Midterm elections offer citizens the opportunity to correct the course set by the President by rejecting those in Congress who support him. Sometimes these elections are about the economy or about foreign wars. In the 1970 Election — held in the midst of protests against the Vietnam War and Republican President Richard Nixon’s first term — Nixon campaigned heavily for Republican candidates, with Nixon encouraging voters to “show their displeasure with violent dissenters.” Instead, voters rejected Nixon’s message and sent a strong signal to end the war by electing more Democrats to the House of Representatives and keeping the Senate in Democratic hands.
Instead of a foreign war, the 2018 Midterm is a referendum on a cultural war. This week Trump escalated Nixon’s language, referring to those who disagree with him as a “left-wing mob,” comparing them to arsonists, and warning that to elect Democrats is to vote for “mob rule.”
But who is the “mob?” Is the mob women who demand not to be sexually assaulted or to have their healthcare taken from them? Is the mob black and brown-skinned people who demand not to be shot and tasered without cause? Is the mob children who want to be safe in their schools, or teachers who want to be paid fairly for the work they do? Is the mob drivers who want to confidently use our highways without fear that sink holes will open underneath them? Is the mob every American who wants to breath clean air and not suffer extreme climate change?
Or is the Mob the group of would-be oligarchs and reality TV performers, led by President Trump, who have taken control of the Executive Branch and the Republican party? Does a day go by when we don’t hear of a new scandal of self-dealing by some Cabinet member who thinks he — or she — is entitled to private plane service or upscale furniture at taxpayer expense? By a Trump family member who gets a sweetheart deal from the Chinese government for her jewelry line? Or another indictment for money-laundering or election interference?
The 2018 Election offers a stark choice for the citizens of the United States: Rule by the Republican Mob, or not.