'America is divided': US media op-eds on what the 2018 midterm election results mean for Democrats, Donald Trump

Even as US president Donald Trump celebrated Republican gains in the Senate in the aftermath of 2018 midterm election and threatened Democrats who won back control of the House (and with it the power to investigate the president's personal and professional conduct), many dailies and newspapers agreed: While the Democrats taking back one lever of power spelled  some trouble for Trump, it was hardly a total victory.

File photo of US president Donald Trump. Reuters

File photo of US president Donald Trump. Reuters

The New York Times' article entitled 'The Polarizer-in-Chief Meets the Midterms' contended that even though the Democrats wrested control of the House of Representatives "looking forward toward 2020, Democratic prospects of wresting control of the Upper chamber are bleak."

The article also talked of how the midterm elections "put a dent" in Trump's armour "both by exposing weaknesses in the Midwest and assuring sustained congressional investigations over the next two years."

In another article—which was published as a conversation between columnists Frank Bruni and Ross Douthat—in The New York Times, Douthat pointed out that throughout the 2016 campaign, Republicans were hopeful that "Trump would start behaving a little more like a normal politician, or just a normal human being."

But that did not happen and even after the midterm elections, Trump emerged "undiminished, undaunted and unhinged: our president in full indeed." The article also said that the US president "probably always planned to jettison" former US attorney general Jeff Sessions.

Another article in The Atlantic said that the 2018 vote finally brought some accountability into the federal government "after two years of executive impunity". The article also said that the midterm polls checked the Democrats' "most self-destructive tendencies". "There is no progressive majority in America. There is no progressive plurality in America. And there certainly is no progressive Electoral College coalition in America," said the article.

Another article in The Atlantic entitled 'America, Now More Divided Than (Almost) Ever' said that "in a country where the Republicans have won the popular vote only once in the past 25 years of presidential elections, Tuesday’s results are in part a picture of how much power is tilted away from Democrats structurally." An article with the rather dramatic headline 'The midterm elections revealed that America is in a cold civil war' in Vox went as far as to say that "the midterms also revealed that the war for the soul of America is only just getting started" and "the United States is divided into two camps, one which is open to immigration and supports the fight against racism, and another which is 'deeply hostile' to the same"

The Wall Street Journal in another article said Trump did not need to win the midterm elections as much as he needed to avoid disaster, something he achieved. "The country now stands not far from where it was when Mr Trump won his shocking victory in 2016: deeply divided in its politics as well as its views of the 45th president," said the article.

An article in The Washington Post presented both sides of the debate over whether the midterm elections were a victory for the Democrats or not. While it said that it was true that a change in the House of Representatives by smaller margins had been called a blue "wave", it also said that Trump avoided disaster and the Democrat candidates who got the most national attention lost.

Another article in Fortune analysed the midterms through a unique lens: the impact on healthcare. It stated that the fact that the House of Representatives will now be controlled by Democrats means that the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, will likely not be repealed. It also said that investors in healthcare will react to the election results "with vigorous enthusiasm" as Obamacare is likely to remain in many states, and the chances of Medicaid being expanded also increasing.

With inputs from The Associated Press

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Updated Date: Nov 08, 2018 21:31:11 IST

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