020, especially in the field of healthcare. The Senate under the leadership of the Republicans will likewise oppose most initiatives by the Democrats, which could result in a full paralysis of legislature like we saw between 2010 and 2014.

There are, however, also positive aspects resulting from the elections- data indicates that voter turnout was at a hi point for recent years. This is a sign that people trust in the possibility of change and political adjustment via democratic processes. During Barack Obama’s presidency, many people perceived the electoral system as a distraction and a kind of theater.

In geopolitical sense, the aggressive actions of the US against nations across the world will not stop or slow. On the one hand, there are figures in Congress far more aggressive than Trump himself… On the other, wishing to have priority in the political competition, Trump may take more rigid and uncompromising steps in his foreign policy.

The US’ policy toward Israel will remain unchanged, whereas rhetoric concerning DPRK, Russia and Iran will alter depending on how the current situation evolves.

The results of the midterm elections will have a far-reaching and potent effects, in and out of the US  — the situation in Washington and the decisions they will make have become far less predictable. To whom should we listen? To the president, the Secretary of State, the leader of the majority in the House of Representatives or the Senate? Regardless, the Deep State will continue to pursue the goals.

United World International

Independent analytical center where political scientists and experts in international relations from various countries exchange their opinions and views.