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US: divided and dangerous

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TWO years ago, the 2016 US presidential election campaign, and the surprise success of Donald Trump, revealed the deep fissures within America’s body politic. The bitter campaigns run in the 2018 mid-term elections have deepened these divisions.

The ‘blue’ Democratic states are mainly on the east and west coasts of the US, while the ‘red’ Republican states are in the middle and south. However, the division is more complex, geographically, socially and economically. There are Democratic strongholds in the urban and suburban areas within the ‘red’ states; and Republican support centres in rural areas within the most heavily ‘blue’ states.

The Democratic Party encompasses: educated and progressive white Americans; African-Americans, Hispanics and other immigrant communities. The Republicans include less-educated and working-class whites, mainly in the rural areas or ‘middle’ America’s ‘rust belt’ of dead and dying manufacturing industries, evangelist and other Christian groups, the military community, the hard-line Israeli lobby, as well as many affluent white members of corporate and establishment America.

The midterm elections have transferred control of the lower house of Congress to the Democrats. This was anticipated; but the scale of the swing is significant. In the northeast, Republican representation in the house has been virtually wiped out. There are now over 100 mostly Democratic women in the house including, for the first time, two Muslim women representatives.

Trump has mastered the art of diversion through atrocious assertions and rhetoric.

However, since the 2018 Senate races were mostly in rural ‘red’ states, the Republicans have not........

© Dawn