The Democrats suffered heavy losses in the midterm elections.
Many Americans across the country decided that Obama’s talk of hope and change, which had initially captivated them, was no longer the change that they could believe in and had become empty and baseless rhetoric.
The Democrats lost control of the Senate. Obama has become a “lame duck” President as he’ll have to contend with a Republican dominated Congress in his last two years in office.
Some notable wins were in North Carolina where Thom Thilis beat Kay Hagan – a candidate endorsed by Hilary Clinton. Mia Love won in Utah and became the first black Republican female elected to congress. Republicans also won in Iowa and West Virginia, which are swing states and key in Presidential elections, as well as securing wins in Massachusetts and Maryland, which are strong Democratic states.
On the eve of the election, Michelle Obama in an interview with TV show host Roland Martin, told blacks: ”A Democratic ticket is the clear ticket that we should be voting on, regardless of who said what or did this – that shouldn’t even come into the equation.” She also said that she gives everyone who votes Democrat permission to eat fried chicken. Well in Michelle and Barack’s home town of Illinois, Bruce Rauenur, the Republican candidate, won the election.
I previously wrote about Corey Brooks, the black pastor from the South Side of Chicago, who had received threats for backing Bruce Rauner. The Republican win shows that the Democrats and centre left political parties can’t assume that ethnic minorities will follow them blindly, and that results do matter, and parties should compete and not become complacent or dismissive.
The election was very much a referendum on Obama’s Presidency and a repudiation of his policies. These include Obamacare and the disastrous roll out of its website; weak and indecisive leadership on ebola which was resulted in panic and concern; poor leadership on the Middle East and the failure to deal decisively with ISIS or put forward a coherent strategy to tackle it. There is also a general feeling that America is heading in the wrong direction with big government policies stripping the nation of its identity and robbing the people of their hopes and dreams.
Concerns about Obamacare have been widespread and many young professionals, women and ethnic minorities are just as opposed as small state constitutionalists. Writing in Ebony Magazine, Chelsi P Henry, an African-American rising star of the GOP, said: “Obamacare is hurting blacks, students, families, & young professionals. I know, not a single Republican voted for the final Affordable Care Act. And, the negative effects on Americans, especially Black Americans confirm their initial opposition”.The rules and regulations set down in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) have resulted in employers cancelling existing health insurance plans and this is hurting the very groups of people that Obama said that he wanted to help.
The Republicans were able to successfully capitalise on Obama’s unpopularity in the midterms but the 2016 presidential race will be a hard battle..
The Republicans will have to choose their candidate for the 2016 presidential race very wisely. If it’s a race between Hilary Clinton and Jeb Bush then Hilary will most likely win.
Of all the possible Republican candidates, I believe that Rand Paul is the most innovative and dynamic, and has the power to appeal to a wide range and diverse set of people. For example, he understands the changed political landscape and the movement of working-class and blue-collar workers – proud patriots who value faith, flag and family and don’t buy into Obama’s “citizen of the world” concept – away from the Democrat Party which has become too managerial, technocratic and almost aloof to ordinary working class day to day concerns. Paul also understands the concerns of libertarians, who reject big government/corporatist Republicans.
Paul Hensby, writing for ‘Operation Black Vote’- a pressure group which exists to ensure greater racial justice and equality throughout the UK, said the following about the midterm results: “Racism is clearly in evidence here, for Obama has been a successful President in restoring the US economy, in making considered foreign policy calls and above all in introducing a fairer health care system. This counts for nothing for that coalition of rednecks, careerist Republican politicians licking their wounds and that vast number of white Americans who, put quite simply, are fearful of their fellow black citizens.”
I wholly disagree with Paul’s assessment; Obama did badly because Americans grew tired of the Obama administration’s divisive nature, poor leadership in dealing with ISIS and ebola. There was a general repudiation of his policies and big governement, and the realisation that his “hope” and “change” agenda has become empty rhetoric. Americans want to be able to dream again.