By Dave Lindorff
The 2018 election looks at first glance like a wash: Republicans gained seats in the Senate and Democrats regained control of the House with enough of a margin to ensure that they can put some limits on presidential power.
But longer term impacts of 2018 are, I believe, more significant. In this election, with President Trump as party leader pushing a rabidly racist claim that immigrants fleeing from the largely US-caused poverty, chaos and violence in Honduras hoping for a better life for their kids in the US were actually an “invasion” of the US that would bring across the border everything from disease to Arab terrorists, gangs and dark-skinned rapists, and with his claiming that Democrats were behind what he labeled a “caravan” of tens of thousands (it is really just several thousand mostly young people and parents with children and babies), Republicans have hit bottom.
By having accepted Trump’s malignant campaign assistance and his anti-semitic and evidence-free hints that the Jewish immigrant investor George Soros has been funding the Honduran march, Republicans are now clearly self-identified as the party of paranoid racist and sexist white older and often evangelical Christian males (and their wives), of people with a limited education, and of rural voters with little knowledge of or interest in the larger world. Democrats by default, are the party of educated white people who oppose racism, of non-whites, and increasingly, of the young or all races, and clearly too of women, as the large number of women elected to office in this latest election dramatically attests. Since Trump’s racist campaigning obviously worked in some races — notably in Texas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia and several other states where the margin between candidates for Senate and Governor were narrow to begin with — this reprehensible tactic will likely be adopted by the party’s candidates in 2020 and future election cycles.
Clarifying how loathsome the already awful Republican Party has become is a good thing. But on the downside, the Nov. 6 election also showed that the percentage of Americans who will reflexively respond to racist dog-whistle campaigns is frighteningly high. President Trump’s bald-faced lie about Hondurans heading north through Mexico being “invaders” may be ludicrous to rational beings, but it was believed by millions of credulous and irrational racist, anti-semitic, anti-Latino and white supremacist Republicans and independents who flocked to the polls to “defend America” from this pathetic “invasion.”
Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, the positive news for progressive Democrats is that candidates who openly professed to being “socialist” like the victorious new Congressmember from a Bronx-Queens district, Anastasia Osario-Cortez, or who advocated socialist-style reforms like a Medicare-for-all health care system similar to what people in Canada have had now since 1971, as did the marrowly defeated candidate for Senator in Texas, Beto O’Rourke, did well and in many cases won their races…
For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the uncompromised, collectively run, six-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site, please go to: