US divide may deepen further after midterm elections

By Li Qingqing Source:Global Times Published: 2018/11/4 22:33:39

US voters are preparing to go to the polls for the midterm elections on November 6. Generally, the midterm elections are not the most important in the US. But the result of the 2018 midterms is being watched closely all over the world. It seems to be important enough to determine the durability of the Donald Trump administration and even affect the US' future. The public opinion battle on social media before the elections has also attracted the world's attention.

Chinese people normally don't much care about the US midterm elections. But this time there are apparently much more discussions on Chinese social media.

Chinese people also understand that because of the midterm elections, Trump has been playing the "China card". One moment the capricious president takes an intransigent attitude, and the next he shows an intention to negotiate. Trump even accused China of attempting to "meddle" in the midterm elections, saying that "they don't want me or us to win because I am the first president to ever challenge China on trade".

The midterm elections this time have caused so much chaos. As a country that always sets standards for democracy, how come the US is so divided today? Seldom has it been so hard for its society to reach consensus. Just look at the recent cases: A Trump supporter sent bomb devices to 14 opponents and a gunman who reportedly wanted all Jews to die gunned down 11 at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

The political antagonism and anxiety in US society has been escalating, and the spirit of compromise is all gone. The US elections are becoming less and less civilized and the two parties' key politicians are sparing no efforts in the election campaign to smear their opponents instead of building consensus. 

The 2018 midterms won't fix this divisiveness. No matter which party wins, the two parties' politicians will always incite antagonism with each other. This has become a recurring problem of the two-party system.

An election should be progress for society's self-examination, but US elections are moving the opposite way. This may create opportunities for new hatreds and violence in society.

As Americans' belief and social identity are becoming divided, they are experiencing more fear and insecurities. These domestic issues will also exert an impact on China-US relations. Chinese people don't want to see a unilateral US that always bullies and pressures other countries.

With the recent trade war, Beijing is keeping a clear head about the future. Chinese people also don't want to see a US extremely lacking in certainty, as it will further cloud the future of China-US relations.

Posted in: OBSERVER

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