Some political observers in the United States are saying that next week’s midterm voting for seats in the Senate and House of Representatives as well as a number of governorships is the most important national election since those in 1968 and 1980. The 1968 voting saw a “law and order” Richard Nixon win the presidency in a rebuke to Lyndon Johnson’s “soft” handling of the civil rights and anti-Vietnam war movements while Ronald Reagan won in 1980 at a time of economic turmoil, in part running on a similar “get-tough” platform to replace the seemingly hapless and indecisive Jimmy Carter.
In both 1968 and 1980 the election produced a decisive turn in direction by government, leading eventually to an end of the Vietnam War by Nixon and a more assertive foreign policy by Reagan. Though the upcoming election is midterm rather than a presidential, those who are seeing it as important hope that flipping control of the two houses of congress will check President Donald Trump and force him to change course in a number of areas. The election is, in fact, an accountability moment for Trump’s policies as seen by the American public. If there is a blue wave in congress and in the governorships, Trump will inevitably have to take notice and his impeachment becomes a real possibility.
But will that happen? The lead-up to the 2018 midterm election is playing out very much like the 2016 presidential election. In both cases the punditry and media have been promising an easy win for the Democrats, but winning will require selling something to voters that is more than just hatred of Trump.
Unfortunately for them, the Democrats are largely clueless on issues that matter to voters and continue to be a party that reactively “blames the Russians” while preaching “diversity” as if it were a solution to what ails the country. They studiously ignore the fact that opinion polling suggests that there are two issues that really concern Americans. Top of the list is health care. Anyone who actually pays for health insurance out of his or her own pocket will no doubt observe how healthcare costs have skyrocketed under Obamacare to the point where insurance is available but unaffordable, with premiums that in many cases have trebled per month over the past four years. The real damage to affordable health care in America has been done by the Democrats and those who are personally paying for insurance know that.
Since the Republicans do not have a health care plan but are resolved to repeal Obamacare, they win on the issue with voters. The second most important issue is immigration, both legal exploitation of existing loopholes in the system and illegals. The legal immigration problem includes birthright citizenship, when foreigners come to the U.S. to deliver babies who automatically become American citizens. Trump has indicated he will ban the practice by executive order.
Legal immigration problems also include those who are allowed to get green cards legally and then proceed to bring their entire families over including cousins and relatives by marriage. That was not the intent of the 1965 legislation. In fact, chain immigration was dismissed as a possible consequence of the law, with President Lyndon Johnson and Democratic congressmen including Senator Ted Kennedy assuring the public that it would not occur. Of course, they were wrong. Or they were lying. They were also Democrats.
The Democratic solution to the problem of illegal immigration is, apparently, to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), giving the United States open borders. Even given the fact that the horrible mess in Central America is the result of Washington’s meddling in its countries for the past 100 years, that does not necessarily mean the solution is an open doors policy that will drastically change America. Bringing in thousands or even millions of uneducated and unskilled migrants who do not speak English and then requiring local governments to educate, house and feed them is a recipe for disaster. Indeed, it has already proven to be just that for many communities, with standards declining and neighborhoods in decay.
There is considerable suspicion that the current mass migration from Central America is being organized and funded by Democrat George Soros to coincide with the election, and it only angers the voters who remember a time when local communities were safe places where everyone knew their neighbors and worked hard to get along. Today the social justice warriors, like Soros and other leading Democrats, have made a sense of community a crime because it does not invite enough diversity.
If one compares how the two parties stand on immigration, the Republicans win easily as they are pledged to stop the illegals and reduce the number of currently legal immigrants. It is a major issue for voters and the Democrats are predictably on the wrong side of it, just as they are with health care.
And the Democrats are also tactically inept. Having the widely despised Clintons and Obama out campaigning for Democratic candidates will surely encourage nervous Republicans to get out to vote. So, on balance, the GOP could do very well next week with issues-focused voters and might retain its advantage in both houses of congress. If that is so, the complaining from the Democrats will start immediately. Will their failure be blamed on the Russians again this time?