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Cohen: US Interim Results Show Remaining Dangers to Democracy

Once upon a time, the views of electoral deniers were seen as acrimonious, destructive, and even traitorous. They are now mainstream.

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now we know. When given the opportunity to deny the president’s party or defend democracy in the midterm elections, Americans did both, bit by bit, but not decisively.

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Today their government is as divided as theirs. The threat to their democracy remains because they speak loudly and indistinctly in his two voices.

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If all the votes were tallied, it would be more likely that the Republicans would control the House by a narrow margin. Democrats are likely to retain control of the Senate by a narrow margin. Or vice versa. Alternatively, either party could win both Houses.

Amazingly, Joe Biden survived the midterm elections better than most postwar presidents. He escaped the rout of Lyndon Johnson in 1966, Bill Clinton in 1994, George W. Bush in 2006, Barack Obama in 2010 and Donald Trump in 2018. This time, Biden once again exceeded his expectations, as he showed in his surprising comeback in 2020. .

Despite his lukewarm popularity, he remains a fugitive from the laws of political gravitation. But that’s not to say the US doesn’t have problems.

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Democrats have returned governors of states such as Michigan, New York, California, Wisconsin, Illinois, Colorado and Kansas. They elected stars such as Wes Moore of Maryland and Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania to build a growing following. Centrists Abigail Spanberger and Elissa Slotkin took seats in the House, and Maggie Hassan and Michael Bennett in the Senate.

This is normally successful. But this is not normal.

Republicans have elected or re-elected nearly 200 delegates, senators, and state officials who disparage democracy. They think the electoral system is rigged, the 2020 election is stolen, the president is illegitimate, and the Democratic Party is evil.

They pose a clear and present danger. If challenged, their supporters told pollsters they were unafraid to take up arms.In a country with 400 million guns, this is no hollow threat.

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Many election opponents were defeated. But others reached the Senate (JD Vance), survived as governor (Christy Noem), and thrived in the House (Marjorie Taylor-Green, whose influence grows). They and their ilk will add fuel to the fires burning in America’s homes.

Once their views were sour, destructive, even traitorous. They are now mainstream. These rebels colonize the Republican Party elected and rooted by Donald J. Trump.

A close race and a thin Republican majority should encourage Democrats. But realize that, like many state legislatures and governors, the House is likely to be Republican now. push forward.

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So the danger remains. With abortion rights abolished and American democracy threatened, it’s not enough to be close. Democrats need to win both houses to protect voting rights and women’s rights. That is impossible now.

Trump loses. Many Republicans will accuse him of supporting unelected extremists.

The pieces are in place for the battle of 2024. If 2020 is a dress rehearsal and Trump tries and fails to steal the election, the Republicans will be in a better position next time.

Consider the 2022 midterm elections. This year and his 2024, some Republican naysayers will try to block the election process as best they can if it doesn’t go the way they want it to. Watch them deny state voter lists and try to create their own voters. Then the election will be an advisory activity.

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What will happen between now and then to change the story? Trump could be indicted and mortally wounded. Democrats may have enough margins to beat him in 2024 and make the outcome incontrovertible. Or maybe DeSantis, who has never embraced “Stop the Steel,” becomes the Republican candidate (while slyly endorsing Republican supporters) and eventually abandons the great appetizer.

The morning after the most important midterm elections in the country’s history, things look better than the day before. Yes, it could have been worse. In fatigue, the Republic endures — for now.

Andrew Cohen Journalist, professor at Carleton University, and author of Two Days in June: John F. Kennedy and the 48 Hours That Made History.

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Cohen: US Interim Results Show Remaining Dangers to Democracy

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