The 2014 Midterms are far from historical, though what party wins the most Congressional contests could change history. For Americans, a lackluster political season of never-ending, superficial campaign ads, mailings, and emails, which were largely overshadowed by major global issues and rarely added any substance to the debate, is ending. Unfortunately, America and the rest of the world face mounting crises in desperate need of leadership, yet the campaigns of 2014 barely captured the attention of Americans and rarely offered any insights into a brighter future.
Although American voters are the ones who will decide whether Republicans or Democrats control the Senate, the reality that the United States is the most influential country in the world means the entire International Community has a stake in the 2014 elections. Clearly, Americans do not like foreigners influencing our elections and they should not, but it is also important for voters to understand the decision they make at the polls, if they to go the polls, does have major consequences that will impact the Nation and the world for years to come.
If Republicans take back the Senate, the US government will probably become even more dysfunctional as an emboldened GOP will likely be thoroughly uncompromising when dealing with President Obama. For years, political strategists and analysts have prophesized about the decline of the Republican Party due to major demographic shifts that favor Democrats in Republican strongholds like Texas. Chalking up another “victory” in 2014would do quite a bit to dispel the notion that the Grand Old Party is doomed in the minds of Republicans.
If Democrats maintain control of the Senate, a hurt Republican Party may lead to more GOP House members willing to support the President, or continue the status quo of dysfunction. Unfortunately, individual Democratic candidates may have their own platforms addressing the issues of their constituents, but there is no unifying platform of solutions from which Democrats can create an agenda for the 114th Congress, which means Democrats may be tempted to regress to their earlier agenda that resulted in voter dissatisfaction and a Republican victory during the 2010 Midterms.
In terms of economics, the US needs an actual plan to foster job creation, as well as other forms of economic development in general. This will likely hinge on making regulations more efficient, recalibrating the tax code to better reflect the interests of average Americans, reforming government spending in order to make it more effective, and developing new forms of trade. As tensions with Russia are strained, Chinese aggression has become an increasing issue, and the Middle East is in a period of economic instability, developing greater trade, not necessarily free trade, with South America and India will likely be part of the solution.
In terms of foreign policy, the US needs to lead the world, whether or not Americans like it. Too many crises have been ignored for too long, so it is imperative the United States takes on a leadership role In terms of encouraging other countries to take an active role in their interests and offering support when possible. If the US President is continually fighting with Congress at home, it will be very difficult for him to address the hazards inside and outside of our borders.
In terms of national security, the US faces major threats from three sources: globalized terrorists, foreign militaries like Russia, and crime. In the pursuit of threats, Americans also face the threat of the US government violating their civil liberties. That said, Democrats may actually be more aggressive in a bid to disprove the stereotype that the Democrats are doves. Meanwhile, Republicans have shown a willingness when it came to tax reform, budget cuts, intervention in Syria, and immigration reform to reject President Obama’s sponsorship of Republican policies to simply be against Obama.
Because both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party are rapidly changing, the traditional stances of the Right and Left may offer little insight into what will happen after the votes are counted, yet some predictions can be made. Consequently, Republican war hawks, for instance, are more likely to push the President to engage in armed military conflict versus other forms of military intervention while Democrats are more likely to voice concern about civil liberties as well as demand support for certain US allies. Obviously, Republicans will be more likely to support Israel than Democrats, which may be detrimental to the Israeli People as the Israeli government is provoking a fight with the Muslim world.
For the Middle East, what kind of support comes from the US could stem from what Party takes control of the US Senate. If Republicans win, there may be hesitation to offer President Obama the authority to take limited action, which means war hawks may well push President Obama to provide far greater military intervention in the Middle East than Democrats would. Given the Russian-Ukraine Crisis and a whole slew of major crises around the world, over committing the US in the Middle East as was done in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars would be a thoroughly disastrous outcome.
For Russia, the likelihood of war could escalate under Republican pressure, though Democrats concerned with income inequality may well encourage President Obama to take on China’s harmful economic policies. It is also important to recognize China’s disputes with Japan and the Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution are likely going to force the US and China to hash out some major conflicts of interests. Consequently, the US is likely headed toward a major conflict with another major world power, among minor powers as well, but who controls the Senate will affect how the President can respond.
Moreover, what Party controls the US Senate will help determine how the President can deal with international issues, including war, diplomacy, and economic ties.
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