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America's new hope found in diversity

  • 09 November 2018


Midterm elections in the United States are normally an occasion synonymous with low voter turnout. 2014 saw just 36.4 per cent of Americans vote, and 2010 41 per cent. The last time the US crossed 70 per cent in any election, Australia had not yet experienced Federation.

But in the wake of two years of chaos, acrimony and what many have not only characterised but personally experienced as straight up viciousness, 49 per cent of eligible Americans voters cast votes on Tuesday.

And their votes had immediate and seismic effect: not only did the Democrats regain control of the House for the first time since 2010 and win seven governorships, while also losing seats in the Senate; one seemingly panicked day later, Donald Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions in what seems an attempt to shut down Robert Mueller's investigation regarding Russian collusion before the Democrats can take over.

Speaking at a press conference ostensibly about the midterms just hours before the firing, Trump described the Mueller inquiry as 'a disgrace' and bragged, 'I could fire everybody right now.'

Were it anyone else you'd say this was the worst possible move a sitting president could make; incoming chair of the Judiciary Jerry Nadler called it 'a constitutionally perilous moment for our country and the president'. But this is still Donald Trump, so it's just as likely he'll somehow only increase in popularity for doing so, while happy Catholics — who once again seem to have split their vote evenly between Republicans and Democrats — throw roses at his feet and sing songs about building walls to protect their children from a never-ending invasion of caravans.

Without a doubt the Democrats' control of the House will pose enormous problems not only for Trump himself but for the agenda of his administration.

Already Democratic members are calling for investigations into the detention of thousands of immigrant children in tents along the US/Mexico border; the administration's response to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria; the Attorney General's refusal to defend the Affordable Care Act against a lawsuit from Republican-governed states; the FBI's review of Brett Kavanaugh prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court; Saudi Arabia's involvement in the October killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi; and the Education Department's decision to relax regulation of for-profit colleges.


"If Trump and his administration represent the country at its most bellicose and xenophobic, many of these newly elected officials represent its highest ideals