Reflection on the United States Midterm Elections.
On 7 November 2006, the United States midterm elections were held. Results of the said elections show that the Democratic Party got the majority in the gubernatorial seats as well as the United States House and Senate seats. This feat was dubbed as the “Democrat Revolution” as the Democratic Party mustered enough seats in both houses of the legislature for the first time since 1994.
Traditionally speaking, the US midterm elections was seen as an assessment of the incumbent political leaders – whether their political and economic policies are acceptable to the American people, whether conditions of living has markedly improved during the President’s administration. This 2006 elections is no different from that traditional viewpoint. In fact, social critics did hope for a Democrat victory as a clear and concrete manifestation of the disgust of the public on how President Bush administers his office. In a sense, it concretized the past negative net satisfaction that America has been giving the incumbent president.
Given that the recently held elections was an assessment of the Republican President and its supportive Republican Congress, let us take a look at how the voters appraised their leaders. I agree at how political analysts gave the remark that the Americans voted through the issues of national and international import rather than of the local affect. The global image of America was at stake with the manner of handling of the Bush administration with Iraq.
Yes, the US invasion of Iraq proved to be a quagmire for President Bush. Two years after he had declared that the war was over and we have brought “democracy” to that side of the middle east and even after the capture of Saddam Hussein, US troops continue to be maimed and die in the fronts of Iraq. Though until now, the supposed weapons of mass destruction are yet to be found in Iraq while its neighbors and other countries are the obvious ones that harbor these weapons.
Honesty is an issue here as the public believes that they were led to support a war that could prove to be a bigger blunder in the contemporary world history. Americans felt they were deceived, and this perception was shown in the past surveys. Only, it was concretized in the recent midterm elections.
The Democrats promised reforms in the Iraq policy, and it also mirrored their platform for changes in the present international policies of the US government, i.e. war on terror. However, this is just one side of the idea running in the heads of Americans on Election Day. The other half, which stems from the “war on terror” policy, is homeland security. The haphazard management of President Bush on the Iraq war, including war crimes and economic costs, did trickle down to the manner of homeland administration. The people can very well remember how the Bush administration mismanaged its disaster and security measures during Hurricane Katrina.
Still related with the national and international policies, the immigration policy of the Bush administration has been highly criticized. Though the Americans understand that the issue of security is a factor in the hard-line immigration policy, most believe also that it must not go overboard to even create an environment that fueled anti-America. To the general public, that is a no-no, of course. Homeland security policies must not fuel another rage of racial discrimination in this free country.
What then should we expect with a Democrat Congress and a Republican President? Some pessimists say: not much. While the more optimists say that there will be marked changes built on the former, but the running current may most likely pull the same efforts as before. Clashes between the Iraq issues will have to happen, and this might be good for a democratic country in the name of the highly-regarded principle of check-and-balance. The situation, though, is that President Bush still has the final say in the arena of international security policies like that of Iraq. In the end, we are always hopeful that this will improve the lives of the Americans here and abroad. We are always hopeful that the changes will be done.
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