November 8 and the voters‚ message

Ricardo Israel

By: Ricardo Israel - 14/11/2022

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Success and failure are not always absolute, and may well be relative when measured against expectations. This is what seems to be happening with the midterm elections in the USA, since there was no red tide (due to party color) predicted by the polls in favor of the Republicans, and the Democrats did better than expected and predicted, although in any case the Republicans would surpass them in being able to clarify who is going to be present in the next stage, that of the presidential candidacies, and this is how it is possible that Trump and De Santis will compete in their primaries or perhaps make a pair, in short, as candidates for president and vice president. For his part, Biden says he will only decide "early next year."

In any case, due to the type of issues that prevailed such as the economy, crime, law and order, the country seems more moderate than it was or seemed to be, although without clarity as to why.

Perhaps now the Democrats can look back and ask themselves what were the mistakes that were repeated and that prevented them from doing better, such as the move away from the worker issues towards an elite university theme.

In the case of the Republicans, it seems that the great expectations that were created were based on a misreading of the polls that were favorable to them, and on an exaggerated view of the strength and charisma of former President Trump.

The issue is not to win by a little or by a lot, since this was not just any election, but one that can be chained almost immediately with the presidential one, and where it is also possible to be linked to another phenomenon, since this election was not a simple selection between alternatives within a democratic contest, but must be seen as one more battle of a cultural war, which has polarized and divided the United States, with a conflicting vision not only of the present, but also of the past and the future.

By the way, due to the very nature of these elections, international issues did not have much importance, but it coincided with a period of great definitions. not only because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but, above all, because the Chinese challenge to the USA to replace it as the world"s superpower is of such magnitude that it will surely mark this 21st century geopolitically.

In the USA it is common for the government to lose or be punished in these mid-term elections, and it is in this sense that the Democrats can be relieved of the result, above all, because the government was seen in trouble on the issues that prevailed the most. .

That is why it is so important to clearly understand the message that voters wanted to send when voting in person or sending their preference by mail.

The starting point is that this election was not only about issues or public policies, since the vote was reached in a climate of extreme polarization as if it were a true tribal division, with the addition that they were not small groups , but a country divided by halves. It was the confrontation of two ways of seeing or understanding the world, and in the United States, being "progressive" ("liberal" in their language) or being "conservative" is an identity, a way of being, more than a simple ideology.

It is in this sense that the massive transfer of Latino votes to the Republicans should be understood, since it was only partially a success of those who notoriously increased the number of Latino women as candidates. It was also, and at the same time, a loss for the Democrats, who did not adequately measure the distance that the language and narrative of political correctness would generate. In general, both contenders do not fully understand the characteristics of the Latino voter, starting from their diversity, so nothing has been resolved, just for now to verify the fact.

My underlying argument is that in Democracy elections serve to peacefully resolve the natural conflict in any society. Hence the importance of adequately understanding what was expressed by the results of these elections, which are not only for the entire House of Representatives, a third of the Senate, many governorships, but also a large number of positions at the local, including sheriffs and judges, as well as various plebiscites in counties and states, where those linked to the issue of abortion stand out, especially after the ruling on Roe v. Wade of the Supreme Court.

Without a doubt, with its polarization, division such that it has made it impossible to reach basic or consensus agreements on practically all kinds of issues, including immigration or the coronavirus; selective acceptance of political violence, depending on whether it was triggered by adversaries or like-minded people; varied biases in the media, lack of a common narrative among the elites of the country, sudden changes depending on who occupies the White House, unbecoming of a superpower and therefore, lack of State policies, and a long etcetera that has even to forget the founding fathers, in the sense that the political process today seems to seek to subdue the enemy rather than convince someone who is just an adversary. To all this,

In other words, a departure from the political traditions of the country towards a polarization that gives the impression of a Latin Americanization of the country, because today it has characteristics that are typical of what is bad in some of our countries of origin, and, by the way, there is no successful cases of companies that have entered this path, and no alleged "exceptionality" can protect the United States forever.

That in this climate in which the vote issued this Tuesday 8 should be measured and valued. Perhaps even grateful, that it is not fire or fuel for polarization, but should be seen as an opportunity for the factions to agree, and decide to talk, dialogue and seek consensus.

That is, to use the elements of democracy, for the benefit of dialogue and the rescue of the republic, in other words, faith in the institutions and their functioning.

I think that is the message of the electorate, of the sovereign who thus pronounced himself with his vote, perhaps asking that his representatives seek agreements instead of promoting division and conflict.

The United States seemed to have entered a labyrinth, and opportunely a hope appears, that of being able to stop, reflect and look for a way out. The result forces us to look for that way out, even if it takes time, even if it is through trial and error.

In my opinion, that was the message of the electorate and hopefully it will be heard. There was a vote of punishment for past actions, but also a vote of hope, in search of solutions.

There seems to be no doubt that Biden"s offer to restore civility was an important element of his electoral victory two years ago, so it was also a disappointment that he had not made more efforts in that direction, rejecting even the offer of a group of Republican senators to explore some kind of joint proposal.

We do not know the spirit with which this new stage is reached, but the USA must do everything possible to seek bipartisan agreements and not enter again into a cycle of accusations and disqualifications that have done so much damage.

The advice is free, it is from Machiavelli and it is useful for every person dedicated to the political office, regardless of time: "The true way to get to paradise is to learn the way to hell to avoid it"