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毎日デイリーニューズ/2018/11/8 16:10

Trump must put an end to 'politics of hate'

The results of the midterm elections for U.S. Congress appear to show that women bravely stood up to stop the politics of President Donald Trump, which seems to have provoked hatred and confrontation as it surges ahead either without control or in a unilateral manner.
In the race, the Republican Party maintained its majority in the Senate, while the Democrats regained control over the House of Representatives, forcing the GOP to relinquish its bicameral control of the Capitol.
What happened is a major turnaround. This change was prompted by the doubts and anger held by women over Trump's politics.
A record 250 women ran for the Congress in the midterm elections. An overwhelming majority of successful female candidates for the lower chamber are Democrats. And they include a Native American and two Muslims, marking the first time for the minority groups to send female representatives to the U.S. House. They received a strong tailwind from those opposed to Trump's alleged discrimination against people of Islamic faith and women.
According to opinion polls conducted by CNN and other organizations, support among male voters for the Republican and Democratic parties broke even, but about 60 percent of women backed the Democrats. There was a movement among youth seeking gun control, which attacked Republican candidates who stood against gun control in the aftermath of mass shootings at schools.
In the United States, where the #MeToo movement has gone after sexual harassment, women appear to realize that the "America First" political approach of President Trump also means discrimination against minorities, support for white supremacy and male dominance in society.
The midterm elections, however, did not give a clear verdict against the Trump administration and his party. The Republicans are on the verge of expanding their control in the Senate. The GOP had an edge because more than 40 of its Senators were spared this contest in the upper chamber, where only one third of the 100 seats are up for grabs every two years.
Voters usually render harsher judgments on the ruling party in midterm elections. The results this time seemed like a draw. It was certainly not a "tremendous success" as President Trump insisted, coming at the time of a well-performing U.S. economy. The twisted outcome symbolizes the deep divisions among the public.
The election was fought as a "caravan" of thousands of Latin American immigrants moved toward the U.S. An alarmed Trump described the move as an "invasion," sending troops to the border area in an unusual response.
These measures certainly prompted conservatives to close their ranks. But an election advertisement from the administration and Republican Party camp attracted criticism for being "racist." Even media outlets close to the Trump regime shied away from broadcasting the clip. The backlash, as well as widespread accusations that the deployment of troops to stop the caravan was overreacting, were apparently an unexpected outcome for President Trump.
How to handle immigration is a tough question shared by the U.S. and Europe. Driving would-be immigrants away is not a solution. We worry that President Trump's words and deeds tend to be racist and are at loggerheads with the spirit of the United States, a country built by immigrants.
There is no question that Trump will now have a harder time dealing with Congress. There could be a move in the House seeking the impeachment of the president, depending on the outcome of the investigation over the 'Russia Gate' collusion allegations against Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The Democrats will intensify their activities on the Hill to pursue the case. Things will change completely from when the House was controlled by Republicans.
Such a situation is undesirable for Trump, who is seeking re-election in the 2020 presidential race. The expected Congressional gridlock presents two worrisome scenarios.
First is the possibility of U.S. politics going nowhere amid a faceoff between the president and the legislature -- previously seen during the Obama administration. The other scenario is Trump trying to ram through his policies with presidential orders not requiring congressional approval, in the face of stonewalling by lower house Democrats.
In the second scenario, Trump is likely to focus on foreign policy, and in hope of securing achievements, he may press unreasonable demands even on allies including Japan, or resort to grandstanding.
We are especially worried about the possible fallout on the North Korean nuclear talks. It is possible that Pyongyang will readjust its approach to negotiations based on its analysis of the midterm results. Trump, who faces accusations of taking a haphazard approach, should restrain himself and avoid reckless reactions.
The results of the U.S. midterms seem to underscore, in the face of strongmen leaders of the world who could be called "mini-Trumps," the limits of a political style that pursues the interests of one's own country alone without heeding international cooperation.
Now President Trump, who has tended to leverage his political unpredictability to solidify support, can try to explore a new, cooperative political approach. Confrontational, hatred-driven politics is not befitting of a superpower.




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