Tomorrow the US will hold its midterm elections for the House of Representatives and Senate. Donald Trump has been so deeply involved in rallying voters for his party’s candidates that you might mistakenly think he is running for re-election.
For President Trump, a Democrat-dominated Congress would not only make him a lame-duck president like Obama in 2016, but also lead to possible impeachment.
With so much at stake, Trump has employed his fiery rhetoric and slanted speech to stoke fear of immigrants by sending troops to the border, announced an unprecedented 10 per cent tax cut for the middle class, and even called up China’s President Xi for a discussion on a possible tariff agreement, a dialogue his economic adviser Larry Kudlow duly corrected a few hours later as just “plain-talking”.
Trump is obviously feeling the heat. There are fewer and fewer achievements lately that the president can brag about. The rising US stock market, which Trump frequently boasts is a barometer of his economic success, plunged in October – bad timing for him and his Republican Party.
Meanwhile the president has painted himself into a corner by repealing the Iran treaty and imposing sanctions on countries who buy Iranian oil from November onwards. On Friday, however, the Trump administration said it was exempting eight major Iranian-oil-importing countries from those sanctions.
Trump’s sophomoric approach to make “America first”, his bullying attitude and his lack of empathy for others will facilitate the loss of Congress to the Democrats, even though the latter have nothing new to offer to voters.
After tomorrow’s vote perhaps the word condescension can be added to the president’s vocabulary.