What the midterm elections will signal to the world

As November 8 approaches and American voters prepare to go to the polls, some of us are concerned about domestic issues such as the economy, immigration and health care. Others are concerned with international issues such as the economy, immigration, and health care.

The truth is that most problems are interconnected. What happens in this country affects the rest of the world and vice versa.

Consider: Health issues like COVID-19 transcend national borders.

Climate change affects every citizen in every corner of the world, but approaches to it differ depending on national policies.

Immigration is not just an American problem because we share a border with Mexico and immigrants are flowing into the United States from many countries.

Inflation isn’t just about Federal Reserve interest rates; It has everything from chip shortages to grain to the price of a barrel of oil.

Electoral integrity is not only the fair counting of ballots at home, but also the interference of Russia and other countries abroad.

All this means that analysts and pollsters need to stop treating domestic and international events as separate topics.

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Today we are faced with what can be called “intermediate” problems. As the results of the upcoming midterm elections become known, things may change within America, and these changes will affect how America is viewed around the world and how it affects world events.

Take, for example, the war in Ukraine. We are already seeing a partisan divide among the US electorate over the Biden administration’s approach to Russia and Ukraine.

Progressive Democrats recently sent a letter to President Biden criticizing our Ukraine policy, which was later retracted after it was leaked to the media.

Some Republicans have also begun to question the US policy in Ukraine. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has suggested he could cut defense and humanitarian aid to Ukraine if he becomes House speaker next year.

A strong midterm showing for Trump supporters could revive the former president’s “America First” approach.

Congress has a strong voice when it comes to war powers, which means the House and Senate approach determines how much support they will give to respond to the so-called “dirty bomb” or Russian actions in Ukraine. use of tactical nuclear weapons. How the United States and NATO respond if war escalates will include how Congress and the executive branch interpret what “war” means.

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Committee appointments can change on Capitol Hill, including the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which could affect how soon or how quickly President Biden’s other nominees leave.

Another area where Congress has a voice is China. To date, there has been bipartisan agreement on US-China policy, resulting in CHIPS and the Science and Infrastructure Act aimed at increasing US competition with China in things like semiconductors.

But the new Congress could reveal partisan differences on issues like Taiwan or America’s position in Asia.

Of course, the power of the wallet is the key. Congress has budgetary authority over military spending, which will reflect new sentiments depending on which member is elected. (In May, 57 members of the House of Representatives voted against $40 billion in aid to Ukraine. In the Senate, 11 Republicans voted against it.)

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From coronavirus vaccines for developing countries to sanctions against Russia, Congressional spending could transform the American economy. Republican wins in the Senate and House midterms will have powerful implications for Europe and NATO as the war escalates.

Finally, the issue of morality is raised in this election. The United States is regarded as a beacon of democracy in most of the world. But this perception is threatening. The midterms will reflect what Americans value, send a message about our national history and priorities about whether democracy is theory or practice, and whether America can master it.

Tara D. Sonenshin is the Edward R. Murrow Professor of the Practice of Public Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.


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