A Blue Wave or a Close Shave? – By Yvonne Sam

A Blue Wave or a Close Shave?

By  Yvonne Sam

If elections decide who America is as a country, then sadly she will always be at war with herself.

In the days and weeks leading up to the American mid-term elections, many candidates enthusiastically declared that the election was a battle for the heart and soul of the nation. Unbelievably  true, and factually stated America will always have her heart and soul defined by the daily actions of her citizens, and not by politicians nor by which political party obtained the majority of votes.

In the stampede to the polls, the midterm elections were as much a referendum on the policies and personality of the President, as it was about control of the Congress. Wrote Rudyard Kipling in his Collected Works,” if history were taught in the form of stories it would never be forgotten.” Sadly, lessons of history are often lost on politicians, especially politicians in power.           

The lessons to be learnt in 2018 should be that as a nation the people are discovering or rediscovering where the power truly resides and what makes America such an extraordinary nation.  There are also other lessons that must be learnt. Democrats have taken control of the House of Representatives. The big question is, Will President Trump learn the lesson of President Bill Clinton’s first midterm loss?  Bill Clinton was on shaky ground and on a trajectory to be a one-term president. After the devastating midterm defeat by Newt Gingrich-led Republicans, Clinton then swiveled to the middle and worked across the aisle on key initiatives — which basically served to ensure his reelection. Does President Trump possess the competency and the will to work with Democrats in the House to get important work done, and address vital issues including healthcare and immigration?  Take it or leave it but the American 2020 presidential election has started and President Trump is now officially on the ballot.

The envisaged blue wave proved to be enough prop spin to push Democrats to the majority. giving them the speakers gavel in the House, committee chairmanships and subpoena power. However, they should be cautious and learn the lessons that the Republicans failed to grasp during the Obama era —just because you have the power to do something does not mean that you should. Already talk of impeachment proceedings have started circulating among House Democrats as well as left–leaning organizations in Washington. Yet another lesson for the House Democrats should be that restraint never fails.

During the final weeks of the mid-term campaign, President Trump made immigration his central focus, which proved to be the biggest political miscalculation. Exit polling revealed that the top issues for voters were healthcare, followed distantly by the economy and then immigration.  Throughout the midterm election campaign what has been visibly absent is any pragmatic commitment with the challenging issues currently facing the country. What are some of the challenging issues? The answer is no secret.

In a democratic society, elections suffice not only to select the leadership of a country, but also aims to measure public opinion on the tough issues and to see whether there is the possible existence of some sort of unanimity. The recently completed campaign has featured very little of this constructive politics.

Across America there is a collective sigh that the mid term elections are over. No more negative advertisements, and cable channels will have to figure out how to get advertisement revenue for December. In the meantime the rest of the country tired and frustrated will now redirect their focus to home, community and careers.  On Tuesday November 6, 2018 it was hoped that the American people would cease  believing the lies of fear fed to them from all directions, and act with hope, voting for the candidates who live up to what they profess to believe. Wrote Rudyard Kipling, “Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.

Finally the most important lesson to be learnt is that if  Americans truly desire elections to have less an impact on their lives, then Washington needs to be less involved. As a nation American cannot remain at war with itself every two years.

As a nation we cannot remain at war with ourselves every two years. Apart from the purely political rhetoric of campaign years to focus on the real issues that impact hard-working citizens, families and communities should be the unifying force for the future.

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