The Democratic Party’s capture of the House of Representatives in the US mid-term elections has ended President Donald Trump’s unchecked hold on power. The US now has an important, and much needed, counterweight to Trump, and American democracy is the winner.
The mid-term results also showed the world that the majority of Americans are willing to say no to Trump’s undermining of the free press and the rule of law, his so-called ‘America First’ policy, his demonising of migrants, his constant lying, his shameless sexism and his divisive and hateful populist language.
It is true that both President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama lost heavily in the 1994 and 2010 mid-terms but easily won re-election to the White House two years later. However, unlike Trump, these Presidents cared about appealing to centrist voters and reaching out to their opponents.
Trump may continue to live in denial but life has just changed fundamentally for him. Since all legislation needs to be approved by both the Senate and the House, he will be unable to pass any laws without the support of the Democrats. He will have to learn to compromise if he wants to get things done in Congress, something he has not done over the past two years.
In foreign policy, the President has more authority than Congress, so unfortunately we shouldn’t expect many changes in this area. However, the Democrats in the House are expected to push for a tougher stance to be taken against Russia, Saudi Arabia and North Korea. Their best way to influence policy will be through oversight, and they will have the power to call hearings and, if necessary, subpoena witnesses, as they will now head all the House committees.
Read Anthony Manduca’s insight on the US Mid-Term elections as published on The Times of Malta.