Restoring democracy in the US

The House of Representatives and Senate are with the Democrats now


Jawdat Bilal January 16, 2021
The writer is a George Washington University alumnus and Public Policy consultant. He has worked on political campaigns in Pakistan and the US

The attack on the United States Congress on January 6, 2021, by the Trumpians, will be long remembered in the political history. The rare incident has damaged the democratic legacy of the United States of America as well as the Republican Party. It will not affect President Donald Trump’s legacy because this act of vandalism is embedded in his leadership style.

The pressure was immense on the Republican Party to challenge the electoral votes on the floor of the House. The Republicans lost the Presidential and two Senate seats in the state of Georgia, which used to be a ‘Red State’. Now with an equal number of seats in the Senate (50-50), the Vice-president-elect, Kamala Harris, will cast her deciding vote to hand over the Senate to the Democrats’ control. About the Georgia Senate election, the pre-election polls were neck-to-neck. The Democrat nominees led by 0.5 . As a Red State, one would estimate that it will eventually favour the Republican candidates. The momentum swung in the Democrats favour when President Trump’s call to the Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, came out in the media, where he was asking the Secretary to find him 11,000 more votes to challenge Biden’s win in the state. The credit for changing the political landscape of Georgia also goes to former Democrat minority leader Stacey Abram. It took her no less than 10 years to develop and increase the Democratic base in Georgia.

The House of Representatives and Senate are with the Democrats now. The President-elect and majority leader will find it easy to roll out their agenda for health, jobs, economy, climate change, and foreign relations. However, the Democratic tenure will not be as simple as it seems. The Republicans still have an equal number of seats in the Senate; and they may try to disrupt or interfere in the policy process.

The Trump administration may be gone, but ‘Trumpism’ is here to stay. President Trump’s Twitter account, if restored, will be continuously buzzing about the Biden team’s indecisive decisions, corrupt system, and attacking the Republicans for not sticking with him in his last days in the White House. He may decide to run in 2024 again, if the future permits. Whatever may happen, he has a massive Republican following. In the future, he will be used in the Republican Senate and House campaigns. The ‘Trump’ brand has set its roots deep inside the American system.

The international partners are looking forward to working with the new US president. America’s role is pivotal when it comes to issues like climate change, security, and Covid-19. The country’s relationship under the Trump regime has gone stale with several key allies, including Canada, Germany, France, and other NATO countries.

This tenure will be a test for the Biden-Kamala team on how they resolve the internal and external challenges the facing the United States. One good thing that came out of the January 6 attack was that many Republicans realised that by following and securing Trump, they are letting go of their old strong democratic tradition and history. It was a brave and wise decision by many Republican senators who took off their names from challenging the electoral vote in the Congress after the Capitol incident. The United States has always prioritised the system over individuals. I hope they continue to do so.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2021.

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