Huge stakes in contested midterms

This past weekend, President Donald Trump held a rally in Montana in which he stated, “We have our military, now, on the border. And I noticed all that beautiful barbed wire going up today… Barbed wire, used properly, can be a beautiful sight.” The President repeated similar remarks in his Florida rally as well. This seems to be quite a fitting mantra for the strategy that Trump has selected heading into the November 6, midterm vote. Rather than tout the usual “promises made, promises kept” and the age-old comment of “it’s the economy, stupid,” Trump has elected to further push contested hot topics.

Instead, his machinations have resulted in the pervasive sentiments of fear and loathing across the nation. If Trump had stated something along the lines of what Bret Stephens of the New York Times averred, he would seemingly find himself in a less pointed and hostile voting cycle, or not. Stephens states, “On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported the fastest rate of annual wage hikes in almost a decade, depriving Democrats of one of their few strong arguments about the true state of the economy. Unemployment is at its lowest rate since Vince Lombardi coached his last game in December 1969. The North American Free Trade Agreement has been saved with minor modifications and a new name…. Oh, and: The Islamic State is largely defeated. Tehran has not restarted its nuclear programs despite America’s withdrawal from the Iran deal. U.S. sanctions on Russia are still in place.

Democrats badly damaged their chances of taking the Senate with their overreaching and polarizing crusade to stop Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.” One could only wish upon a star for rhetoric such as that mentioned above, simpler times. As of right now, the Senate seems to be in good shape for GOP members, with the possibility of an increase of two to four seats on the horizon. However, it is the House that is the most shaky for many Republicans. Moderate veteran members of the party are now entrenched in toss ups. Representatives such as Illinois’ Peter Roskam and Randy Hultgren are two primary examples. Instead of promoting policy victories, Trump has chosen to push caravans, Pocahontas, fake news (usually accompanied with the “enemies of the people”), etcetera, etcetera.

This rhetoric has left many members of the GOP in a tough spot, especially House members. Many moderate GOP members are locked in tight races because of this dangerous link to the sharp rhetoric of Trump. And as a result, they are forced to embrace this divisive language in an attempt to keep their seats. Despite the tight nature of these polls, the Washington Post aptly points out that the midterm elections are not only a referendum on the president, they also “tend to reflect the views of the economy,” which is booming…


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