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As Biden said: American democracy was at stake

Melvin B. Miller
As Biden said: American democracy was at stake
“Looks like this hat has gone out of style.”

Many Americans vote primarily as a commitment to citizenship. In this complex world, there is not much expectation of a benefit. There is a sense that the rich and the powerful have already arranged for the victory of their preferred candidates. That attitude inspired MAGA Republicans to project that a red wave of political conservatism would inundate the nation on Election Day.

That was a reliable prediction until Americans went to the polls on Tuesday. It has been predictable in midterm elections for voters to oust members of Congress who belong to the same party as the president. Analysts assert that is the way voters punish the president for failing to pursue the objectives and proposals that they want. Historically, presidents end with a substantial diminution in the number of U.S. senators and representatives who can support presidential policies.

But that is not what happened. The size of parties in the Senate may remain the same — 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans. The vice president can vote to break a tie. However, the senator from Georgia will not be known until Dec. 6, when Herschel Walker will try to replace the incumbent Raphael Warnock. Georgia law requires that the winner must win more than 50% of the votes in an election. A Warnock victory would give Democrats 51 votes, enough to appoint federal judges.

In the House of Representatives, the Democrats closely trail the Republicans. If the Democrats do not have the greater number after all the returns are in, then the Republicans will have the right to choose the speaker. The most serious damage to the Democrats will be the loss of Nancy Pelosi as speaker.

Political pundits have different theories on what caused the American electorate to become so hostile and negative, and then recover to produce the historically unprecedented political results. There seems to be general agreement that the negativity was generated by Trump’s egocentric ambition to become the unrestrained authoritarian leader of the country.

In order to gain public support for his objective, Trump knew what cultural buttons to press. While many Americans were pleased with the multicultural development in the country, still others felt that with many immigrants coming across the southern border and the growth of Black and Hispanic populations, whites were losing their country. The election of Barack Obama as president and Hillary Clinton’s later referral of working-class whites as “the deplorables” established a negative sense.

Trump had become a champion of this so-called “flyover” group of Americans when he led the fraudulent fight against Obama’s right to be president, suggesting he was not born in America, as required by the Constitution. Trump thus became a natural ally of those Americans who always believed that democracy should not extend to everyone.

The Jan. 6 invasion of the Capitol made many passive Americans understand that the nation was involved in a battle over the survival of democracy. The extraordinary investigation and publication of the event by a congressional committee established an awareness in the electorate that America as the people had known it was in danger.

Fortunately for us, President Joe Biden understands the spirit of Americans. People expect the government to provide benefits to expand the quality of life. Social security, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act are examples. And Biden’s administration has an infrastructure plan to repair roads and bridges, as well as reduce the cost of drugs. So far, Republicans have failed to proffer any plans to help the people, and they support the elimination of a woman’s right to an abortion with the loss of Roe v. Wade.

When Biden asserted that the nation’s democracy was at stake in the election, the people understood. The lies of Trump and his followers dissolved before the impact of President Biden’s words. And Americans are once again able to unite and build an even stronger country.