Democrats Risk losing the November Midterm Elections

The joy of the Europeans with the election victory of Joe Biden and the defeat of Donald Trump unfortunately did not last long. Joe Biden’s rise to the US Presidency has been a particularly positive development for the EU. It did not automatically lead to significant problems separating the two sides, but restored US-EU relations. in a traditional context of dialogue, understanding and the search for mutually acceptable solutions.

A year after moving to the White House, Joe Biden is showing strong signs of political weakness and fatigue. Brussels and European governments are beginning to wonder again what the future of transatlantic relations will be in the event of a weakening of Joe Biden and the Democrats, while the scenario of Donald Trump’s return to the White House is strengthened, which is considered disastrous for US-EU relations and what we call the West.

Negative dynamics have developed and developments are ongoing. The most likely scenario is that the Democrats will lose the midterm elections of November 2022 and with them the marginal majority in the US legislatures. In that case, we would have a weak Joe Biden Presidency, which the Republicans, who remain impressively clustered around Donald Trump, will rush to take advantage of.

The main reasons for the decline of Joe Biden’s popularity

1. The way American troops withdrew from Afghanistan

One year after taking over the Presidency, Joe Biden’s popularity is at 40%. The percentage is considered particularly low in a system based on the political confrontation of two “gladiators”, a fact that requires a popularity of 50% in order to have a serious chance of electoral success. The trigger for Joe Biden’s decline in popularity was the sudden but humiliating withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

The disengagement of the Americans from Afghanistan was decided and announced by former President Donald Trump. It was carried out by the current President Joe Biden, but in a way that brought back to the collective memory of the Americans their naughty departure from Saigon after the dominance of the communist forces in the Vietnam War.

Under Joe Biden, then, we had the new symbolism of the shrinking US world power. The organizational and communication management of the hasty withdrawal of the last American troops from Afghanistan was disastrous. It is characteristic that many American allies were left defenseless at the mercy of the Taliban, as well as many women who held responsible positions in the government that collapsed or played a leading role in society in claiming women’s rights.

The withdrawal from Afghanistan may have caused – in the way it did – great damage to the “profile” of Joe Biden, from which he has not recovered, but the reasons for the gradual decline of his popularity are many and complex.

2. Rising inflation to unprecedented levels

The dynamic return of inflation internationally, but especially in the US, erodes the popularity of Joe Biden. Inflation in the United States has skyrocketed to an impressive 7%, with energy precision and food price hikes putting the poorer sections of the minority who strongly supported Joe Biden in the presidential election in a particularly difficult position.

The de-escalation of inflation in the US is not expected to take place before the end of 2022. On the contrary, there is a high probability that inflation will move around 5% for the whole of 2022. Nominal wages are rising, despite Joe Biden’s popular openings, at a slower pace than inflation, and this is creating major social and political problems.

Such is the pressure that, under conditions of a pandemic, low-wage workers, especially in the service sector, face, that the phenomenon of “great resignation” develops. Tens of millions of American women are leaving their jobs because they feel they are not getting paid enough or may be looking for a different job in the digital age, close to their family and without the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The US job market has traditionally shown great mobility and the difference with the past is that those who leave their jobs do so without securing another job.

3. Failure to manage the pandemic

The positives for the US economy are the strong recovery and the rapid return of unemployment to extremely low levels. These successes under President Joe Biden are overshadowed by inflation, rising interest rates and the stock market correction, terrible economic and social inequalities and a growing international competitiveness deficit.

And in the area of ​​the pandemic, the performance of Joe Biden’s presidency is disappointing. Despite the sensitivity he showed – in contrast to the provocatively indifferent former President Donald Trump – and the vaccination program he implemented, the result is not satisfactory. Joe Biden came to power with the pandemic on the rise and American public opinion turning against Donald Trump, who had not properly assessed the risk to public health.

On January 20, 2021, at the beginning of the four-year term Joe Biden, we had 4,380 deaths in the United States in the 24 hours and 3,056 deaths in the two weeks time. On January 24, 2022, a year and a few days later, we had 2,181 deaths in 24 hours and a daily average of 2,369 deaths in the two weeks time. Comparing the weekly performance we see a relatively small improvement which loses its importance in the long run. The United States has reported 870,000 deaths from the pandemic, with more being recorded during the Presidency of Joe Biden than during the Presidency of Donald Trump.

The problem, of course, is not exclusively American. The “western” model of dealing with the pandemic seems extremely problematic if we consider that the US, the EU of the “27” and the United Kingdom together are approaching the psychological barrier of 2 million deaths from the pandemic. This is a failure of international political proportions, if we consider that in China – where the pandemic started – the death toll does not exceed 5,000, with a population of 1.4 billion far exceeding 840 million in the US, the EU and the United Kingdom.

Worst of all, no one knows what the pandemic will be and how to deal with it effectively. The pandemic acts as a catalyst in the over-accumulation of wealth and power – the estimated revenues of the Pfizer pharmaceutical industry have exceeded $100 billion – and in the widening of economic and social inequalities.

The possible negative developments due to high inflation

High inflation can create a domino of negative developments. The US Federal Reserve is “leaking” that there may be four or five key interest rate hikes in 2022 to make monetary policy less relaxed and to start the fight against inflation.

The rise in interest rates finds the Stock Exchange and the real estate market in “bubble” conditions. The shares broke successive historical records, aided by the free money that the FED puts into the economy, while impressive price increases are also observed in real estate. The crucial question is whether the gradual rise in key interest rates will bring about a smooth adjustment in stock and real estate prices or whether phenomena similar to those that led to the 2008 international financial crisis will be observed.

The methods of intervention currently used by the FED and the Federal Government have greatly improved since the 2008 crisis. Unfortunately, speculation is now much greater than it was during the period leading up to the international financial crisis. For example, the so-called shadow banking has grown dramatically out of control, while speculation around cryptocurrencies is rampant. Systemic instability can take on dangerous dimensions.

Social media platforms drive partisan political polarization in the US,  study finds – Poynter

The American Social and Political environment and the importance of the November midterm elections

The American social and political environment has important peculiarities.

1. There is an unprecedented polarization, which also leads to the development of theories and scenarios for a new civil war.

The Capitol diversions, which are now being investigated by US Justice, are seen by many analysts as a “rehearsal” for what may follow. Indicative of the polarization is the fact that Trump is still playing without an opponent inside the Republican Party and is planning his return to the White House.

2. Τhe system of power is extremely complex and proves dysfunctional in a time of crisis, where decisions must be made and implemented quickly.

The objections of two Democratic senators have stood in the way of passing crucial laws and have delayed Biden’s ambitious economic agenda, as well as the implementation of the green transition strategy. That’s why the November 2022 midterm elections are so important. If the Democrats seem to lose them, giving Republicans a majority in the Senate and Congress, President Biden’s task will be even more difficult.

3. The US has racial and social contradictions that far exceed those observed in the EU and stand in the way of the effective functioning of the US Republic.

President Joe Biden is currently fighting a tough battle to thwart Republican-level legislative initiatives aimed at limiting minority participation in the electoral process, according to the White House. The huge economic differences cause cohesion problems in the Democratic Party. On the one hand, they need the political coverage of minorities and the poorest citizens, expressed by the left wing of the Democrats. On the other hand, the so-called middle class, which is expressed by the so-called moderate wing of the Democratic Party, must be satisfied.

At this stage, the left wing believes that the Biden government does not meet the needs of the underprivileged and the poor. A possible left-wing frustration could lead, in addition to internal political strife, to the abstention of frustrated Democratic voters in the November midterm elections.

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The Liberal Globe is an independent online magazine that provides carefully selected varieties of stories. Our authoritative insight opinions, analyses, researches are reflected in the sections which are both thematic and geographical. We do not attach ourselves to any political party. Our political agenda is liberal in the classical sense. We continue to advocate bold policies in favour of individual freedoms, even if that means we must oppose the will and the majority view, even if these positions that we express may be unpleasant and unbearable for the majority.

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