The "red wave" didn't materialize...


Post photo: Trump supporters shortly before storming the US Capitol | © Tyler Merbler -

Contrary to what the headline suggests, my “view of the American midterm elections” has become an extensive elaboration. The election result of November 8, 2022 was exceptional. But just as exciting was - and still is - how the American media struggle to interpret this result. A political spectacle was observed, which took place in several stages after the day of the election. The last highlight was with the Spectacle for the election of the Speakers of the House reached.

Originally, I wanted to end the text with an optimistic outlook. The wrangling of the Republicans for the speaker post leaves only a "silver lining" on the political horizon of the USA. "America lurches", I had captioned my observation of September 29.9.2022th, 2024. It seems to me the country is still rolling. Observing political developments in America up to the next election in XNUMX remains exciting.

A look at the US midterm elections - Introduction

Before the American midterm elections on November 8.11.2022, XNUMX (the so-called midterms) - but even afterwards - I kept thinking about the statement of an acquaintance: "The Americans are capable of anything..." - so far, so good. But the statement of my acquaintances went even further and therefore also applied to the period after November 8.11.2022th, XNUMX: “... they are also standing and voting Donald Trump one more time to the President.” 

In fact: "The Americans are capable of anything...!" On November 8.11.2022th, XNUMX, contrary to many pollsters' forecasts, they performed a small miracle: The "red wave" - ​​red is the color of the Republicans - did not materialize. I will write about the reasons for this elsewhere. and Donald Trump? On November 15.11.2022, 2024, he announced his renewed candidacy for XNUMX. the New York Times captioned an editorial: “America Deserves Better Than Donald Trump' - 'America deserves better than Donald Trump.So far, two serious opponents from your own party can be expected.

Trump's former Vice President Mike Pence has with similar undertone as that New York Times remarked, "I think we have better choices," clearly setting himself apart Donald Trump whom he had faithfully served as Vice President for four years until Trump threw down the gauntlet for not willing to use clearly unlawful means to help Trump win the election. 

"Hangs Mike Pence" chanted the mob incited by Trump on January 6.1.2021th, XNUMX during the storming of the Capitol. "This is the reason for my decision that we should go our separate ways," said pence on November 15.11.2022, XNUMX in an interview with the TV station ABC News. He dodged questions about Trump's character, but made it clear that he himself was considering running "with prayers" and if that meant challenging his former boss, "then so be it" (, 15.11.2022/2024/XNUMX: Pence on Trump's XNUMX Run: "I Think We'll Have Better Choices"., 15.11.2022: "Mike Pence considering candidacy against Donald Trump").

The second serious opponent for a nomination for the Republican presidential candidate in 2024 is likely Ron De Santis, to be the sovereign re-elected governor of Florida. Trump had won Florida in 2020 by a 4 percent margin; DeSantis on the other hand, in the elections on November 8.11.2022th, 20 with a lead of XNUMX percentage points – and without the support of the former president Donald Trump. "Certainly white DeSantis about the ex-president's fragile ego and will not initially declare his success as a declaration of war on Trump," he said Knut Dethlefsen, the office manager Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Washington dc in an interview. However, it would be a different policy under a President Ron De Santis to not give. He would be the right candidate for the Republicans to leave Trump behind as a person without throwing his ideological approaches overboard. "DeSantis is currently the "better because more successful Trump," says Knut Dethlefsen (IPG press service, 11.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "DeSantis is the better Trump"; Interview with Knut Dethlefsen; asked the questions Nikolaos Gavalakis). Ron De Santis is strategically and tactically smart enough to wait and see. He can understand the discussion that has started in the media and in the Republican Party about Trump's joint responsibility for the GOP's poor performance in the midterms enjoy watching.

The incumbent president can also wait and see the impending scuffles among the Republicans Joe Biden. Although only 40-45 percent of Americans approve of him as president, he happily echoes his party's enthusiastic statements about the election result. At first glance, Europeans may be surprised that the Democrats in the USA are described as election winners, even though they have lost their previous majority in the House of Representatives.  Knut Dethlefsen from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung explains, however, in a few words, what the midterms what happened: “The Democrats have succeeded in breaking historical trends. You got the best midterm election result in 20 years for a party that is the president.” President Joe Biden has indicated that he wants to get back into the ring in 2024 – especially if the opponent Donald Trump should be. He hasn't made a final decision yet. "I'm feeling good and I'm looking forward to the next few years," Biden said in Phnom Penh, when he learned there that the Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto the Senate seat in Nevada won again, thereby sealing her party's majority in the Senate. Biden has said he will be speaking to his wife over the holiday season about running again in 2024. However, there are also critical voices in the Democratic Party. Biden turned eighty on November 20.11.2022, XNUMX. He has again called on the Republicans to cooperate and has offered his willingness to do so. But that will be difficult to achieve given the GOP's narrow majority in the House of Representatives and the vocal MAGA group, a small group that wields strong decision-making power when it comes to majorities in determining Republican policy goals and tactics. Committees of inquiry against the President and his son have already been set up within GOP circles Hunter biden announced; In a way, as a tit-for-tat for the two impeachment proceedings against Trump. Corresponding proceedings against Biden and the Vice President Kamala Harris and other cabinet members are now planning the Republicans (Heilbronn voice, October 18.10.2022, XNUMX: "Dispute and Standstill").   

"In such an environment, it may be easier to get support for committees of inquiry than for larger legislative projects," she writes New York Times. In order to be able to meet the coming challenges, the Democrats in Congress and the White House are also arming themselves. Additional staff should be hired for this and closer ties to networks and groups such as "Media Matters", "American Bridge" and "Facts First" should be tied (, 17.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Republicans Lay Out Biden Investigations, but Democrat-Aligned Groups Promis Counteroffensive"). 

All this does not look like more cooperation across party lines. On the contrary: both parties are preparing for further domestic political disputes and exactly what will happen Heilbronn voice described as "controversy and standstill". In addition, the election campaigner Trump will pour oil on the fire again and again. America continues to lurch... with repercussions for allies in Europe and elsewhere.

To understand Trump's erratic and superficial worldview, and his often underhanded way of dealing with friend and foe, I recommend reading Trump's biography, Deception: The Rise Donald Trumps and the Fall of America” – original title: “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America” by Maggie HabermanThe Pulitzer rice wearer has worked for the since 2015 New York Times and was a member of the NYT White House team during the Trump presidency. Your book doesn't just begin in 2016 with Trump's election as the 45th President of the United States. Haberman describes his much more distant beginnings as a small real estate agent in his father's New York City business queens. There he learned - one could describe it as "peasant shrewdness" - with all sorts of tricks, meanness, donations to both parties and also with women's stories to become known and to build up a widespread network of connections that continues to help him to this day, problematic situations to master". Trump once described the result as follows: “I could be in the middle of the Fifth Avenue stand and shoot someone, and I wouldn't lose any voters.” Whether this is still true today is questionable.    

Haberman's description of Trump's considerations leading to the selection of Mike Pence as a candidate for the vice presidency gives an idea of ​​​​what later happened behind the scenes in the White House and why even members of the government left Trump's team relatively often. Haberman reports:

"Most Republicans didn't want to run with him after the way he campaigned. A feeling that was more or less mutual. Trump had spent his professional career in the fold of a family business and had a natural distrust of everyone, especially outsiders. His concept of relationships was primarily based on the aspect of dominance.”   


Originally liked Trump Mike Pence not — Haberman calls him “one of the most prominent evangelical politicians in the country,” because pence previously had the competitor Ted Cruz unterstützt.

"The end of the story is probably a prime example of Trump's way of dealing with friends and employees and how he played them off against each other with half-truths and ambiguous statements: Within a few days Trump had pence tricked into accepting a position he had never officially offered him and asked him to remain silent about it; at the same time, he had told one of his old friends that he had not yet made up his mind, and had concocted an elaborate staging on live television to back up this claim, and thus the direct confrontation with Christie to avoid for as long as possible. After giving himself wiggle room to wriggle out of the decision, and after forcing others to expend mental and emotional energy on his decision, Trump finally did exactly what he indicated at the beginning: He chose someone who filling a void he could not fill even with evangelical voters and, most importantly, never feared to step out of Trump's shadow."


This description already indicates that the role of the later Vice President was early on based on what the faithful Mike Pence then in the end should be: A tragic figure in Donald Trumps orbit.

The Democrats lost the House of Representatives and won the Senate

It would be presumptuous to list all the results and aspects of the midterms to present in detail. On November 8.11.2022, 435, all 35 members of the House of Representatives, 36 senators, the governors in XNUMX states and many other elected representatives at state and local level were elected. For example, with the Democrat karen bass first time a woman was elected Mayor of Los Angeles. John Fetterman, Democratic candidate, managed to defeat the in Pennsylvania Donald Trump supported Mehmed Oz and thus laid an important foundation for maintaining the majority of Democrats in the Senate. This seat in Pennsylvania was previously occupied by a Republican.

After many years of experience and according to their own expectations, the Republicans should have won the majority in the Senate on November 8.11.2022th, XNUMX and also had to win a sweeping victory in the House of Representatives. But the election result was different. This gives rise to a number of fundamental questions:

  • The pollsters had predicted a hefty defeat for the Democrats and Joe Biden, and the Republicans had expected a “red wave”. Why have these forecasts and expectations not materialized? Above all, why were the high expectations of the Republicans not met?
  • For a long time it seemed as if the topics of "preserving the democratic system of government in the USA" and "economy and inflation" were diametrically opposed and decisively opposed to elections. Which topics were still important to the voters and possibly played a decisive role?
  • The former President Donald Trump had actively supported a large number of candidates or even sent them into the race. The condition of Trump's endorsement was that they support the "Big Lie" Trump's idea of ​​the "stolen 2020 election." Trump candidates have often underperformed or even lost. Do the Republicans draw lessons from this and, if in doubt, which ones? Will you Donald Trump Send it back into the race in 2024?
  • What effects does the election result have on domestic and foreign policy in the USA and thus also on Europe?

The results of the midterms 

Senate (35 of the 100 seats up for election)  

Future seat distribution: 
Democrats: 51 (previously: 50)
Republicans: 49 (previously: 50)

(But see the note on the Senator's resignation Kyrsten Sinema from the Senate Democratic faction in the following section of this chapter).

With the election result on November 8.11.2022, 50, the Democrats were able to hold their previous narrow majority in the Senate with the 6.12.2022 seats they initially achieved. In Georgia on December XNUMXth, XNUMX there was a runoff between the previous Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock and the Trump-backed Republican Herschel Walker necessary; Democrat Warnock successfully defended his seat. This puts his party one seat better than before in the next legislative period in the Senate. The Democrats are no longer on the vote of the Vice President Kamala Harris in their function as chairperson of the Senate.

The Republican Herschel Walker hadn't made it despite Trump's support and Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, was right when he criticized the quality of some Republican candidates before the election.


Breaking News - 9.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX

The Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona Chuck Schumer, Told Senate Democratic Majority Leader on December 8.12.2022, XNUMX that she was leaving the Democratic Party. How this will affect the majority in the new Senate cannot yet be foreseen. This is always a psychological weakening for the Democrats. 

until now has Kyrsten Sinema not yet announced whether she also intends to leave the Senate Democratic faction. However, she has ruled out going over to the Republican faction. the New York Times reported that Cinema will keep her committee posts that she received as a member of the Democrats. This leads to the conclusion that, even as an independent senator, she will operate in a similar way to the two independent senators Bernie Sanders from Vermont and Angus king from Maine. However, both are still members of the Democratic Senate faction. Cinema has so far backed most of the Biden agenda, including the recently passed Same-Sex Marriage Safeguards Act. She was critical on questions of finance and tax policy; So far she has objected – together with Senator Joe Manchin III from West Virginia the attempts of the Democrats to apply the Filibuster Rule further restricted in the Senate. "Democrats believe -- or hope -- that little will change in Congress," she writes New York Times. (Sources:, 9/12.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Kyrsten Sinema Says She Will Leave the Democratic Party”;, 9.12.2022/2024/XNUMX: "Sinema Adds Intrigue and Democratic Fury to Arizona's XNUMX Senate Race";, 9.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: “Democrat Kyrsten Sinema intends to act as an independent senator in the future”).

House of Representatives (all 435 members of the House;  218 seats are required for a majority)

Future seat distribution:   
Republicans: 222 (previously: 213)
Democrats: 213 (previously: 222)

Note the New York Times to this result: "The Republicans won the majority in the House of Representatives, but with a much smaller number of seats than the party leadership had expected."

Gubernatorial elections (governors were up for election in 36 of the 50 US states)

The results will not be presented in detail here. About how some of the Donald Trump I will report elsewhere. However, I would like to point out the hotly contested election in arizona, where the Trump-backed Republican Kari Lake the race against her democratic opponent Katie Hobbs narrowly lost. The previous Republican governor Doug Ducey was allowed because of the in Arizona applicable term limit. With the victory of Katie Hobbs, the former Minister of the Interior Arizona, have the Democrats took over the state governorship from the Republicans.

During the counting of the votes, the leadership changed several times. In the end won Hobbs with a lead of 17.117 votes. Brine had her election campaign very strong Donald Trump aligned and talked about the "stolen election" again and again. She backed Trump's unproven claim that Biden only won the election through massive fraud. And likewise, like her role model and mentor, refused Brineto acknowledge their defeat and went to court on the grounds that the 2022 election was flawed and corrupt. Shortly before Christmas he decided Maricopa County Superior Court, the court found no "clear and compelling evidence of wrongdoing" that would have affected the outcome of Arizona's gubernatorial election. At the same time, the court confirmed the democrat's victory Katie HobbsThe loser's reaction: Brine immediately announced that it would appeal the decision. (Sources:, 21.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Kari Lake Will Present Election Fraud Claims in an Arizona County Court”; Deutsche Welle –, 25.12.2022: "Trump loyalists fail with election challenge").     

Attempt to explain the election result

It will be some time before the experts from politics, science and the media - especially the election researchers, who were moderately to badly "off" with their forecasts - have examined all the reasons that led to the election result on November 8.11.2022th, XNUMX . “Contrary to all political experiences and the usual midterm trends, With the re-election of the senator, the Democrats have strengthened the party that is currently not in power Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada secured their wafer-thin majority in the Senate on Sunday (12.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX)," wrote the New York Times. Although the Senate majority is very small — far from enabling crucial bills to pass — it is a lifeline for President Biden and prevents Republicans from completely smashing his agenda or even starting an impeachment and impeachment trial against him and others to set government members in motion (, 13.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Democrats' Senate Victory Hands Biden a Critical Guardrail Against GOP"). Biden did the best with it midterm result of a president in the last 20 years. In a first statement on the day after the election, he described the result as a "good day for democracy." He did not want to change his political course and indicated that he would re-enter the race for the presidency in 2024.

Chuck Schumer, the current and future Senate Majority Leader, described the result as “Americans’ wake-up call to Republicans to end their flirtation with autocracy and time-wasting talk of a “lost election.” It's time to work and get things done (, 13.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Democrats' Senate Victory Hands Biden a Critical Guardrail Against the GOP"). A similar statement was also made larry hogan, the Trump-critical Republican governor of Maryland: "You can't win elections with excuses, lies and toxic politics." It took Trump himself a long time to decide on the outcome of the midterms expressed. Connected to a meeting of Republican Jewish Coalition, that from 18. - 20.11.2022 in Las Vegas took place, Trump, as usual, looked for the failure of the Republicans in others and not in himself. He criticized this Roe vs Wade Verdict of supreme court, which took away the right of women to decide for themselves whether to have an abortion. The term "abortion" (Abortion) he avoided and also the fact that the judgment was passed by the three new judges appointed during his term of office Supreme Court decided was supported. Trump also said nothing about the often poor performance of the candidates he supports and was also silent on the topic of "storming the Capitol" on January 6.1.2021, XNUMX, which he had personally fueled. 

In the report of New York Times about Trump's appearance in Las Vegas was noted as receiving a standing ovation. At the same event where former associates of Trump - Mike PompeoRon De Santis, Nikki Haley, Mike Pence - more or less clearly set apart from Trump, called the governor larry hogan Trump a "electoral loser (election losers) and divided the Republican Party into three groups:

  • 30 percent "die hard" Trump supporters;
  • 20 percent who hate Trump;
  • 50 percent convincing voters.

Undoubtedly something extraordinary happened on 8.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX for the Democrats, who had feared bad things, but something disappointing for the Republicans, who had hoped for significantly more. Roughly speaking and without going into individual decisive results, one could say: Some didn't really win and the others didn't really lose. Yuval Levin from American Enterprise Institute tried to describe the election result with the phrase: "Democrats won a state Senate seat because the Republican nominee was exceptionally like Trump, while losing a small handful of seats in the House of Representatives." Levin refers to the result in pennsylvania, where the Democrat John Fetterman the one supported by Trump Mehmed Oz defeated and the Republicans lost a previously held seat in the Senate. Levin looks ahead to the 2024 election, which so far has been mostly about questions Donald Trump was mastered. There are 2024 seats up for election in the Senate in 33. The Democrats have to defend 23 seats, the Republicans "only" 10 seats and Levin dares to predict that Republicans will “almost certainly” win the Senate majority in two years. He wrote that the Democrats must be crazy in the coming legislature Filibuster Rule to repeal in the Senate – that provision in the Rules of Procedure that certain decisions in the Senate do not require a simple majority but 60 votes for a decision. A tactical aspect that is interesting at first glance. However, he would continue the previous mutual blockade between the two parties in the future. I'm too far from the "battlefield" to make any predictions. In my opinion, however, not only that filibuster rule, but a number of other points - such as the electoral system in the presidential election - are responsible for the weaknesses of the political system in the USA.

Advises Republicans Levin, to learn the lesson of the recent election: to start moving beyond Trumpism. It remains to be seen whether they are strong and determined enough to do so. Not addressed in his election analysis Levin the impact of certain campaign issues on the outcome; such as the fact that the issue of abortion brought women and young people to the polls in large numbers - they overwhelmingly voted for the Democrats. (, 17.11.2022-XNUMX-XNUMX: "Democrats Lost the Midterms, Too"; guest post by Yuval Levin).

The midterms brought in my opinion a new kind of confusion for the USA. The questions about the future of the democratic system in the United States, which have become particularly acute since the Trump presidency, as well as the questions about which structural reforms are necessary - for example in the electoral system - are still unanswered. The decisive question is whether the political forces are at all in a position to tackle fundamental reforms in view of the mutual blockade situation.

The New York Times writes of a “mixed result” of the Midterms: “The election did not bring a clear mandate for Biden, but neither was it the rejection taught by many of his predecessors midterms had to accept. We see an aging President, sometimes seen as frail, hampered by the highest inflation in four decades, by an overseas war that is rattling energy markets, and yet poor poll numbers beat expectations..." (, 9.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Biden Celebrates Beating the Odds, but He Faces a New Challenge").    

Campaign themes: Democracy, the "Big Lie" and other myths

With two publicly staged speeches in the course of the election campaign, President Joe Biden urgently warned of the dangers to democracy and the liberal system of government in the USA. On September 1.9.2022, 2.11.2022, he accused the former president and the “MAGA Republicans” of threatening the very foundations of the republic. A few days before the election date, Biden addressed this topic in a speech on November XNUMX, XNUMX in the Union Station in Washington dc up again. Biden was particularly upset by the violent break-in by a proponent of the "Big Stolen Election Lie" at the home of Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, in San Francisco on 28.10.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX. The burglar had the appropriate utensils with him Nancy Pelosi to kidnap; he wanted to smash her kneecaps. Like the mob when the Capitol was stormed on January 6.1.2021, 82, the burglar shouted, "Where's Nancy?" But she wasn't in the house. Her husband, who is XNUMX years old Paul Pelosi the burglar inflicted serious injuries with a hammer. 

Referring to what happened, Biden said: “An incited mob, fueled by a President repeating the “Big Lie” over and over again that the 2020 election was stolen Washington dc in January 2021. "A lie has dangerously increased political violence and voter intimidation over the past two years."

Biden is very clear in his speech on 2.11.2022/2020/XNUMX. He names horse and rider. Nobody can later say he or she knew "nothing": "The extreme MAGA elements in the Republican Party - as I have explained before - a minority in that party, but its driving force. They are trying again to do what failed in XNUMX - to suppress voter rights and subvert the electoral system itself. This means they deny your right to vote and want to decide whether your vote counts at all.” Biden vividly described the dangers for America, warned his countrymen, called on them to be vigilant. From the beginning there was no guarantee for democracy in America. “Every generation had to defend it, had to protect it, had to choose. Because that's what democracy is about. It's a choice, a decision of the people, by the people, for the people.” Biden is quoting the famous phrase here that the President Abraham Lincoln on the occasion of the inauguration of the national cemetery on the battlefield of Gettysburg described American democracy on November 19.11.1863, XNUMX (Gettysburg Address). (Quotes from the Biden speech of 2.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX:, November 2.11.2022, XNUMX: "Here's a full transcript of President Biden's speech on democracy";, 2/3.11.2022/XNUMX: “Biden Warns That 'Big Lie' Republicans Imperil American Democracy”, 3.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: “Biden warns of threat to democracy in America”).

Who are these “MAGA Republicans” threatening American democracy that Biden warns against so strongly? With an extensive description of the Trump icon Marjorie Taylor Greene are Robert Draper im Sunday Magazine of New York Times an answer to this question (, 17.10.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: “The Problem of Marjorie Taylor Greene – What the rise of the far-right congresswoman means for the House, the GO P and the nation).

Marjorie Taylor Greene could on November 8.11.2022th, XNUMX in a safe constituency in Georgia defend their seat in the House of Representatives with a lead of around 30 percent. Her campaign slogan two years ago was: "Save America - Stop Socialism". Both midterms In 2022 she went one step further and fought with the call: "Save America - Stop Communism". Trump had already called her a "big winner" in 2020. 

Taylor Greenes List of all possible controversies is at Wikipedia longer than the description of her political career itself. At her victory celebration after the 2020 primary election she announced that the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, out of Congress using the word "bitch". When criticism for this came from within our own ranks, it would have been time to apologize. But, like her role model Trump, she said in a radio interview the next day: "In a heated moment, I used a dirty expression. But I don't take anything back. I don't apologize." Kevin McCarthy, the future speaker of the House of Representatives will not only experience good things with the self-confident MPs. In the report of Robert Draper she is quoted as saying, "I don't need a leadership position. I think I already have one without having it.”

Greene, 48, describes herself as a Christian nationalist and explains that it means nothing more than a "Christian who loves her country." When asked about others who have commented on the term, she explained Robert Draper, she didn't know anything about the background of the term "Christian Nationalism" knew. Draper doubts this and quotes other "Christian nationalists": "Don't separate God and the government," said the right-wing pastor and successful Christian author Dutch Sheets. A prayer for Greene finished sheets saying, "You are truly chosen, you will not do anything wrong, in Jesus' name, amen!" Rob McCoy, another far-right pastor ended a conversation with Greene saying, "I pray to God that one day she may become President of the United States." 

Greene believes that Christianity is being persecuted in America today. She wants to introduce school prayer and pleads for American presidents to set a Christian example. She says of Jesus: “He fought against what was wrong. He threw the money changers out of the temple. He overturned their tables. So he fought against everything that was wrong.” 

"Although Greene readily admitting to being a "sinner," she keeps describing the Democrats as "godless," Nancy Pelosi, a practicing Catholic, including,” writes Robert Draper. pelosi supports abortion rights and this precludes her from being a true Christian. And yet, so reported draper, admire her Pelosi for the way she wields power. In addition Greene, should she ever succeed in becoming Speaker of the House: "I would rule with an iron fist." 

Robert Draper has these somewhat disorganized-sounding statements Greene's the 77-year-old United Methodist pastor Emmanuel Cleaver from Missouri, who as a Democrat has been a congressman since 2005. Cleaver's short answer: "I think she really believes this about us. But, I keep telling myself: sincerity alone does not make a weak teaching stronger.” 

My initial question to all of this was, "Who are these "MAGA Republicans" who are threatening American democracy and that Biden is so vehemently warning about?" Greene's Thought structures, their world view and their statements may sound strange and confused to many Europeans. Transferred to contemporary Europe, for example, the merging of the imagination of an extreme Brexiteer with the religious sense of mission of the Hungarian Fidesz nationalists who feel called to defend the Christian Occident. But in America this superficial mixture of politics and religion seems to be arriving. Donald Trump presented himself on June 1.6.2020st, XNUMX with a Bible in front of the St John's Church in Washington DC There were a lot of protests about that. However, they may not have been so much about the raised Bible as the fact that Trump had the police clear the area in front of the church of demonstrators.  

As their election slogans show, fight Greene against the communist infiltration of the USA. She believes in the great world conspiracy that many members of the government actively worship Satan and that the "global evil of the world" is being created by the Saudi royal family along with Jewish billionaires, e.g George Soros or Rothschilds will be funded. The statement by the Methodist pastor makes clear what is threatening for the USA and beyond Emmanuel Cleaver"I think she really believes that."  Cleaver uses the term “believe” here and goes on to say: “People often mix their political ideas with religious passion. This allows them to think they are agents of God.”

The storming of the Capitol on January 6.1.2021th, XNUMX - for many Americans a very dark chapter in American history - interpreted Marjorie Taylor Greene completely different:

  • The trigger: For Greene's approach It was, and still is, that Trump won the 2020 election and that victory was “stolen” from him. In an interview, she referred to January 6.1.2021, 1776 as “our 4.7 moment,” drawing a line from the storming of the Capitol to the American Revolution and the July 1776 Declaration of Independence. XNUMX, the holiest holiday in the United States.
  • Reflected a day after the uprising Greene the events a little different: “Last night and early morning were perhaps one of the saddest days of my life. Three days into my tenure as a new member of Congress (...) our Capitol was attacked and blamed on the President whom I love and I know he is not to blame; and then blamed on all the people who supported him, 75 million people who supported President Trump and honestly recognized his hard work and the America First Policy and everything else about "Make America Great Again." Then it bursts out, and she voices her deep belief that the election was "stolen"; The MP, who had just moved into the House of Representatives a few days earlier, indirectly reproaches her own party friends: "It was terribly lonely in there, basically having to watch the election being stolen, the certification of the vote of the Electoral College for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris even though we knew the election was stolen and the democrats worked so hard on it, but also some republicans, there were republicans there too." (Greene describes the process required by the US Constitution for the certification of the election result under the direction of the Vice President Mike Pence. Trump had pence pressured for days to reject the results from several federal states. pence refused because he is not constitutionally entitled to do so).

I want to come back to the keyword "1776"; it has become a metaphor for the American right when they rave about subversion and revolution. Such musings about a “second American revolution” were already being occupied by some men in 2020 Michigan. But they didn't just talk about a "second revolution", they were already making concrete plans. The group wanted Gretchen Whitmer, the governor of Michigan, violently kidnapped, but the FBI was able to intervene in time and prevent bad things from happening. 

On December 27.12.2022th, XNUMX, a court adam fox, the ringleader of the group, was sentenced to 16 years in prison and described him not only as a danger to the safety of Gretchen Whitmer but also for democracy in America. 

The group was initiated by the then Covid-19 State Actions Michigan; the defendant adam fox had described Whitmer as a "tyrant". He had connections to the so-called boogaloo movement, who had advocated the overthrow of the government, took part in heavy weapons training and began investigating the governor's environment. The prosecution had asked for a life sentence on the grounds that others who had similar plans should be deterred. The court justified the lower penalty with the fact that Fox had no criminal record (, 27.12.2022/16/XNUMX: "Man Sentenced to XNUMX Years in Prison for Plotting to Kidnap Michigan's Governor").

On December 28.12.2022, 19, another member of this group was sentenced to 7 years and XNUMX months in prison (, 28.12.2022/20/XNUMX: “Man Receifes Nearly XNUMX Years in Prison for Plot to Kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer"). 

This detailed description of the thinking and attitudes of Marjorie Taylor Greene im New York Times Magazine and the ensuing fallout - not least what happened on 6.1.2021/XNUMX/XNUMX - I think makes it clear why President Biden and the Democrats are concerned about democracy in America. The future role that Greene and the MAG A faction will play in the Republican House of Representatives is a yardstick for whether it is the GO P. manages to get away from Donald Trump to solve. After Greene's first election victory, 2020, in a rural district in Georgia had the sober strategist and minority leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, labeled such views as "cancers" in the party, which would certainly be rectified in the next election. He may have overlooked where the Republican Party would go during the Trump presidency.

It was certainly foreseeable that Biden would take over from the Republican governor larry hogan from Maryland would not reach Republicans described as "die-hard" Trump supporters with his democracy speeches. The speeches were important nonetheless

  • as a call to the perhaps not very large number of the thoughtful;
  • as a call to its own base that going to the polls is urgently needed;
  • as evidence for later times that should democracy in America actually be damaged, there were warning voices.

The Supreme Court provided an issue that fueled voter turnout

There's an old adage: you're always smarter afterwards... Some Republican candidates had to pay tribute to this adage after the Supreme Court on June 24.6.2022th, XNUMX the right to abortion, which had been guaranteed by an earlier judgment, had been revoked and the regulatory competence had been transferred to the states. For decades, many Republicans had opposed the verdict Roe vs Wade fought from 1973. Now the goal was reached and Roe vs Wade overturned - but apart from the jubilation of the abortion opponents, a wave of indignation and protest went through America.

As finally in the conservative Kansas On August 2.8.2022, XNUMX, an initiative to anchor the abortion ban in the state constitution failed, many Republicans became aware of the explosive nature of this topic. Some candidates have the previous attitude abortion and against ProChoice on their own website Kansas deleted or worded "softer". Don Balduc, the Republican Senate candidate in New Hampshire thought the issue of abortion was an attempt to distract from the "really important things" (, 12.10.2022:  "Abortion Is Motivating Voters, but Republicans Would Rather Change the Subject").

It helped Don Balduc Not. He lost the race to his Democratic opponent Maggie Hasan with a 10 percent deficit. Also Herschel Walker, the Republican Senate candidate in Georgia, became caught up with the issue of abortion. During the election campaign he came out as an absolute opponent of abortion, not even wanting to allow abortion in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. His creed cracked when a former girlfriend said he paid for an abortion and tried to get her to have a second one. Walker lost to the previous senator on November 8.11.2022, XNUMX Raphael Warnock only narrowly and ultimately lost in the necessary run-off election on December 6.12.2022th, XNUMX.

The verdict of Supreme Court on June 24.6.2022, XNUMX brought tailwind for the Democrats and fundamentally changed the situation for the Republicans. For many years they had generally described their position as "pro-life and anti-abortion". Now they had to make concrete proposals for the pending regulations at the state level. All of a sudden, Republican lawmakers were confronted with difficult and emotional keywords: child rape, life-threatening medical complications during pregnancy, or the shattering diagnosis that the fetus is in a rare but threatening condition. (...) In such discussions, Republicans have had to recognize how what was once an easy way to mobilize their own supporters has shifted to another level.”

So what should and could Republicans do about abortion? "One question - many answers," she said New York Times in their daily news summary TheMorning Celebration. "It all depends on who you ask" (, 12.10.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Republicans spent decades trying to end Roe, but the reality of banning abortion has become a burden on the party"). The result – and this development will continue – is a patchwork of regulations, depending on which party has the majority in which state. In the democratically governed states, there is often a constitutional or statutory arrangement similar to what Roe vs Wade had specified. In the Republican-governed states, the range of regulations extends from a total and absolute ban on abortion to very different exceptions, such as in the case of rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother. The consequences are already foreseeable: many court cases and so-called "abortion tourism" between the states. A pacification of American society was achieved by the judgment of Supreme Court from June 24.6.2022, XNUMX not reached.

In all states in which a referendum on abortion was scheduled for November 8.11.2022, XNUMX, supporters of the right to abortion won (per choice) and this even in republican-governed states like Kentucky or Montana and also in a "swing state" like Michigan. "The abolition of Roe vs Wade helped keep the Senate blue (blue is the Democrat color). She almost prevented the Republicans from gaining a majority in the House of Representatives. Exit polls suggest that abortion was just behind inflation as the top issue of the election, and 76 percent of those who named abortion the top issue voted Democrats" (, 21.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: “The Pro-Life Movement Made a Bargain With Trump, and It Has Paid Dearly”; guest post by David French).

David French, the author of this NYT guest post is committed to pro-live movement. As an opponent of abortion, he gives interesting insights into the dilemma in which Pro Life advised: “Those of us who are in the legal trenches against Roe fought believe it (roe) was both constitutionally unfounded and fundamentally unjust. The constitution never provided for prohibiting the state from protecting unborn life. But the legal arguments against abortion are not the same as the moral arguments.” A remarkable finding – in hindsight – and French continues: “With the repeal of Roe (by the verdict of June 24.6.2022, XNUMX) abortion was not banned, but the possibilities of the legislature to regulate and restrict it were greatly expanded.” And now describes French the consequences for them pro-life movement from the judgment: “The agreement of the pro-life movement with Trumpism Roe Quitting it comes at a high cost, as discussions are now moving out of the courtroom and into the hearts and minds of everyday voters.” In other words, the state-level discussion of abortion is no longer about bringing legal arguments to new judges to convince but about politics and election campaigns, with all their autonomy. And so describes French the dilemma of some farsighted activists Pro-Life Movement: “The ethos of the Trumpist-dominated Republican Party is fundamentally incompatible with the ethos of a healthy one pro-life movement. The reason for this is simple: Trumpism is based on hostility: the pro-life movement based on love, including love for the bitterest political opponent. (Perhaps an idealized description, because the hostilities of women in front of the doors of clinics pro-life activists was not always lovingly managed. But his observation is certainly correct: the shifting of the disputes from the courtroom into the state parliaments and finally into the election campaigns will fundamentally change these disputes.

Then describes French his attitude towards Donald Trump: „Donald Trump deserves credit for nominating the judges who helped Roe to revise. Something else happened during his presidency. For the first time since the Carter presidency, America's abortion rate has risen. For the first time in 30 years, the number of abortions has increased. The abortion rate during the Pro-Life Presidency of Reagan, Bush and Bush is fallen. She also fell during the Pro Choice Presidency of Clinton and Obama. However, she went under at the top Donald Trump.

A remarkable finding that makes it clear that during the Trump presidency in American society and in the field of morality developments were initiated, the after-effects of which extend far beyond the visible bad events - such as on January 6.1.2021th, XNUMX. the Pro-life activist French has apparently recognized that he cannot solve the new problems with his moral approach of love with the representatives in the political sphere - especially with those who changed their websites in the further course of the discussions after the judgment of June 24.6.2022, XNUMX. He seems to suspect that the future visions of parts of the pro-life movement, who plead for more help and advice for pregnant women, in the hands of "Christian nationalists" such as Marjorie Taylor Greene are not in good hands. How far this throughout pro-life movement has already been recognized, I can not assess. Sooner or later, the Republicans in the House of Representatives will bring up their old demands for further reductions in American health insurance, which is already weak. As is Pro Life react when it comes to benefits for pregnant women? 

Pro Life will have to seek cooperation with the Democrats in the future. However writes French about the ethos of the previous opponents, the Pro Choice Movement nothing. It would be interesting to find out if and how he and the pro-life movement could imagine working with the Democrats. A first step could be "rhetorical disarmament". The accusation of “infanticide” that has been used again and again should be removed from the vocabulary of Pro Life be deleted.   

Subchapters: Not the swing voters, but the voter turnout decides

An interesting aspect that goes far beyond the topic abortion goes out, treated Ezra Klein, an opinion columnist New York Times. With many figures he documents a long-running process in American society:

In 1952, only 50 percent of voters believed there were major differences between Democrats and Republicans. In 1984, 62 percent shared this opinion, in 2004 it was 76 percent, and in 2020 90 percent of the electorate saw major differences between the two parties. Differences are also evident in the mutual personal contact between the elected officials and the management staff. So let about Donald Trump in the 2016 election campaign his fans with the keyword "Hillary Clinton' chanting, 'Lock them up! Lock them up!” The political opponent has meanwhile become the enemy and finally the enemy of the state.

Ezra Klein concludes: “These differences between the parties made swing voters not only an endangered species, but bizarre creatures. How confused must their ideas about politics be that they can regularly oscillate between Republicans and Democrats?” (, 22.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Three Theories That Explain This Strange Moment"). 

The fact that the electorate is firmly walled in parties that are hardly able to find compromises among themselves has a strange consequence: the party will not win an election that attracts as many swing voters as possible from the other side – the gap between has become much too large for the respective program. The party that can mobilize its base to vote will win. This is exactly what the Democrats largely achieved on November 8.11.2022th, XNUMX. A further analysis of the New York Times noted. “In a typical midterm election, such as 2010 or 2014, voter turnout falls by about 20 percent compared to the presidential election. With the abortion judgment of Supreme Short On June 24.6.2022, XNUMX, the Democrats received an election campaign issue that turned everything that had previously applied to the midterm elections upside down. “The Democrats suddenly found an issue to fuel their electoral base. Before the ruling, many Republicans had won their candidate status in the primary because they Pro Life and argued against abortion. After the verdict, they watched as many women and young people registered to vote. Democrats recognized the impact of this issue. As part of an election review at CNN it was mentioned that the Democrats spent over $350 million on campaign ads on this topic (CNN, 25.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX; "Inside Politics").

There was a warning shot for those with the topic abortion operating Republican candidates than the Republicans in the conservative state Kansas On August 2.8.2022, XNUMX, they tried to overturn the right to abortion enshrined in the constitution through a referendum and thus clearly failed. Some candidates recognized the effect of this "game changer" and completely removed their previous rigorous statements against abortion on their websites or washed them down.

David French refers in his already cited guest contribution in the New York Times on exit surveys. Accordingly, for many, the issue of abortion was second only to the issue of inflation. It nearly cost the Republicans a narrow majority in the House of Representatives. In which states and to what extent these exit surveys were conducted shared French not with.

Michelle goldberg, described Republicans' dilemma on this issue in one sentence in her NYT column: "When it comes to the right to reproductive choice, Republicans have simply lost touch with the values ​​of a significant portion of the electorate.", 9.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX "Republicans Did Not Read the Room").

Inflation – The Republican campaign issue

What are Americans most worried about? What topics do they have midterms decided? I've sometimes had the impression that the future of democracy in the United States will be decided at the gas station pumps. Inflation in the country was measured by the rise in gasoline prices. But apparently many voters were smart enough to realize that not the President in the White House or the Democrats in Congress, but Putin and the attack on Ukraine were and are responsible for the economic problems - not only in the USA.

After the election, this sentence is easy to write down. First of all, the election researchers determined that the rising prices for petrol, food and rents are what worries the electorate the most. Initially, however, the White House – similar to the ECB – spoke of inflation as a temporary phenomenon. In February 2022, a group of Democratic senators called on President Biden to freeze the federal tax on gas. On August 16.8.2022, XNUMX, the President signed the Inflation Reduction Act with the price for insulin capped in addition to high amounts spent on climate protection and energy and Medicare (part of the American health care system) to negotiate the price of prescription drugs themselves. But, as the election researchers found, "the voters hardly know anything about this law and what it says." Inflation Reduction Act It became known above all because the law could result in competitive disadvantages for European companies on the American market.

On November 9.11.2022th, XNUMX – the day after the election – the New York Times a report that included the less-than-optimistic message for Democrats: "Inflation dominated the election while Democrats looked for answers" (, 9.11.2022: "Five Takeaways From a Red Wave That Didn't Reach the Shore"). Towards the end of the election campaign, our newspapers also adopted this negative touch for the Democrats. On November 4.11.2022th, XNUMX write the Southgerman newspaper: "People in the US suffer from inflation. That could be an advantage for the Republicans: the higher the prices, the less approval the president receives Joe Biden.” Then to back it up: According to a survey by the conservative daily newspaper Wall Street Journal From the beginning of November that is exactly what will happen: The Republican Party will win the majority in Congress. And that's because voters who don't follow politics very closely looked at their wallets. Those who look at their wallets are concerned about inflation - and are therefore ready to vote for candidates from the opposition party (, 4.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "When he took over the government, he ruined everything").

The reference to “voters who do not follow politics very intensively” is noteworthy here. Apparently there weren't as many disinterested people as there was at the end of it Wall Street Journal  had suspected.

As already explained, there were other important campaign issues in addition to the issue of the economy and inflation. There was the threat to the free democratic system, which became obvious when the Capitol was stormed on January 6.1.2021, XNUMX. The various issues were of different importance to different age and social groups and mobilized the electorate in different ways. I want to come back to the subject of abortion. There is broad consensus in the media that this issue has completely transformed the election campaign. the New York Times wrote from one Gamechanger (, 9.11.2022: "Five Takeaways From a Red Wave That Didn't Reach the Shore").  

The Süddeutsche Zeitung describes the emotional roller coaster ride among the voters: “It only seemed a few months ago after the end of Roe v. Calf, that this discussion could save the Democratic Party. Then it looked as if the Republicans were now primarily concerned with the enormously increased prices at the gas pumps and in the supermarket. This election Tuesday finally showed that the Republicans had underestimated the outrage over the revised abortion ruling by the Supreme Court and the Democrats benefited from the mobilization.”  (, November 10.11.2022, XNUMX: "How the abortion debate helped decide the midterms").

Inflation or Abortion? Which topic made a significant contribution to the election result of the Midterms? The course and outcome of the race for the Senate seat in New Hampshire shows an example of where a key focus ultimately lay. The Republicans had calculated a good chance of winning the seat with their von Donald Trump supported candidate, the former general Don Bolduc to win. The Democratic Senator Maggie Hasan was first elected to the Senate in the last election and stood for re-election for the first time in 2022. The election campaign developed into a model battle over the decisive campaign issue. Bolduc in a fierce candidate debate on October 17.10.2022, XNUMX, blamed his opponent for the inflation across the board. He has previously described the issue of abortion as a “distraction maneuver” from the really important problems.” The residents of New Hampshire forced to choose between "heating" and "eating" because of inflation.

According to the report of New York Times showed about the debate Maggie Hasan was weak on the issue of inflation and tried to sidestep that issue - much like this Don Balduc tried on the subject of abortion. The voters in New Hampshire were able to clearly decide what was important to them: in the end, they won Hassan the Senate seat by a margin of 10 percent. Trump had support Bolduc useless, maybe even harm him. During the election campaign, he had made ambiguous statements about Trump's favorite topic, the "stolen election". In the primary in which he won the Republican nomination, he vehemently rejected the 2020 result – during the campaign itself he said the election was fair and free. (Reports on the election campaign in NH:, 12.10.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Abortion Is Motivating Voters, but Republicans Would Rather Change the Subject";, 27.10.2022: "Hassan's challenger, Don Bolduc, goes on the offensive, but stumbles into contradictions").

Further election analyzes are to be expected in the near future, with the help of which it will ultimately become clear which issue was decisive. Those for whom the issue of abortion was particularly important voted predominantly democratically. They went to the polls in large numbers.

Donald Trumps candidates were often weak

Like hardly any other previous President has Donald Trump in the election campaign Miderms introduced, not to say interfered. Trump was already actively involved in the primaries to nominate Republican candidates. His private estate in Mar-a-Lago in Florida became a place of pilgrimage for candidates and those who wanted to become one. Trump became something of a "kingmaker". He was obviously preparing his own candidacy for 2024 and his primary goal was not to "supply" the party with competent and promising candidates.

After a comprehensive presentation of Süddeutsche Zeitung Trump has endorsed 199 candidates for the Senate, House of Representatives and governorships in the primaries. Of these, 189 won the primaries, becoming official candidates for the GOP At first glance, a very good result for the Trumpists. The SZ examined this result a little more closely: "For 70 percent of the Trump candidates, it was clear from the outset that they would prevail in the primaries. Trump attached himself to their already successful campaign as a kind of free rider, sometimes just a few days before the election date. Sometimes there was no challenger within the party either.”

Another number from the SZ report is interesting: 137 of the Trump candidates were described as so-called “election deniers”; Election deniers or election skeptics who believe Biden is not the rightful president. Trump used two criteria when supporting candidates:

  1. Is "his" candidate ready to defend the "stolen election" myth?
  2. Has a candidate ever criticized Trump or even helped certify Biden's election? If such candidates ran again, Trump supported the opposing candidates in the primaries.

A special example of case group 2 was the gubernatorial election in Georgia. There stood the Republican incumbent Brian Kemp for re-election. But Kemp had refused Trump in 2020 and certified Biden's election. As a result, he fell out of favor with Trump, who supported the opposing candidate in the primaries – in retaliation, so to speak David Perdue, but this lost hands down against kemp, who was reelected governor of Georgia on November 8.11.2022, XNUMX. It is spicy that Kemp in the election campaign of Trump's former vice president Mike Pence had been supported. His behavior was interpreted as a step to break away from his former boss.

A similar picture emerges for the candidates for the House of Representatives supported by Trump: Trump supported 149 Republicans, 105 of whom denied the outcome of the 2020 election, and a further 9 expressed doubts. An example of "Trump's Revenge" was his support for Harriet Hageman, which is the seat of liz cheney took over. However, was Cheney not only “punished” by Trump—she was one of the 10 Republican congressmen who voted to impeach Trump for his involvement in the 6.1.2021/12.5.2021/XNUMX storming of the Capitol. Already on May XNUMXth, XNUMX liz cheney from the GO P. faction in the House of Representatives voted out of the faction leadership and virtually cleared to be shot down. "With her, a voice will disappear from the Republican faction that defends the basic values ​​of democracy with loyalty to principles," she wrote Suddeutsche Zeitung. your successor Harriet Hageman had – in the spirit of Trump – described the 2020 presidential election as “mockery” and “manipulated” (, 2.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Trump's loyal candidates").

In the Senate, the weakness of Trump's nominees had particularly serious consequences for Republicans. Trump had supported 8.11.2022 Republicans out of the 35 senators up for election on November 23, XNUMX. In the end, the Democrats got the Republicans in Pennsylvania lost a seat in the Senate and thus expanded their previous wafer-thin majority. The one supported by Trump Mehmed Oz lost in Pennsylvania against the Democrat John Fetterman. The one also supported by Trump Herschel Walker lost on 6.12.2202/XNUMX/XNUMX in Georgia the runoff against the Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock

This runoff in Georgia is interesting for several reasons: Raphael Warnock was the first African-American to vote in a by-election on January 5.1.2021, XNUMX Georgia been elected to the Senate. Now he was able to defend his seat on November 8.11th/December 6.12.2022th, XNUMX. He is considered a rising star among Democrats, not least because of his ability to work together across party lines. the New York Times refers to the previous senior pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta – the church in the past Martin Luther King preached - as a deeply religious man and as a political practitioner who has long understood that "church work does not end at the church door but only begins there." Republicans see warnocks political skills ambiguous. He was "the best actor ever in Georgia gave,” said Brian C Robinson, the former Republican governor's spokesman Nathan DealWith his talent he stands at the top Clinton and Obama (, December 7.12.2022, XNUMX: “A Pastor and Politician Who Sees Voting as a Form of Prayer”). One becomes Senator Raphael Warnock from Georgia definitely hear more in the future.

The Republicans also had an African-American, the former football star, as an opponent Herschel Walker set up, which was supported by Trump. What this defeat of “his” candidate means for Trump is summarized by New York Times summarized as follows: “The defeat of Mr Walker, handpicked by Mr. Trump is the culmination of a disastrous year for the former president, who saw himself as a Republican kingmaker only to see his Senate nominees in Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire and his nominees for governor in Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia were either beaten in the primary or last month's election." (, December 6/7.12.2022, 51: Warnock Beats Walker, Giving Democrats XNUMXst Senate Seat”).

With the now through Warnock achieved 51 votes in the Senate, the Democrats may be the ominous Filibuster Rule not overcome, 60 votes are required for this. But it will be a little easier for them to get their nominees through for key government and judgeships that require Senate approval. Democrats also have an advantage when it comes to appointments to Senate committees. There is now a counterbalance in case the Republicans should try to make life difficult for the government with committees of inquiry with their majority in the House of Representatives (, 6-7.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: Democrats Didn't Just Win Georgia. They Secured a Firmer Grip on the Senate.").

I have already briefly touched on the defeats of the Trump candidates in various states. The results in New Hampshire and Snowfall. In New Hampshire Republicans had hoped to take the Senate seat from Democrats. But the Trump-backed candidate Don Bolduc lost the election. Likewise, Republican hopes were dashed Snowfall. The Republican lost there Adam Laxaltthe previous senator Catherine Cortez Masto could maintain the seat for the Democrats.

In the decisive disputes, the Trump candidates did not achieve what the party base had hoped for in the respective primaries. The veteran tactician and leader of the Republican minority faction in the Senate, Mitch McConnell was right; Even before the election, he complained about the "quality" of the Republican candidates. the New York Times put it this way: “Trump saddled weak candidates for the Republicans” (, 9.11.2022: "Five Takeaways From a Red Wave That Didn't Reach the Shore").

Back to the runoff in Georgia. Thomas Spang, the USA correspondent of the Heilbronn voice names in a comment who is responsible for the defeat there: Trump was in Georgia gambled and helped the Democrats. “This time the ex-president helped Warnock, by using Herschel Walker promoted a candidate who seemed neither intellectually nor emotionally equal to the office for which he was applying. (...) Once again, Trump underestimated the intelligence of the voters. (…) The historic election Raphael Warnocks is another nail in the coffin of Trumpism” (Heilbronn voice, December 8.12.2022, XNUMX: "Voters underestimated"; comment by Thomas Spang).

Note: On December 8.12.2022, XNUMX, the Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona announced that she was leaving the Democratic Party and would remain in the Senate as an independent. I have more details than Breaking News - 9.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX described in the Midterms Results section. The exact consequences cannot yet be foreseen, as it is still unclear whether Cinema will remain a member of the Democratic Senate faction, as have two independent senators to date.

Sarah Palin and Kari Lake - The failure of two Trump icons

The media followed the race for the governorship with particular attention arizona, where the absolute Trump supporter Kari Lake ran for Republican and what's happening in Alaska, where the former icon of Tea Party Movement Sarah Palin tried to make up for the ditch of the summer of 2022 when she lost the by-election for a seat in the House of Representatives that had become vacant. Both candidates were Donald Trump supported and both lost the election on November 8.11.2022th, XNUMX. Both their political statements and the aggressive nature of their appearance may have contributed to their defeat. In addition, the close relationship to Donald Trump also had a negative impact.

In Arizona wanted the former news anchor of the conservative television station Fox News in Phoenix, AR defend the governorship for the Republicans. the previous incumbent, Doug Ducey, was not allowed to stand again after two terms of office.

Kari Lake represented the full program of MAGA Republican: She wanted Dr Anthony Fauci, arrest the outstanding corona expert in the USA, propagated scientifically untested Covid-19 therapies and supported Trump's "Big Lie" that the 2020 election result was falsified. Kari Lake reiterated Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric and pledged to oppose the "invasion" on the southwestern border Arizona's to have Trump's wall completed.    

On the battlefields of Culture War she particularly liked to act. She praised a state law Arizona from 1864 and criticized medical interventions in transgender people. In other states, such as Arkansas, Tennessee and Florida, the hormone treatment of transgender minors has already been banned by law. In Arkansas had the Republican governor Asa Hutchinson vetoed the prohibition law of April 2021, but was overruled in the state parliament with the required majority by his own party friends. At the Federal Court in Little Rock, AR for the first time in America a procedure for the review of such a prohibition law is pending (, 4.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "After Arkansas Trial, Judge Weigh's Legality of Ban on Care for Transgender Youth").     

Echoing Trump, she referred to news reporters as "the devil's right hand." Previous TV colleagues had Kari Lake remembered very differently. She advocated more gun control and liberal ideas on immigration and drag queens Barack and Michelle Obama admired and to Obama campaign donated. the New York Times writes of a metamorphosis that shocked former colleagues and acquaintances. Among other things, it is quoted Richard stevens, the known as Drag Queen Barbra Seville public appearance. Stevens share with, Kari Lake got him earlier as a commentator too LGBTQ issues invited to her programs and she often visited his drag shows. He's even in lakes house as Barbra Seville occurred – in the presence of the children.

Apparently recognized Kari Lake the consequences of this metamorphosis. She mourned the loss of old friends and explained to her fans that she could not understand that her former TV colleagues were now her and too Donald Trump attacked unfairly. "But I'll tell you something: All the patriotic and America-loving friends I've made make up for me a million fold for the ones I've lost." 

Kari Lake designed their performances according to Trump's model, with interspersed film snippets, accompanied by music. I will report on their ugly gaffes elsewhere. came in the election campaign Barack Obama in support of the opposing candidate Katie Hobbs to Phoenix and, full of bitter irony, drew a line of connection from Trump Lake: "Had we not just chosen someone whose core qualities were in television, we might [with Kari Lake) dare to try” (, 5.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "In Arizona, Kari Lake Worked in Local TV News. Now She Calls Reporters 'Monsters'").

The election campaign for the governorship in Arizona was violent. When the votes were counted, the majority changed several times. In the end, the soft-spoken former social worker and interior minister won Katie Hobbs with a slim majority. The two candidates could not have been more different. Kari Lake: Loud and aggressive in the style of Trump and trained through many years of TV experience for great appearances in front of the camera - she described Katie Hobbs as a coward and chicken because these had refused to have a debate with Brine to perform on the big stage. Hobbs preferred smaller events, house parties, round table talks.

The main topics of the two candidates could be clearly assigned:

  • Inflation, safe borders and "stolen election". lake;
  • right to abortion and safeguarding democracy hobbs.

And similarly as by the judgment of Supreme Court of June 24.6.2022, 23.9.2022, the dispute was completely reprogrammed on September 1864, XNUMX, when a judge cleared a law from XNUMX of the dust of history and thereby in Arizona Abortions were banned almost without exception. Kari Lake called the old law "a great law" and said she would support further restrictions as governor. Katie Hobbs referred to the now out of a hat Prohibition Act of 1864 as "law from the Old West" and announced that the Prohibition Act would be revoked (, 29.9.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "In Tight Arizona Governor's Race, a Democrat Looks to Abortion to Win").

So the stage was set for the decision on November 8.11.2022th, XNUMX. Probably has too Kari Lake the urgency of the topic abortion underestimated and she lost the election. The result was: Hobbs – 50,4 percent;  Brine – 49,6 percent. The rise of a new star in the MAGA sky expected by Trump should therefore be over for the time being. I want to briefly describe the further descent of the star in the former Tea Party sky.

Sarah Palin first came into the limelight of a broad American public in 2006 when she was surprisingly elected governor of Alaska was chosen. Two years later, in 2008, she caught up John McCain as a running mate (runner-up for vice president) to his team, yes McCain lost the election against Barack ObamaJohn McCain has the calling of Sarah Palin later referred to as gambling. the New York Times wrote from one Hail Mary Pass – that last attempt at football, wanting to decide a game shortly before the final whistle by throwing a pass – simply far forward. 

Palin did not completely disappear from public view even after the lost election. When Tea party icon and as a Fox News Star she remained present. It paved the way for a kind of political rhetoric early on, and it did so years later Donald Trump should bring to completion. Palin spoke of the "blue-bloods" in the leadership of the Republican Party. Trump spoke of the "RINOs" - Republicans in name only" - Republicans in name only".  Palin spoke of the "lame stream media" in corruption of the term "main stream media". Trump has labeled the media that criticized him as "fake news" and "enemies of the people." Palin came across for her staidity, making people feel like "She's one of us". She was a working mother and had a young son with her Down syndrom, a daughter who became pregnant in her teens just as the mother was going public nationwide in 2008 and a son who served with the US Army in Iraq (, 23.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Sarah Palin Loses as the Party She Helped Transform Moves Past Her"). 

The attempt to re-enter big politics failed for Palin initially in the summer of 2022. After the death of a Republican congressman on August 16.8.2022, XNUMX in Alaska a by-election held by the Democrat Mary Peltola against the Sarah Palin - although these from Donald Trump was supported - won. For the first time in 50 years, the Democrats got this seat in the House of Representatives, but with the end of the legislative period had to Arable land compete again on 8.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX and won again. Mary Peltola is the first representative of the indigenous population Alaskans in the House of Representatives. She attaches particular importance to the traditional close cooperation between Democrats and Republicans in Alaska. Peltola and Palin are friends. After her first entry into Congress, she immediately contacted the two members Alaskans up in the Senate.      

With the renewed defeat, the political career is likely Sarah Palin be finished first. But their heiresses are in the starting blocks. "Although she may have lost," she wrote New York Times even before election day, “it won the war in a broader cultural sense. A new generation of Republican women stands ready to carry on her complex legacy.” Als Palin impersonators name them NYT Michele bachmann from Minnesota and Christine O'Donnell from Delaware. They too are no longer in the political limelight. Currently standing now Lauren Boebert from Colorado, Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia and Kari Lake from Arizona an the front.

The missteps of Sarah Palin - she spoke of "Going Rogue" and felt like "Mama Grizzly" - may be, if not forgiven, at least largely forgotten. The new generation of Republican roughnecks are not. At this year's conference of Moms for Liberty under the motto "Joyful Warriors held Florida's governor Ron De Santis the main speech. the "Joyful Warriors" could possibly 2024 along with DeSantis to be in the front row of Republicans (, 5.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "The Unruly Heirs of Sarah Palin").

Why were many pollsters wrong?

Election researchers and pollsters never tire of emphasizing that they cannot predict the final result of an election, what will be announced after all the votes have been counted. You don't have a glass miracle ball with which you can see into the future. “There is a lot of interest in election polls. But be careful: These only show mood pictures, but are not predictions of the election result," explained the Brandenburg Center for Civic Education in a paper on the 2017 federal election. "Election polls show us mood pictures. They provide us with indications of the current mood in the country. We learn how certain politicians are rated, what issues people are concerned about. In this respect, election polls not only have this strategic and playful aspect, 'How does the election actually turn out', but they are also an important tool for politics to find out what the general public actually thinks" (Brandenburg State Center for Civic Education, August 2017: "Election polls - how meaningful are they really?")

Interim remark: On the different meaning of election forecasts in the USA and here:

In the American two-party system, it's a question of “red” or “blue” – a relatively simple starting point for pollsters. The media find their way almost automatically to the current political agenda of the two parties: What does it mean if the Democrats win? What will happen if Republicans win?

In Germany and other countries with a multi-party system, evaluating an election forecast is more complicated. Politicians and the media are in danger of getting lost in speculation about "who" with "whom" and thereby lose sight of the political content and consequences.

Although these findings are well known, election forecasts repeatedly tempt not only politicians but also the media and other representatives of public opinion to draw a line of connection to the (actually possible) election outcome. This is happening not only here, but also in America.

The closer Election Day (8.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX) got, the worse the forecasts for the Democrats became and the better the chances of victory for the Republicans seemed. The furthest had itself Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican group leader and future leaders Speakers of the House leaning out the window. He had predicted – albeit as early as 2021 – that the Republicans would win more than 60 seats (, 16.11.2022/8.11.2022/XNUMX: "How Is It Possible That We Are Still Talking About This Man?"). In the days after November XNUMXth, XNUMX, as more and more results came in, all these forecasts tipped over. Many pollsters, politicians and journalists were wrong. Some admitted their misjudgements.    

As I had hoped, there are now initial investigations into the special role of the pollster among the Midterms 2022. The New York Times published an extensive report on 31.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX entitled: "The 'Red Wave' Washout: How Skewed Polls Fed a False Election Narrative", 31.12.2022). The report provides a detailed analysis, based on the NYT's own research and testimonies from politicians and election researchers. At this point I just want to summarize the NYT report roughly:

Forecasting companies and institutions close to the Republicans, such as Fox News with its moderator Sean Hannity and Steve Bannons podcast "War Room" pushed each other so high with what they believed to be the "Red Wave" to be expected, until they were finally able to announce a "Red Tsunami". However, the Republican victory was not nearly as great. 

Details from the report New York Times I will quote at the end of this chapter. First of all, I want to reproduce my original text, which I wrote before the NYT was published, unchanged - in a way as a somewhat disordered example of an attempt to answer the question: "Why were many pollsters wrong?" The excerpts and quotations from the NYT report should then arrange the attempt somewhat.

The conservative columnist New York Times Ross Douthat, summed up his surprise at the outcome of the election in these telling statements: “I denied myself the Midterms 2022 making too many specific predictions, but I'm sure readers could see what I expected: My pre-election columns particularly highlighted the problems facing Democrats and less the difficulties of the GOP (Republicans)" (, 11.11.2022/2022/XNUMX: "The XNUMX results show why it's always smarter to bet on gridlock"; comment by Ross Douthat").

The NYT opinion columnist Michelle goldberg began her comment the day after the election with the sentence: "I admit it: I was tricked by the right and by political analysts who listened to the right." Elsewhere she wrote that it might take some time to find out why the Republicans did worse than expected. "Perhaps people care more about the integrity of our democracy than the 'wise men' want to give them credit for. Perhaps they were also put off by the way Republicans felt about the attack on the husband of Nancy Pelosi made fun of.”

In the final phase of the election campaign, there was intense discussion about which issue would ultimately decide the election: inflation or abortion? Michelle goldberg describes how difficult the liberal magazine Political in answering this question. After the constitutional referendum in Kansas on August 2.8.2022, XNUMX, when an overwhelming majority voted against removing the right to abortion from the constitution, the forecasts showed an extremely close race, especially in some disputed states. one of Political A poll commissioned by Congress found 48 percent Democrats and 43 percent Republicans. After all Political threw his own numbers to the wind and captioned his cover story: "The electorate appears willing to blame the Democrats for the state of the economy - Inflation."

But the decision of Supreme Court On June 24.6.2022, XNUMX, the issue of abortion became the focus of the Democratic election campaign. Republicans countered this with the issue of inflation, and seemed to be doing well with it. the Süddeutsche Zeitung named the following ranking of important campaign issues:

                      Inflation 31 percent

                      abortion 27 percent

                      Crime 11 percent

                      Gun policy 11 percent

                      Migration 10 percent

(, 25.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "How the Abortion Debate Helped the Democrats").

But this series of numbers only allows very general conclusions. In five states, abortion was literally on the ballot. In California, Vermont and Michigan voters voted to enshrine the right to abortion in their respective constitutions. In Kentucky and Montana further tightening was rejected. In Georgia and Pennsylvania this topic contributed significantly to the Democrats winning the respective Senate seat and in Michigan has the Democratic governor, Gretchen Whitmer, successfully defending their post. 

Abortion / Abortion became "game changer" in the election campaign and the abortion opponents, together with the Republicans, may have had this effect through their joyful dances on June 24.6.2022, XNUMX before the Supreme Court and compounded by the announcement of tougher laws in several states. A climax was probably reached when in some states even the distribution of information about abortion was to be made a punishable offence. In Oklahoma Library staff were warned against helping minors to find information on the subject. 

In view of all these developments, the pollsters were able to establish that large numbers of women and younger voters had themselves entered in the voter lists. But how should they change their prognosis samples in terms of age and gender to adapt them to the new, not exactly definable reality? “Young Americans have in record numbers at the midterms participated – and decisively influenced the political landscape,” wrote die S. 

The New York Times identified a specific technical problem: "Public opinion on abortion is difficult to measure because it depends on how the question is asked (, The Morning;  October 12.10.2022, XNUMX: "How voters feel"). the Brandenburg State Center for Civic Education raised the question again in 2017 as to why the election polls for the 2016 American presidential election were not accurate: "In relation to Trump or even right-wing extremist parties, there is also the argument that people simply give wrong answers because they do not want to admit that they have a right-wing or vote for a far-right party. Instead, they say they will vote for another party or not vote at all. It is not known whether the respondents answered honestly. If certain parties are systematically disadvantaged or favored in this way, this too can lead to discrepancies between surveys and final results.”

The Heilbronn voice is this apt sentence: "Surveys are one thing, election results, the other" (Heilbronn voice, December 10.12.2022, XNUMX: "Sharp rhetoric, but no agitators").

The 'Red Wave' Washout: How Skewed Polls Fed a False Election Narrative", 31.12.2022)

As already announced, here are some quotations and explanations from the critical examination of the New York Times why the forecasts of some/many pollsters for the midterms, compared to the actual results, were simply wrong. 

The attentive readers may have noticed that in my previous attempts to explain the consequences of the gamechanger's abortion, technical questions or false information from the voters surveyed, but did not question the professional and objective work of the pollsters. Already in the title of New York Times is implied - there is talk of “distorted polls” – that institutions close to the Republicans in particular, together with right-wing media such as Fox News attempted to create and amplify pro-Republican sentiment. What effects these activities actually had on the election result requires further detailed investigation.

Michelle goldberg from the New York Times recognized this tactic afterwards and admitted that even reputable media and objective journalists "fell for it". She wrote the day after the election: "I admit it: I was tricked by the right and by political analysts who listen to the right." 

The 31.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX NYT report compares the forecast figures from bipartisan institutes in a number of constituencies with those from institutes close to the Republicans. In the race for the Senate seat, in Washington State the senator Patty Murray (D) and the challenger Tiffany smiley (R) across from. The Republican-affiliated institute Trafalgar Group identified a head start for at the end of September Murray with 2 points; in October, two other pro-Republican institutions reported Murray only just ahead, another institute spoke of a dead heat. In contrast, a respected local institute reported in September Murray lead by 13 points; in October it was still a reassuring 8,5 percent and in the end it was victorious Murray with a lead of 14,6 percentage points.   

The found similar differences in the figures of the various institutes NYT also from the contested states Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Colorado (In all three states, Democrats eventually won the Senate seat.)

"Combined with other political factors in Republicans' favor -- such as inflation and the president's poor reputation -- the skewed predictions quickly became the inescapable political narrative: A Republican surge in the election would hit the country in hurricane strength," the report said . Two other factors are mentioned: The institutes close to the Republicans published their forecasts with far less time lag than their non-partisan colleagues. This made it possible for media such as Fox News in their reporting time and again "to top it off". The virtual “bazaar of forecasts” – as one Republican strategist called it – was kept alive in large part by opaque methods of right-wing pollsters, supported in part by fully partisan groups and benefiting from Trump's vociferous fervor. A remarkable description of the situation by an insider!

Fox News runs its own demoscopic institute, which is respected in the professional world. However, from September used Sean Hannity in his show not the numbers of his own institute, but those of Trafalgar and Insider Advantage. They predicted that Republicans in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Georgia would win. "It was not mentioned that that Fox News Institute, whose figures were used in the pure news broadcasts, predicted a race in favor of the Democrats for all of these states.” Armed with such distorted forecasts, for example, said Steve Bannon in his podcast "War Room" repeats win of 50-100 House seats for Republicans. Bannon also leaned on Richard Baris, whose institute is not very well regarded in professional circles. Baris repeatedly spoke of a landslide in favor of the Republicans. In mid-October he spoke of the fact that "the dams were about to collapse"

The report describes in detail what the consequences of the distorted forecasts were for those involved: change in strategy, greater or lesser inflow of donations, diversion of campaign funds from the parties to other countries, resignation or even greater encouragement among campaign workers, etc. This is not reported in detail here will. The journalists of New York Times have asked various institutes for statements on the subject. Robert Cahaly from the Trafalgar Group declined a personal interview, but said in a short statement that wrong predictions can happen in this business.

Shrill tones during the election campaign and afterwards

Distrust, intolerance, hatred and violence are terms that will occupy America for a long time to come. The world out there - especially where the USA is not a role model but the opponent - is certainly watching with quiet joy everything that is happening in America that is bad and damaging to democracy. The self-stubborn forces in American society do not seem to notice the gloating of the potentates out there, or they do not care about what is thought, spoken and written about their country out there. That Donald Trumps "Big Lie," the lie about the "stolen election, had and still has dire consequences is well known. The "Big Lie" also had an impact on the election campaign and the time thereafter.

To describe the verbal violence in American politics and the results of the investigative committee on the storming of the Capitol on January 6.1.2021th, XNUMX, in which five people lost their lives and many police officers were injured. We should also write about the inhuman gun craze, to which schoolchildren in particular fall victim almost every day. You cannot be the price of freedom. 

Subchapters: The "AR-15 cult": More anger, more fear, increasing arms sales

The New York Times recently wrote an extensive editorial about the gun craze in the United States. The AR-15 assault rifle became a symbol of this craze. It is estimated that around 25 million rifles of this type are in circulation in America. At most mass shooting, about in Las Vegas, Uvalde, Sandy Hook and Buffalo, the killers were armed with such guns.

The editorial draws a line from gun mania to the violent right wing and the Republican Party. “The AR-15 became a powerful trademark for right-wing voters. The American gun industry has made around $15 billion in sales of AR-10 rifles alone in the last 1 years and has done everything to maintain its status as an almost mystical symbol of power, exaggerated patriotism and masculinity.” This is particularly frightening at a time when violent political rhetoric and actual political violence are on the rise in the United States. 

The NYT bFigures show that the gun craze primarily affects people associated with the American right and the Republican Party. “The intimidating display of guns is no phenomenon of the two parties. It's almost exclusively a problem on the right side of the party spectrum.” The New York Times studied more than 700 demonstrations in which participants openly carried guns and found that about 77 percent of these armed demonstrations promoted right-wing views – such as those against the rights of LGBTQ people, against abortion rights, opposition to racial justice, and support for Trump's "Big Lie" about the 2020 election. 

The American gun lobby donated $1989 million to party organizations and candidates in federal elections from 2022-50,5. 99 percent of direct donations went to Republicans. the New York Times sees a civil war within the Republican Party between those who stand for democracy and peaceful political debate and those who stand for right-wing extremism. “This conflict affects us all; gun fetishism is an integral part of this conflict.”  

In the editorial of NYT stresses the importance of distinguishing between the vast majority of law-abiding gun owners and the small group of extremists. Only about 30 percent of gun owners have an AR-15 or comparable rifle. “The majority supports understandable gun restrictions and opposes political violence. But: “Americans still have to live with a lot of guns for a long time. There are currently more than 415 million guns in circulation, including 25 million semi-automatic military rifles (…) With proper care and storage, guns made today will be fire-ready decades from now. Every month, Americans add about 2 million more to the country's arsenals" (, 10.12.2022-XNUMX-XNUMX: "America's Toxic Gun Culture"; Editorial of the New York Times.

Yet despite these unimaginable numbers, there is also hope for those fighting for gun control and better protection mass shooting.    

The journalist Dave Cullen – he has books about them mass shooting an der Columbine High School in in a suburb of Denver, CO and at a school in Parkland, FL written – wrote an optimistic guest article on December 13.12.2022, XNUMX in the New York Times. He expects from the new Congress – about the one passed in the Senate on June 23.6.2022, 15 with the help of XNUMX Republicans Bipartisan Safer Communities Act beyond - more laws. The key sentence in his op-ed is: “For the first time in decades, Republicans in Congress are taking our call seriously. Finally they show less fear of the NRA (the lobby organization of the gun industry and gun owners) than before us" (, 13.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Republicans Are Breaking With the NRA, and It's Because of Us").

Recently published figures show how urgent it is to follow up this optimism with further legal measures. Accordingly, guns are the leading cause of death among American children and adolescents. From the age group of 1 – 19 die in the USA, converted to 1 million people, 56,2 people by arms. In Canada it is 6,2 in France 3,1, in Australia 1,6 and in Germany 1 person. In addition, the shocking sentence: “If they had USA a gun fatality rate (what a depressing term!) comparable to Canada, 2010 fewer children would have died since 26.000. But the trend went in the opposite direction: the number of youths and younger children killed by guns went up USA upwards while elsewhere they sink (...) Into the USA there are more guns than people" (, The Morning, December 15.12.2022, XNUMX: “Gun violence and children”).

Now back to the initial topic of this section, the "shrill noises" in the American election campaign, the "Big Lie" with which Trump and his supporters triggered the storming of the Capitol, which killed several people and injured many police officers. The raised index finger from Europe does not seem appropriate to me. In Germany, too, there are supporters of conspiracy fantasies and groups who want to destroy the free democratic system. the Heilbronn voice reports that in the crisis year 2022 the number of politically motivated crimes in Baden-Württemberg increased. is quoted Thomas Strobl, the country's interior minister with the words: "Hateful thoughts become words and words become deeds" (Heilbronn voice, January 3.1.2023, XNUMX: "Potential for violence at a high level").    

There are many serious voices in America addressing the country's problems and urging change, and there are signs of change (which many Americans find too slow): In Georgia the state's first black senator was elected, and Alaska sends the first indigenous lawmaker to the House of Representatives. "There is a highly political generation growing up in America," she reports Suddeutsche Zeitung. Not only in elections, but also among participants in protests or discussions about politics among friends, a strong increase in the generation that now achieves the right to vote is observed. (, 27.11.2022: "The self-proclaimed saviors of democracy"). 

In the Republican Party, voices critical of Donald Trump and the MAGA- Discuss politics. But it is still unclear which direction in the GOP will have the say in the future and whether Donald Trump will be their next presidential candidate. It is still unclear whether the examples of misanthropy that I want to address now will be the reflection of Trumpism or the future normality.

Election campaigning in America is not a friendly scuffle with kid gloves. Violently critical debates about the political agenda of the opponents are part of everyday political life, and not just in the USA. Whoever enters politics has to face arguments about the thing can endure. But especially since Trump's presidency, another moment has come: Personal attacks and the contemptuous disparagement of politicians were and have become an integral part of his way of dealing with the matter. In the 2016 election campaign, he Hillary Clinton always covered with disparaging epithets. He did the same in 2020 Joe BidenNancy Pelosi, the Majority Leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives and speakers of the house was always the “Crazy Nancy” for Trump. Such accusations were and are always well received at Trump rallies. No wonder that Trump impersonators such as Marjorie Taylor Greene have adopted these "habits" of the role model. Taylor Greene effect Pelosi publicly referred to as a "bitch" and said he didn't have to apologize for it.

This way of dealing with political opponents has long-term consequences. When on 28.10.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX a follower of conspiracy theories and Trump fan – die New York Times described the intruder as "eaten with darkness" - into the private home of Pelosi in San Francisco penetrated and pelose seriously injured husband, I missed a sentence Heinrich Heines tragedy "almansor" a. (The play was published in 1823 and refers to the burning of 5.000 works of Islamic theology by the Archbishop of Toledo had ordered in 1499): "That was just a prelude, where books are burned, people are also burned in the end." (The Wikipedia shall Heinrich Heines "Almansor" described in more detail). Transferred to what is happening in San Francisco: Words come first, then actions follow. After all, someone feels called to be the black avenging angel who wants to save the country and its culture. 

That a Trump fan in that Pelosi property entered, equipped with all the equipment to Nancy Pelosi kidnapping and smashing her kneecaps is a perfect example of how hate is driven through words and finally into action. Hopefully all of this will not lead to a bad habit effect: You only have to repeat the lousy statements often enough and hardly anyone takes offense anymore. Trump and Taylor Greene don't apologize anymore. On the contrary: Taylor Greene found after Pelosi slump more malicious remarks.

In a detailed report describes the New York Times like Nancy Pelosi has been the target of demonization and dehumanization by Republicans over the years. It began in 2006, shortly before she became the first woman to be elected to the position Speakers of the House. At the time, the Republicans were producing a parody film about an evil Democratic Empire run by Darth Nancy was quoted – echoing at "Darth Vader", a villain from the Star Wars movies. In 2009, the Rebulican National Committee released a commercial that pelose face framed by the barrel of a revolver; a shot was heard and blood spilled across the screen. There were echoes of the James Bond Movie "Goldfinger". 

In the 2020 Republican Senate primary, a candidate from used Arizona Commercials in the style of "Spaghetti Western". In it there was the figure of "Crazy Face Pelosi" Knife wielding, masked and with large insect eyes at which the contestant shoots.

The NYT describes the consequences of this years-long campaign against the most powerful woman in Washington – the speaker of the House of Representatives is second in line to the president, behind the vice president – ​​as follows: “The language and the images helped to ignite the fire of anger on the right against Ms Pelosi was constantly blown with a toxic brew of conspiracy theories and misinformation that thrived on the internet and social media - barely contradicted by elected Republicans. Ms Pelosi is now one of the most threatened members of Congress in the country.” Following the 28.10.2022/82/XNUMX attack in which her XNUMX-year-old husband Paul Pelosi suffered a fractured skull and other injuries, many Republican politicians condemned the act of violence - the former Vice President Mike Pence expressed his sympathy for Paul Pelosi - however, hardly anyone mentioned the brutal political discourse that spawned the unprecedented wave of threats against political officials (, 30.10.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Pelosi, Vilified by Republicans for Years, Is a Top Target of Threats").

In several NYT reports becomes the 42-year-old attacker David De Pape described as an unstable person who "gamergate" and addicted to extreme right-wing conspiracy theories. acquaintances described DePape as a lonely individual addicted to very worrying thoughts. "gamergate" is a website through which one can access conspiracy theories such as "pizza gate" and "QAnon" receives. He was taken by Trump's right-wing politics. (Information and quotes from:, 30.10.2022:   "Who Is the Man Accused of Attacking Nancy Pelosi's Husband?";, 20.11.2022:   "How the Pelosi Attack Suspect Plunged Into Online Hatred”).   

The attack by an outspoken Trump fan Nancy Pelosi a few days before the election undoubtedly came at a bad time for Republicans. The reported several times NYT about very different reactions and interpretations. Donald Trump even suspected the break-in was staged to hurt Republicans in the election. Several variants floated through the media and the Republican Party; something like this:

  • Paul Pelosi knew the burglar. Trump noted that the reports were incomplete and acted as an investigator: the window on the house had been smashed from the inside;
  • Devin Nunes, a former congressman, falsely reported that the burglar was in his underwear. This gave rise to several rumors about a personal relationship with the burglar Paul Pelosi, which persisted and were disseminated; the keyword "male prostitution" was added and haunted the conservative media.

"Within hours of the brutal attack on Paul Pelosi, the husband of the Speaker of the House, activists and right-wing media began circulating unsubstantiated claims - most sinister and many homophobic (hostile to gays) - with the aim of casting doubt on what was happening (...) The richest man in the World (Elon Musk, the new boss of Twitter) helped spread the stories. But none of them were true." (, 5.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: “How Republicans Fed a Misinformation Loop About the Pelosi Attack”;, 1.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "With Falsehood and Ridicule About Pelosi Attack, Republicans Mimic Trump")

The NYT from 5.11.2022 will be over Tucker Carlson, a moderator of the right-wing TV station Fox News, reported, who also doubted that all the details of the burglary had been made public. Demanded on 2.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX Carlson asked investigators to show police officers' shoulder cam footage (as if the police were already there when the break-in occurred...). And addressed to the critics of conspiracy theories, added Carlson to: “We're not the crazy ones; you are liars There is nothing wrong with asking questions. Point."

And finally, there were statements meant to sound funny: Kari Lake, the Republican nominee for governor in Arizona  commented on the incident in a campaign interview: "Nancy Pelosi, nwell, she'll be well protected when she's in DC (Washington) stops. But her house appears to have very little protection.” The report notes: “The crowd erupted in laughter and the interviewer laughed so hard he hid his face behind his notes” (, 4.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "This Is What Happens When Republicans Tear Off Their Masks"; comment by Jamelle Bouie).  

Opinions... lies...? I don't have an account with Twitter And I'm not usually on social media either. I am shocked and perplexed by the avalanche of opinions, conjectures, fictions and outright lies that Pelosi slump haunted the USA and the minds of many Americans. There, the constitutionally enshrined right to freedom of expression is held in high regard. Arber are false stories and lies worth protecting? The dangerous thing is this shows the Pelosi slump exemplary: The poison spreads like lightning and gets stuck in many people's minds, and the details of the investigation that are published later hardly have a chance: This is how they come about fake news! And many don't even realize it.

The culture war continues

According to the findings of the election researchers, two areas particularly moved the voters: the so-called "Bread and Butter” Themes – this included the keywords inflation, the price development at the petrol pumps and in the supermarket. They came first with 31 percent, followed by the keyword abortion from the subject area of culture war, with 27 percent (, 25.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "How the Abortion Debate Helped the Democrats"). The issue of abortion will continue to occupy the parliaments and courts in many states in the future. A number of Republican politicians have had to recognize that calls for further restrictions and bans will not win elections. 

The New York Times describes in a detailed report that the opponents have started to evaluate the experiences from the election campaign and the election and to develop their future strategies. the NYT  describes the current situation as follows: “Currently they brought midterms little to provide abortions for the more than 34 million women of childbearing age who live in states that have since the repeal of Roe banned abortion. Other states have further restricted abortion in early pregnancy. A representative of the organization Planned Parenthood (Planned Parenthood) stated succinctly: “Before the election, there were 18 states that banned abortion; after the election there were 18 states where abortion was illegal.” 

But the report also points out that Democrats in Michigan, where an initiative to protect abortion in the constitution won, achieved a majority in the state parliament for the first time in 40 years and - even less expected - also in Pennsylvania won a majority in the legislature. There, voters indicated that abortion was the key factor in voting; much more than economics. The Republicans had in Pennsylvania A referendum is planned for May 2023 to abolish abortion rights. "As a result of the midterms this question will certainly not appear on the ballot paper,” writes the New York Times (, 10.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "The New Landscape of the Abortion Fight").

However, while much suggests that the subject abortion Although people and politicians will still be concerned, it should no longer be the focus of the disputes. In its place - as a kind of substitute - the attack on the LGBTQ community and attempts to curtail their civil rights come to the fore. the LGBTQ community will be at the top of everyone's hate list from now on Culture warriors stand. One of the goals in Culture War is to let other people dictate by law how they are to shape their private lives. It is not primarily about protecting life, health and property, but about exercising power over those who think differently and people with different lifestyles.

The New York Times reported as the LGBTQ community more and more in distress and in a "state of siege". Many of the “troops” are active during the storm were present at the Capitol on January 6.1.2021th, 2 and who otherwise feel called to be the guardians and saviors of the country. For the weekend of December 4.12.2022nd and XNUMXth, XNUMX alone, the NYT of three serious incidents:  

  • In Columbus, OH gathered members of the Proud Boys, many armed, outside of a drag event;
  • Neo-Nazis protested at a similar event in Lakeland, Fla.;
  • In South florida found an antiLGBT Q. Rally, also attended by the Proud Boys attended.

“And all of this just two weeks after five people – two transgender, a third homosexual – in one LGBT Q. club in Colorado Springs were killed,” the report noted.

Compared to 2020, twelve times as many anti-LGBTQincidents registered. (...) After right-wing extremist activists had started in the summer to Boston Children's Hospital attacking on social media for treating transgender minors, the clinic has received repeated bomb threats.”

Political violence experts say inflammatory language makes attacks more likely, and extremism experts noted: "This was another month in a year in which intimidation and violence against gay and transgender Americans have continued to escalate - fueled largely by inflammatory political messages ." 

The new field of activity Culture warriors is not just intimidation and violence. In Florida was forbidden by law to treat the topic of "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" with children of kindergarten age and with school children up to the 3rd grade. The Republican Senator Ted Cruz aus Texas has accused President Biden of supporting "child genital mutilation" and the congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia declared that the "Communist groomers" wanted to allow the profit-making medical industry to cut off the genitals of "confused children." (Taylor Greene not only uses politically inconsistent attributions and ugly language. She also uses the ambiguous term “groomer” here. In the dictionary it is translated as "groom" and "stable boy". In the USA it is also used for someone who approaches children with sexual intent. This is an example of the attempts that LGBTQ community associated with child abuse and pedophilia).

"Conservatives", that's what is said in the NYT report explains, “state that they want to protect children from irrevocable treatment and ensure that women's sport remains fair. During the midterms right-wing groups argued in ads that transition care are "radical gender experiments" and if transgender athletes are allowed to appear on teams that match their gender identity, girls' sport will be destroyed. 

Immediately following this description of the conservative goals and the way of arguing, the editor explains Maggie Astor - perhaps aware of the explosive nature of the topic with the sentence in brackets and explains what it is actually about: "The treatment of transgender minors is supported by medical associations and has obviously reduced the risk of suicide - only a few transgender women and girls seek participation in women - and girls sport.”  

Also the American organization Planned Parenthood deals with the topic seriously and not with cheap buzzwords transit. Answered on their website Planned Parenthood under the heading: "What do I need to know about transitioning?" a number of "common questions" and writes, among other things: "Transitioning is about changes so that you can live in your gender identity." It is noted that it This is either a lengthy process or that this process can also run over a short period of time. The individual steps of this process are explained in detail (source: What do I need to know about transitioning?).

If one compares such serious statements serving to advise the people concerned with those of the senator Ted Cruz or Marjorie Taylor Greene, one can imagine what bad ideas can be created by obscene remarks at an election campaign event. It's all about advice and reliable information Culture warriors  Not. The questions of concerned parents or grandparents are unlikely to be answered in the din of such an event. It is comforting that Republican candidates on issues of the Culture War set, were not very successful. Tudor Dixon attempted this in the battle for the governorship in Michigan and lost massively against Gretchen WhitmerThe organization American Principles Project spent around $15 million on ad campaigns, but supported Culture War Candidates mostly drew the short straw (, December 10.12.2022, XNUMX: “Transgender Americans Feel Under Siege as Political Vitriol Rises”).   

Clean textbooks - insecure library staff - and Trump again and again

They were in another field Culture warriors more successful; maybe they have the recipes there Viktor Orbans accepted. The "war" is being shifted to the local level, it's about learning content, school books and the works that are on the shelves of the school libraries. A representative of Florida Citizens Alliance, a conservative association dealing with educational issues said; “We are not concerned with banning books but with protecting the innocence of our children. We want parents to decide what children get, not government schools indoctrinating our children.” These phrases encapsulate the rationale behind defending parental rights: “Those up there” are indoctrinating our children, the “ Other” should not be dealt with in schools. This is where the often-repeated idea appears: Parents know best what is good for their children – contrary to the experience of educational experts, who cast doubt on this idea because parents cannot know everything. At the end, the keyword "censorship" is in the room.

In a report by New York Times mentions that there are at least 50 organizations in the US that want to remove books from libraries. PEN America examined 300 local groups and found that 73 percent were founded after 2020. The work of several members of the school advisory board in a school district in Texas those of the organization Patriot mobile action were supported. These urged that Critical Race Theory and the LGBTQ indoctrination to be removed from schools. After 3 months, the 9 members of the school board had pushed through that books containing profanity, violence, descriptions of sex or nudity should be either banned or restricted. About 20 books were banned from schools in the district, including titles by Toni Morrison, Margaret Atwood and  several novels in which LGBT Q.-persons occurred. A mother reports from a meeting of the school advisory board: “The parents had no organization behind them. We couldn't take on those people.”

I can imagine how emotionally charged and tense such discussions are and I remember the heated battles in the columns of letters to the editor when, in 1963, the Ingmar Bergman Movie "The Silence" was released in cinemas. The "Clean Screen Campaign" has long been history with us - in Texas and elsewhere the “Action Clean School Library” is current. the Culture War is in full swing in the USA on several fronts (information and quotes from, 12.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "A Fast-Growing Network of Conservative Groups Is Fueling a Surge in Book Bans"). 

And if there wasn't enough agitation in the country, the former president keeps causing explosives and new headlines. Trump's reason for this is clear: Ever since he declared his intention to run for the presidency again in 2024, his name has had to keep appearing in the media. The occasion seems to be of secondary importance to him. Trump's invitation to two outspoken anti-Semites caused a great stir Mar-a-Lago: Kanye West and Nick Fuentes. The New York Times shall Fonts quoted as saying, "The Founding Fathers never intended America to become a place of refuge for non-white people." And about Jews specifically, he said: "I don't see Jews as Europeans and I don't see them as part of Western civilization especially, because they are not Christians.” In view of such outrageous statements, it is understandable that the “red lines” have been crossed by the Jewish organizations in the USA. Orthodox Jews have historically "overlooked" and condoned Trump's dalliances with the far-right and anti-Semitic fringes of US society after his friend Benjamin Netanyahu repeatedly supported, for example by relocating the US embassy to Jerusalem or by his silence after further construction of Jewish settlements in the west bank A somewhat convoluted statement by Morton Klein, the leader of the right-wing group Zionist Organization of America shows the dilemma into which Trump has thrown his former Jewish supporters: "I am a child of survivors (of the Holocaust). I care a lot about my people. Donald Trump is not an anti-Semite. He loves Israel. He loves the Jews. But he turns to the mainstream and legitimizes Jew-hatred and Jew-haters.”

Representatives of other Jewish organizations also expressed similar fears, and the invitation to the dinner was dropped Mar-a-Lago far more than a “simple dinner” with Trump, not least for Jewish Republicans. For Jews in America, the current debate highlights developments that could prove very uncomfortable in the coming decades: "The normalization of anti-Semitism is here," he said Jonathan Greenblatt,the chairman of Anti-Defamation League firmly.

After the outbreak of the storm of indignation, Trump tried to excuse himself in the usual way: he had the white supremacist (white supremacist) Nick Fuentes not known and the musician Kanye West want to help. But this scam no longer worked. The Republican Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana wrote up Twitter: By inviting racist anti-Semites to dinner, President Trump encourages other racist anti-Semites. These attitudes are immoral and should not be accepted. This is not the Republican Party.” The Republican Senator SuzanneCollins from Maine also condemned the dinner invitation. Asa Hutchinson, the Republican governor of Arkansas – he is said to be interested in running for president in 2024 – accused the former president of encouraging intolerant extremism in the country. And the former vice president Mike Pence credited his former boss with showing "profoundly poor judgement" and should apologize for having dinner with the two racists. (Sources and quotes from:, November 28.11.2022, XNUMX: “Jewish Allies Call Trump’s Dinner With Antisemites a Breaking Point”;, 29.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Mike Pence demands apology from Donald Trump";, 29.11.2022:  New York Times-The Morning:  "Trump's far-right embrace").

Mike Pence but also said he doesn't think Trump is an anti-Semite, racist or bigot or he wouldn't have become his vice president. He may be right about that. But Trump always accepts the proximity of racists and anti-Semites when it seems opportune to him. He also needs the votes of this section of American society in his bid to be president again in 2024. He is not afraid of contact with the extreme fringes of American society.  

The Respect of Marriage Act - A ray of light in the Culture War

After the Supreme Court On June 24.6.2022th, XNUMX, he had stamped out his decades-old judgment and thus suspended the right to abortion, suddenly the question arose as to how other rights could be secured, which "only" were guaranteed by decisions of the Supreme Court are supported. Shortly after the decision on June 24.6.2022, XNUMX, the judge Clarence Thomas mused aloud that the court should also revisit other previous decisions, such as the 2015 ruling granting a right to same-sex marriage. In Congress, especially among the Democrats, there were many red flags to not repeat the mistake made on the abortion issue. A legal protective shield had to be set up urgently so that this right of the conservative majority of the Supreme Courts would fall victim.

It's fascinating to read the accounts of how a group of Democratic congressmen and senators pulled out all the stops and, in a very short space of time, the Respect of Marriage Act drafted and brought together the necessary majorities in both houses of Congress.

In the House of Representatives this was easier. The Democrats still had a slight majority there at the time. Not so in the Senate, where both parties had 50 seats each. The Vice President's vote would not be enough to Filibuster Rule to overrule. To do this, the Democrats needed at least 10 Republican senators. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic majority leader in the Senate, didn't want to leave anything to chance and issued the slogan that in addition to these 10 votes, an additional buffer was needed, because - should be through Covid-19 if only two Democrats drop out, two more Republicans would have to fill the gap immediately. 

The Democrat Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin embarked on an intensive lobby tour. In the New York Times Baldwin is described as a soft-spoken Liberal Democrat. She was elected to Congress in 1999, becoming the first woman to publicly identify as a lesbian. As the Republican Marco Rubio from Florida consider CNN calling the project a “stupid waste of time” spoke to him Baldwin in the elevator. The joint elevator ride was described as "confrontational". And as her fellow Republican Ron Johnson from Wisconsin declared that he was not against the law, this statement was not enough for her; possibly could Johnson abstained from voting and that would do the cause no good. 

The Company Respect for Marriage Act started in July 2022, when even 47 Republicans supported the Democrats' bill in the House of Representatives. Although this is less than a quarter of Republicans in the Casa, Lar, wrote the NYT, but still a surprisingly high number: "The support across party lines was large enough to make the project not just a mere exercise for the rapporteurs, but a serious legislative project." 

On December 4.8.2022, XNUMX the NYT, that 5 Republican Senate members pledged their support, including Lisa Murkowski from Alaska and SuzanneCollins from Maine. The Collins the threads ran together in the Republican Senate faction. Next Tammy Baldwin edited the (then still) democratic senator Kristen Sinema from Arizona other mandate holders from the "other side" via their connections to the Republicans. Also Cinema ging auf Ron Johnson who is attributed to the conservative wing of the Republicans in the Senate. Ultimately, it was about the legal and social status of more than 1,1 million same-sex marriages that had been concluded since 2015. What would happen if these marriages were affected by another decision of the Supreme Court would be lifted? Also Ron Johnson was finally on board. He had recommended not to add anything “disgusting” to the bill and Baldwin had assured him she wouldn't do anything to jeopardize the assumption, but: "We probably have different understandings of what constitutes 'disgusting'.  

The effort ended well: In a test vote in the Senate on November 16.11.2022, 12, 50 Republicans along with the XNUMX Democrats voted in favor of the law, two votes more than overriding the Filibuster Rule would be necessary. The result of the final Senate vote was 61-36 for the bill. However, according to the report of New York Times voted more than 7 out of 10 Republicans, including the minority leader Mitch McConnell from kentucky, dagegenIn the House of Representatives, 258 members voted for the law, including 39 Republicans. On December 13.12.2022, XNUMX, President Biden signed the law into law. Among other things, it prohibits states from voiding the validity of a marriage contracted in another state on the basis of sex, race or ethnicity. 

The Süddeutsche Zeitung describes the meaning of this law - far beyond the actual content - as follows: "The Respect for Marriage Act However, it was the last law to pass through a Democrat-dominated House of Representatives. In January, Republicans took control of the House. You promised two years of blockade policy. Possibly has Joe Biden therefore experienced the last groundbreaking moment of the legislative period for him this week New York Times writes of a “tectonic shift in public opinion” with regard to same-sex marriage. And the Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin describes the reason for the change of heart among her Republican colleagues: “My Republican colleagues know more and more gay people who are married. You see, that's not why the sky fell down. Some even attended the wedding ceremony. Some may now know that without this marriage certificate from her cousin, it would not have been possible to visit her wife at the clinic, as she would officially have been a stranger.”

(Sources:, 4.8.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Pitching GOP on Gay Marriage Bill, Tammy Baldwin Leaves Nothing to Chance";, December 8-11.12.2022, XNUMX: “Prominent Gay Republicans Helped Smooth the Way for Marriage Bill”;, November 16/18.11.2022, XNUMX: “Backdrop for Vote on Same-Sex Marriage Rights: A Big Shift in Public Opinion”;, 29.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Same-Sex Marriage Bill Passes Senate After Bipartisan Breakthrough";, 13.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Biden Signs Bill to Protect Same-Sex Marriage Rights";, 14.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: “How Joe Biden protects same-sex marriage in the Supreme Court”).

And what comes now?

So far I have described what is related to the midterms happened on November 8.11.2022th, 2023 and afterwards. The famous crystal ball would be needed to predict further developments from January XNUMX, but I don't have it. Some things can be assumed and one can also speculate, but in the end many open questions remain (not least since the chaos in the House of Representatives, where the Republicans, despite their majority, had difficulty in getting a Speakers of the House to choose). 

The two too NYT-columnists Gail collins and Bret stephens asked shortly before Christmas in their weekly "dialogue" the question "What does the new year bring?" and started with flaxing: Gail collins predicted that Republicans would not live up to their promise to reduce the deficit and that Trump would fall flat on his nose with his sky-rocketing sale of digital scrapbooks. In addition Bret stephens: „Stop it gail, that's safe bets!"

Bret stephens then predicted that after the holiday, President Biden would announce that he would not run again in 2024, especially after the increasing likelihood of no rerun with his former adversary (Trump). Further said Stephens ahead that Kevin McCarthy not the future republican Speakers of the House will, 19.12.2022-2023-2024: The Conversation: "Out With the Old and in With the ... What Exactly?"). Both questions touch on two important issues for the future of the USA: What will happen in Congress, in whose two chambers there will be different majorities from January XNUMX? And what will happen in the XNUMX election?

One can speculate about all this – at Kevin McCarthy has Bret stephens wrong - but in the end both questions remain unanswered. The only thing that is certain is that there will be reversed majorities in the House of Representatives from January 3.1.2023, XNUMX:

                   – Republican 222 seats (previously 213 seats)

                   – Democrats 213 seats (previously 222 seats)

The Democrats have already decided on their future group leadership. Nancy Pelosi, the long-standing faction leader and speaker of the House of Representatives, will hand over leadership of the future minority faction to younger hands. The Democrats already installed their new leadership trio on November 30.11.2022th, XNUMX - in the sign of great unity by acclamation - like the New York Times reported Hakeem Jeffries (52) off New York the first black MP to be appointed to such a leadership position. stand by his side Catherine Clark (59) off Massachusetts and Pete Aguilar (43) off California. (Sources:, 30.11.2022-XNUMX-XNUMX: "In a Show of Unity, House Democrats-Elect Hakeem Jeffries Minority Leader";, 30.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Democrat Jeffries is first black faction leader").

Interim remark:

At the end of the report Süddeutsche Zeitung is noted: "McCarthy it shouldn't be as easy as that though jeffries, behind which the Democrats have gathered relatively united. The Republican McCarthy must fear dissenters – a problem given the thin majority of his party in the House of Representatives.” This prognosis came true. On January 3.1.2023, XNUMX, before the eyes of the world, the Republicans began voting for the Speakers of the House to perform a play that hasn't been seen for 100 years. In 1923, several ballots were needed for the last time to choose the speaker. 

I wrote the immediately following part of the text before the beginning of this play and do not intend to make any changes in it. The text shows the inner turmoil of the majority faction in the house. Shortly after January 3.1.2023rd, XNUMX, the development seems to have reached its peak. The keyword “chaos” appears again and again in the media reports. 

The Republican-majority faction in the House of Representatives has voted on the important post of Speaker of the house, not decided yet. Kevin McCarthy from California, who has been striving for this post for a long time has apparently not yet collected the necessary 218 votes in his group, although the Republicans in the House have 222 seats. 

Thomas Spang, the USA correspondent of the Heilbronn voice notes McCarthy have to perform a balancing act, because he has to Donald Trump closely involve members of parliament who are close to him, so that he can House spokesman could become. "Not an easy task in view of the uncompromising attitude and narrow majorities" (Heilbronn voice, October 18.11.2022, XNUMX: "Dispute and Standstill").

In fact, there is a danger of deadlock in a “split” Congress. “Republicans and Democrats are likely to block each other for years to come. No new laws or reforms are to be expected,” fears Thomas SpangAs possible areas of standstill in domestic politics, he names the climate area, the necessary increase in staff at the tax authorities and old-age and health insurance. Republican congressmen have announced investigative committees and possibly also impeachment proceedings against members of the government, even against President Biden, as a tit-for-tat for the two impeachment proceedings against Trump. Important for the Democrats in the House was to complete the work of the commission of inquiry into the storming of the Capitol before Christmas 2022 and send the comprehensive report to the Department of Justice. This happened on 19.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX. There will be no further investigation into this unique event in US history with the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. On the contrary: you want to roll up the results of the committee again in the new legislative period. The Republican MP Andy biggs from Arizona has called the committee's findings a "last political stunt". He intends to "review their documents, publicize their lies and set things straight (, 19.12.2022/6/XNUMX: "Jan. XNUMX Panel Accuses Trump of Insurrection and Refers Him to Justice Dept.”).

Changes are also to be expected in American foreign policy. Thomas Spang quoted Kevin McCarthy, who announced that he would not issue a blank check to Ukraine. The absolute Trump supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene went one step further: Under Republican leadership for Ukraine, "there would not be a penny left for Ukraine." spang notes on this, that the dispute with the Republican "hawks" in the Senate was programmed. Given such rigorous announcements from the House Europe will also have to prepare for harder times, at least the aggressive and demanding language from the Trump days could become commonplace again. 

One could get the impression that the Senate with its Democratic majority and with the Trump-critical minority leader Mitch McConnell - if he keeps his post — will henceforth become the pole of calm in American politics, at least in foreign policy. He cannot prevent the announced investigative committees of the House of Representatives, but he can prevent any "escapades" of the MAGAHouse of Representatives group to rein in. It will be important for the Democrats in the Senate to continue to be able to fill important government posts and, above all, judicial positions together with the Democratic President. The conservative majority in Supreme Court is installed, but it will not continue to grow. 

What will become of the GOP, the grand old party, which has received a wafer-thin majority in the House of Representatives midterms but, judging by their expectations, did not win because their Donald Trump caused serious damage? An in-depth interview conducted by the NYT columnist Ezra Klein on December 2.12.2022nd, XNUMX with Michael Brendan Dougherty,  the most important author of the conservative magazine National Review led.  Dougherty, So an insider thinks that the GOP underperformed in both 2018, 2020 and 2022. His reasoning: There are voters who are highly motivated against Donald Trump agree; and if the Republican candidate acts as Trump's deputy, he will be punished. (A complicated rationale for Trump actually harming Republicans. However, this is seldom spelled out clearly). 

Describes the current state of the GOP Dougherty quite vividly: “The Republican Party is neither fish nor flesh. This means it is neither populist enough to unite the coalition without Trump nor traditionally conservative enough to support the Romney coalition from 2012 back to one. That leaves her split into two distinct parts of herself, while the Democrats still stand together, in part for fear Donald Trump.” He repeats the statement already quoted: Trump is damaging his own party. It benefits the Democrats because it holds them together and it harms them GO P. because he drives them apart. Elsewhere in the interview, the insider describes this Dougherty so - and Kevin McCarthy can now sing a song about it: “The main players in the Republicans are on the fringes (...) there is nothing in the middle; the republican party is something of a Donut with a hole in the middle… in the middle is a vacuum of authority.” The interlocutors Small and Dougherty have arrived at the core problem of the Republicans, but to a certain extent also at a core problem of the American two-party system. In the Republican Party there is currently no one in the middle who can negotiate across party lines - and if a compromise is reached, there is no one who can enforce the agreement internally. The two interlocutors trust this task, which is so important in the American system - to negotiate and implement compromises - Kevin McCarthy not to. (I have rarely read such a clear description of the American dilemma). 

Towards the end of the interview dares Dougherty In favor of Ron De Santis, the governor of Florida, the Statement: He looks except DeSantis no other personality that could unite the Republican Party.  DeSantis is currently a special figure in the GOP But on closer reading, I noticed the word "right now" - meaning that the insider too Dougherty does not dare to make an unqualified prediction for 2024. Elsewhere, he predicted another "rodeo of the clowns" for the next Republican campaign, in which 30 people get out of a minibus and compete for attention. (, 2.12.2022-XNUMX-XNUMX: Transcript: "Ezra Klein Interviews Michael Brendan Dougherty").

What will happen by 2024?

Donald Trump announced on November 15.11.2022, 2024 that he wanted to run again for the office of President of the United States in XNUMX. He is the only one who has announced this publicly so far. Joe Biden has signaled a certain inclination to step back into the ring, not least against Trump, whom he clearly defeated in 2020. After all Biden has not yet finished his deliberations. Just like the former Vice President Mike Pence, also the governor of, who was promising with the Republicans Florida, Ron De Santis and some other or some others in the two parties.

Trump has declared himself and will not rest for the next two years. Unless the Republicans recognize the renewed opportunity offered by the January 6, 2021 final report of the investigative committee and renounce their previous frontman. But I doubt this. One or one alone will play the role of Brutus don't want to take over. In the last meeting of the committee on December 19.12.2022, XNUMX, the (now) former Republican MP liz cheney declares that “no one who behaves like this (like Trump) may ever hold public office again” (Heilbronn voice, 21.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Trump appears unimpressed"). Some things may be like this or something similar GOPFaction member secretly think too, yes liz cheney, the "traitor",  who was long since removed from the Republican leadership and is no longer a member of the House of Representatives, no Republican will want to follow. The "Trump problem" seems to be becoming more and more of a millstone on Republicans' necks. 

It may be that the insidious development of Trump's loss of power will continue until one day - after new calamities or a new clumsiness - the Trump mood in the GOP shifts and the cry "Enough is Enough" also echoes from the electorate. After almost two months, the campaign went into a tailspin; in December, new bad news appeared every day for Trump, the Süddeutsche Zeitung and meant above all the final report of the committee of inquiry, in which criminal proceedings against the former president were recommended. Four crimes are identified: incitement to riot, plotting a conspiracy, obstructing Congress in determining the 2020 election result, and spreading the lie about widespread voter fraud despite being told time and time again that the claim was false and he was false also accepted internally. The committee recommended to the Justice Department and the Special Counsel Jack smith, to extend the investigations to “others” as well. Five names are mentioned, among others Mark Meadows, Trump's last White House chief of staff and Trump's attorney Rudolph W GiulianiAlso to be identified and possibly charged are 4 Republican congressmen who refused to comply with subpoenas from the committee, including Jim Jordan from Ohio, whose new assignment is yet to be reported.

Yes, according to one of the core statements of the report: “At the heart of January 6th was a man, the former President Donald Trump, which many followed. None of the events of January 6 would have happened without him.” The Justice Department and the Special Counsel have to decide how to proceed Jack smith decide (, 19.12.2022/6/XNUMX: "Jan. XNUMX Panel Accuses Trump of Insurrechtion and Refers Him to Justice Dept.";, 19.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "US committee recommends criminal prosecution of Trump"). 

Where does the GOP stand? How does she deal with Trump's announcement that he wants to be a presidential candidate again in 2024? Frank Bruni, an opinion columnist New York Times, transwrote his commentary by asking, "Have Republicans learned anything from their dance with the Donald?" And so appreciates Bruni He hears and reads the current position of "the Donald": "Donald Trump is done" and he has no reason not to believe it. "When he on Tuesday (15.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX) in Mar-a-Lago announcing his 2024 candidacy, he sounded less like a rising phoenix and more like a balloon deflating. I could almost hear the helium gas escaping from him.”

Bruni contrasts his assessment with the reactions of many Republicans - and he calls these reactions wrong: "They reject him not because he has agitated and endangered the country countless times, not because of his attacks on dignity and because he is an enemy of democracy not because he belittles almost everything and almost everyone who opposes him. They're just mad because he's a loser." Bruni does not see the attempts in his own party to distance himself from Trump as a confrontation or even reckoning with Trumpism, but as a distancing from one who is not (any longer) delivering any successes. "It's about numbers and not about morals (...) The Republicans talk about Trump like a share that has lost value (...) But the party has changed as little as he has. Only the numbers are different" (, 17.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Have Republicans Learned Anything From Their Dance With the Donald?").

Christian Zaschke, the correspondent of Süddeutsche Zeitung in Washington, see this similar. He captioned his comment: "Donald Trump, the face of defeat." The ex-president has long been a burden on Republicans. “After the botched midterm elections, his opponents are finally coming out of cover. Does that bring anything? Exit open.", 11.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Donald Trump, the face of defeat”; comment by Christian Zaschke).Trump may be done for, it seems, but most of his fans are still there. 

The dispute of GO P. Trumpism has not yet begun in earnest. Only the two Republican congressmen have real consequences liz cheney and Adam kinzinger pulled – they were the only Republicans who served on the 6.1.2021/3.1.2023/XNUMX investigative committee and therefore became the outlaws of their party. In the new congress from January XNUMXrd, XNUMX, both of them will no longer be there.

Almost as an aside – it was just a standard Trump blunder – the media is reporting that the former president has proposed repealing the constitution in order to change the 2020 election result after all. He is still spreading the message of the "stolen election": "Such a massive and extensive voter fraud allows old rules, regulations and articles to be overridden, even those in the Constitution," Trump wrote on his network on 3.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX "Social Trust”. The New York Times reports there have been condemnations from both sides of the political spectrum: "a flood from the Democrats and a few drops from the Republicans" (, December 4.12.2022, XNUMX: "Trump's Call for 'Termination' of Constitution Draws Rebukes"). 

Trump talks and writes about "enormous voter fraud" almost every day. He hasn't named horse and rider yet because he can't. He has publicly announced his candidacy for 2024. Biden and pence have indicated a possible candidacy but have not yet made a final decision. Who else could be in the starting blocks is open. In my opinion, more precise statements – beyond the speculative – will only be possible in six months. A lot can happen in the next two years.

A Weak Speaker of the House - Republicans create chaos

After a record suspicious 15 ballots - in 1923 it took 9 ballots; the absolute record was set in 1856 with 133 ballots – became the Republican Kevin McCarthy elected Speaker of the House in the early hours of January 7.1.2023th, XNUMX. A group of extreme right-wing "rebels" in the Republican faction had staged a power struggle in the course of which McCarthy only after spectacular finger wrestling (that's what the NYT), after serious political concessions in terms of content and after the promise of important committee posts, at the extreme Never Kevin group could prevail. If this really was a win, have it McCarthy dearly bought. In the future, a member of parliament can only force a vote of confidence on the speaker. McCarthy is dependent on a small but noisy minority in his own party for the next two years. Matt Gaetz from Florida, one of the spokesmen of Never Kevin's said in an interview with CNN: "McCarthy will have to rule in a straitjacket!” He will be a weak speaker.

What in the House of Representatives in Washington from Tuesday, January 3.1.2023, 100, had not been seen for XNUMX years: The Republicans only have a wafer-thin majority in the House, but they did not succeed in electing a speaker from their ranks at the first attempt. Kevin McCarthy had long sought the post, but five MPs – the original one never kevin group, had previously announced McCarthy not to choose. With only four dissenters, he could still have achieved the required majority of 218 votes, but in the course of the election drama the number of his dissenting votes had risen to 21. (It should be noted that one seat in the House of Representatives is currently vacant. The Democrats, with their 212 members, have backed their leader through all 15 rounds of voting Hakeem Jeffries.

First, a look back: In my eyes, had Kevin McCarthy lost his political credibility at the latest after January 6.1.2021th, XNUMX, when immediately after the storming of the Capitol he made the president responsible for what happened, only a short time later Mar-a-Lago to travel to Trump to make such an apology and to swear renewed allegiance. What looked like a kneel to me, mag McCarthy himself must have seemed necessary to keep his hopes for the speaker post alive. Shortly after January 6.1.2021, XNUMX, he must have realized that the vast majority of Republican MPs were still behind Trump, even after this event, in which five people died. Depending on their own taste, they interpreted what happened as legitimate freedom of expression and demonstration, adopted Trump's "Big Lie" or simply remained silent. So also returned McCarthy back into the Trump camp and, along with many others in his faction, voted against opening the second impeachment trial against Trump. As a result, he has saved himself that unworthy expulsion from the faction, as he did the respected one liz cheney was prepared. Had there actually been a Republican revolution against Trump in January 2021, it would be McCarthy probably at the forefront of the new management team. But this revolution did not exist and the repentant Kevin McCarthy has rejoined the ranks of Trump supporters with his desire to be Speaker of the House. 

Two years later it became clear that just being a Trumpist is no longer enough for the “true Trumpists”. they let McCarthy Jump over the blade 14 times when choosing a speaker. That's why these four days in January 2023 became a degrading spectacle not only for McCarthy but for democracy in America. But a closer look reveals something remarkable: Donald Trump had several times in favor before and during this drama McCarthy's intervened, so had - for a long time unsuccessfully - against the super Trumpists Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert posed. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Trump icon Georgia stood – like Trump – at the side of McCarthy and publicly criticized the extremism of some colleagues. The new speaker has promised her a position on an important committee. The Trump icon Lauren Boebert from Colorado remained on the side of the until the end Never Kevin's and has even criticized Trump for his stance. This shows that the rift in the Republican camp has deepened and is now even cutting across the camp of the former absolute Trump supporters. The Republican MP Ryan prong from Montana described what happened as follows: “From the outside, it looks like chaos. Inside it's chaos" (, January 6/7.1.2023, 15: “McCarthy Wins Speakership on XNUMXth Vote”).

The winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics put it even more sharply Paul Krugman in the New York Times: “Neither I nor anyone else knows what is to come. But one thing is certain: America is already smaller now than it was when it was Nancy Pelosi in the House, and it's sinking more every day."  Krugman follows a formulation that Trump likes to use at rallies: "The world is laughing at us." And Krugman continues - one senses irony as well as deep concern - that the Trump supporters even think that the globalists in the country are also laughing at America. "The irony is that it's the MAGAmovement has succeeded - beyond the wildest dreams of the dark globalists (if they even exist) - in making America anything but great. Now the world is really laughing at us and horrified at the same time.” Adapted from a Bible verse Krugman the concerned question: "What good is it for a man to lose his soul and still not get enough votes to be Speaker of the House?" (, January 5.1.2023, XNUMX: “Making America the Opposite of Great”; comment by Paul Krugman). And Peter Burghardt describes the events as a “showdown on Capitol Hill”: “The drama tells a lot about America and its Republicans. One may find the scenario bizarre or threatening. In any case, the Americans obviously have at least one parliamentary problem (...) The Republicans are making themselves, Parliament, yes the country, dependent on extremist screamers" (, January 6.1.2023, XNUMX: “The Woman with the Gun”; comment by Peter Burghardt).

In the early morning of January 7.1.2023th, XNUMX Kevin McCarthy finally brought together the required majority, but the price has been high and the impact is yet to be seen. In a first assessment, she writes New York Times, "that the concessions that McCarthy has done to the rebels will severely limit their power and make the House of Representatives a cumbersome institution which, given the slim majority and the right-wing faction's willingness to mess around, is already showing how difficult it is to scrutinize.” McCarthy has agreed, among other things, that a single MP is enough to force a vote of confidence on the speaker with the aim of removing him. In addition, he gave the ultra-conservatives a third of the seats in the powerful faction Rules Committee granted, in which it is decided which legislative initiatives reach the plenum and how they are dealt with there. In addition, spending laws that have already been passed are to be reviewed again and openly debated. Every MEP should have the right to request a vote on changes (, January 6/7, 1.2023: “McCarthy Wins Speakership on 15th Vote”). I remember the announcement from Majority Taylor Greene one that under Republican leadership "there will not be another penny for Ukraine." The credibility and reliability of the USA are at stake. Just two years after the storming of the Capitol on January 6.1.2021th, XNUMX Washington dc a spectacle which is cause for serious concern. 

The New York Times the contradiction specifically in Republican fiscal policy is pointed out: “In the Obama years did the Republicans with the rise of Tea party movement  Spending restraints demanded in return for debt ceiling lift. During the Trump Presidency they stopped making this demand and unconditionally increased the debt ceiling. The new majority in the House of Representatives wants to contradict this practice this year" (, 4.1.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX: "What the Far-Right Republicans Want: To Remake Congress and the Government").

Charles Blow, a columnist of New York Times describes the current state of the Republican Party - the text is now available in German translation: "The Republican Party's thoroughly embarrassing inability to elect a Speaker of the US House of Representatives after several attempts is a crisis of its own making . At least since the presidency of Barack Obama The Republican Party has seen a strengthening of its right flank, whose job was not to make policy but to prevent progress, and whose tactics were destruction rather than diplomacy. (...) They (the right fringe group) learned their lesson from the Palin years: Spectacle breeds fame, which in turn breeds power, which brings influence and possibly control" (IPG press service, 5.1.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Come to set fire"; comment by Charles Blow. Originaltext:, 4.1.2023:  Charles Blow: "The Burn-It-All-Down Republican Caucus").

Above all this chaos at the beginning of the 118th legislative period, the tall tale of the in New York Republican MPs elected to the House of Representatives for the first time george santos as a marginal note. Santos had knitted together a wonderful resume that was mostly a lie. From January 3.1.2023, 15, he sat in the Chamber of Representatives and took part in the election thriller; he has XNUMX times for Kevin McCarthy voted. Santos' Fraud is likely to make headlines again, and he may be under pressure to resign - with the result that the majority of Republicans in the House possibly even smaller.

The Republicans are in for more trouble soon. At the end of January, the chairperson of the 168 members Republican National Committee be re-elected. This post could be described as that of Chairman of the Republican Party. Compared to the chairman of a party in Germany, the RNC chairman or the RNC Chairwoman but far less power than a colleague in Germany. Political decisions are becoming less important RNC but in white house and met in the leadership of the two chambers of Congress. That RNC is responsible for organizing the primary elections, but not for nominating candidates. Another important task of RNC is the collection of party donations and the support of the candidates.

Ronna mcdaniel, the current chairman of the RNC has been doing the job since 2016 – “hand picked by Mr. Trump Donald Trump. But she is not undisputed. Harmeet Dhillon from California – also a Trump icon and now backed by the far right of the GOP will against McDaniel line up a constellation that is strongly reminiscent of the drama about the post of Speaker of the House that has just ended. the NYT expects an ugly intra-party confrontation between “the right” and “the even further right” in the Republican Party. It seems like it should McDaniel in place of Trump for the poor performance of the Republicans in the midterms be held responsible: "Many in the party have a scapegoat for the disputes in the GOP found who is not called Trump,” she writes New York Times (, 28.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "Race for GOP Chair Obscures the Party's Bigger Problems").

But no matter how this dispute for Ronna mcdaniel going out, it could be that she will reappear in the limelight in a completely different context. As chairman of RNC she was involved in a special coup by Donald Trump, with which he wanted to overturn the 2020 election result. John Eastman, one of the lawyers working for Trump had developed the plan, through additional lists of electors from individual states, which were used alongside the official lists Washington were sent to sow confusion and possibly get the rejection of those states' election results. Eastman had to McDaniel requested to create these replacement lists. These attempts went wrong, but the investigative committee on January 6.1.2021th, XNUMX also has it Ronna mcdaniel questioned. Her statements could be used in further investigations by the Justice Department and the Special Counsel Jack smith still play a role (, 2.1.2023-6-XNUMX: "Trying to Trademark 'Rigged Election', and Other Revelations From the Jan. XNUMX Transcripts").

A silver lining on the political horizon

Kevin McCarthy was elected Speaker of the House after 15 ballots and numerous injuries. The small rebel group in the GO P. has demonstrated how the razor-thin majority of Republicans in the House of Representatives can be used within the party to push through their own demands. One of those demands was quickly implemented: On January 10.1.2023, XNUMX, the House approved the creation of a subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee with broad powers. Jin Jordan, the sharp-tongued Trump supporter Ohio will chair this subcommittee. His job: to investigate how the Democrats have used the Justice Department, the FBI and other intelligence agencies to intimidate and silence conservatives from the local school board level to the very top of the presidential ranks. The new body bears the telling name Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. The reaction of the Democrats in the House of Representatives was correspondingly harsh. Jim McGovern from Massachusetts compared the new panel to that of Senator Joe mccarthy into the 1950s House Un-American Activities Committee (Committee on Un-American Activities), with the Jumping Joe McCarthy at that time was waging a large-scale hunt for communists and pilloried actors and scientists (, 10.1.2022:  "Divided House Approves GOP Inquiry Into Weaponization of Government").  

In the course of negotiations with the rebels McCarthy promised to fund and staff this subcommittee like the previous committee of inquiry into the storming of the Capitol. “We will hold the swamp accountable from the withdrawal from Afghanistan to the origin of Covid to the point of using the FBI as a weapon,” said McCarthy immediately after his election (, January 8.1.2023, XNUMX: “House Republicans Preparing Broad Inquiry Into FBI and Security Agencies”).

What at first glance seems like the Republicans' revenge, the Democrats for all the hardships they have endured Donald Trump what his supporters believe he did during and after his tenure, but could become an indicator of whether and to what extent Republicans support Trump and MAGA leave behind. The call from some Republicans: "Let's move on!" Let's look to the future is likely to become louder in the near future. How would this affect Jim Jordan's subcommittee to protect allegedly persecuted Conservatives?

A hope or just wishful thinking? On November 8.11.2022th, XNUMX – i.e. exactly on election day, the published Heilbronn voice an interview with the lawyer and management consultant Sandra Navidi. In October 2022 her third book entitled "The DNA of the USA: How America ticks" was published. The heading of Heilbronn voice read: "We are witnessing the tyranny of a minority." Navidi describes American society as follows:

“Almost nowhere in the world is the division of society as pronounced as in the USA. This is mainly due to the two-party system, which would be unthinkable in Germany. However, the Democrats are very broadly based here, from the very left to the conservative. The Republicans are different. Almost all of the moderates have left the party, given up their careers, or belong to an "opposition minority."

(Quotes from Heilbronn voice, 8.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "We are witnessing the tyranny of a minority"; Interview with Sandra Navidi). 

Describes the past election Navidi as an “ideological struggle involving democracy versus autocracy:

“Republicans are increasingly voicing what matters to them: discrimination, racism, anti-Semitism. We are witnessing the tyranny of a minority here, because the majority of the population represents humanistic values.”

(Quotes from Heilbronn voice, 8.11.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: "We are witnessing the tyranny of a minority"; Interview with Sandra Navidi). 

In view of this description of the state - it is the critical view of the USA from the outside - the relief of the NYT columnist Thomas L Friedman understandable, which he hinted at on November 9.11.2022th, XNUMX – i.e. the day after the election – in the headline of his commentary: “America Dodged an Arrow” – “America escaped from an arrow”. Deepened in the first section of his reflection Friedman his sigh of relief with sarcastic sentences: “You can postpone moving to Canada. You can skip the call to the New Zealand Embassy to find out how to get citizenship there. Tuesday's election was the most important test since the Civil War of whether our constitutional system -- the ability to transfer power peacefully and lawfully -- remains intact. And it looks like we got away with it - a little scratched but OK."

Friedman describes the country's weaknesses and problems: the old-fashioned electoral system, gerrymandering, the social networks that mean that dialogue in the country is constantly poisoned and society becomes more and more divided, and that the two pillars of democracy — truth and trust — are constantly erode. He refers to what happened on January 6.1.2021th, XNUMX Putin and Xi Jinping enables them to explain to their citizens: "That's how it works in a democracy. Do you want something like that?”

"Not everything is fine," writes Friedman. But this election may be a sign that we're at least crawling back from the edge of that abyss, because many Americans still count themselves among the independent and centrist camp who aren't constantly swayed by the woes and fantasies of Donald Trump want to linger and realize that these are the GOP drive crazy and worry the whole country", 9.11.2022; Thomas Friedmann"America Dodged on Arrow").

My confidence is based on two positive developments that the midterms have decided:

  • The great involvement of women in this election;
  • The above-average increase in younger voters.

Again - as ready in 2020 - women have come to the unexpected conclusion of the midterms contributed significantly,” writes Gail collins, an opinion columnist New York Times and proclaims 2023 the “Year of the Governors”. From 2023 there will be 12 female governors in the country - so far there are nine (, 21.12.2022; Gail collins: "Women Are on the March")

“Young Americans have in record numbers at the midterms participated – and decisively influenced the political landscape.” A highly political generation is growing up in America (, 27.11.2022: "The self-proclaimed saviors of democracy").

Thomas Friedmann Summing up the situation in the US: “We did not receive a 24% health pass, but we were diagnosed that our political white blood cells are working properly and have fought back the rampant infection that threatens our entire electoral system. But the inflammation is still there, so the doctor advises, "Keep healthy, build your strength and come back in XNUMX months for a check-up."

A closing note from Congressman Adam Schiff

The final report of the committee of inquiry into the storming of the Capitol was published on December 22.12.2022, 800. A weighty work of over XNUMX pages. the Süddeutsche Zeitung captions her report: "Donald Trump called this mob to Washington.” The report names him, Trump, as primarily responsible for the events of January 6.1.2021, XNUMX, in connection with which five people lost their lives.

In addition, references Adam Schiff of California, a member of the investigative committee, raised another issue that has received little attention. Ship draws attention to the behavior of many Republican lawmakers after the adjourned session to determine the results of the election resumed: "Don't forget that many Republicans in Congress enabled Trump's lies," he captioned a guest post in the New York Times. Adam Schiff refers once again to Trump's attempts to turn what he believes to be the "stolen election" in his favor. For example, the attempt to have him declared the winner by the legislatures in several states; the attempts to sow confusion by filing additional electoral lists - in parallel with the official reports - and the vice president Mike Pence possibly leading to the rejection of the results of some states. Ship also quotes Trump's sentence, which has now become famous, with which he Brad Raffensperger from Georgia wanted to call for voter fraud: “Find me enough votes so that I Georgia Win.” Trump Attorney General Bill Barr Trump had declared internally that the "extraordinary election fraud" he kept talking about did not exist. On the investigative committee barr labeled these scam stories as "bullshit".

All of this has long been known and presented in great detail in the final report of the committee of inquiry. For all these attempts to reverse the 2020 election result is ultimately Donald Trump responsible. But one throws Adam Schiff to his Republican colleagues in the House of Representatives: that on January 6.1.2021, XNUMX, after the Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, in which the police had to complain about many injuries, after the resumption of the session "they continued where they had left off before : They continued to reject election results in key states. Ship quotes a statement by liz cheney, who was punished by her party as a traitor: "The day will come when Donald Trump is gone but your dishonorable behavior will remain.” (, 22.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX: “Adam Schiff: "Don't Forget That Many Republicans in Congress Enabled Trump's Big Lie").            

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