US Midterm Elections Are Seemingly About Borders & Immigration?

Before I begin let me say that I am not a political analyst or even an expert in these matters. However I feel with the Midterm elections in the USA being held today I have to comment. I have never completely understood the US voting system. I do understand that these Midterm elections could cost the Republicans control of either the House or the Senate. If this happens it will inevitably make President Trump mad (or should I say madder?)

Midterm elections USA DONALD TRUMP

Midterm Elections

To summarise what these midterm elections are about. All 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 35 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested. In addition, 39 state and territorial governorships as well as numerous other state and local elections will also be contested.

Of course it is the news that will dominate this week throughout the world. It may even knock Brexit off the front pages of our own press which will be a welcome relief. I have absolutely no idea what the outcome is going to be but I have never paid more attention to the Midterms than this time. The United States of America seems completely divided and not at all ‘United’ as their name portrays. This division also seems more widespread now in the US than for a very long time. President Trump is many things, most of which I dare not put on this page, but he is certainly a divisive President. I know one should respect the office of Leader of the Free World but Trump does push one to the limits.

Montana Rally speech

On Sunday I was cooking the lunch and listening to the radio. I heard the newsreader quote Trump’s latest outrageous pronouncement.

“We have our military on the border. And I noticed all that beautiful barbed wire going up today, barbed wire used properly can be a beautiful sight,” he said.

Beautiful and barbed wire together in a sentence… twice. I am not sure what my reaction was. Anger mixed with incredulity? Can this really be the man that a democratic nation voted in two years ago to be their President?

The speech continued as he reiterated phrases from the past to describe the caravans, three of which have mobilised so far and are making their way through Mexico.

“These are bad people – as I say bad hombres,” Trump said. “There are some bad hombres in that group. So they came out with a list of 300 really bad ones, really bad ones. They’re in there.”

The “list” he referred to was a statement from the Department of Homeland Security stating that over 270 of the thousands of individuals in the various caravans have criminal histories, including gang membership and crimes involving robbery and sexual assault.

Trump also warned of additional caravans forming in Central America. “Now they have worse caravans actually being formed. It’s terrible,” he said.

Trump’s command of the English language is so simplistic, it beggars belief. It seemed to work in Montana at the weekend as cheers went up from the crowd. Immigration was the issue that Trump kept returning to, despite the fact that Montana has one of the lowest percentages of undocumented immigrants of any state. Yet, despite having such low numbers of illegal immigrants, most Montanans, that the media spoke to, said the issue was at the top of their minds for this election cycle.

US Midterm elections Donald Trump
Borders and Immigration

Once again an election is all about immigration. It is the overriding factor that worries Trump’s supporters. It was the same issue that dominated the UK referendum on the EU – borders and immigration. It was also the issue with the German elections in September 2017. Angela Merkel’s allowance of over 1 million refugees into Germany basically cost her party the majority. She had to accept a coalition government with the Social Democratic Party. Now, just over a year later, Chancellor Merkel has said she will be stepping down as leader of her party within the next 3 years.

Is this really what we are all concerned about? Of course we have to have borders to control immigration but not to stop it completely. Yet it appears that in a troubled world where so many are seeking refuge from their neighbours, we are all building stronger and bigger borders. Can this be the answer?

We are the generation that have been so lucky to have enjoyed freedom to travel throughout the world. We have welcomed immigrants into our lives, into our homes and our children have enjoyed the riches of learning first hand about other cultures.

On our side of the pond it is Brexit that is changing all of that. On the other side of the pond it is the President who is battening down the hatches. It may bring him support and respect from his followers, but it is causing terrible fear and anger amongst the other half of the US that did not vote for him. It is a dangerous and emotive policy for Trump to use in the current election campaign for the Republicans. If it works it will be even more worrying. I will not compare Trump to Hitler, as some do, as I think this is a very different time. However it was the policy that Hitler adopted to win his party power in the elections in Germany in 1933. There is a growing fear, both here and in the US, that immigrants are taking our jobs and draining our economy.

Fear may be the most powerful feeling of all for humans, and though it helps us survive, it is also one of the most dangerous for politicians to promote in order to gain power.

12 Comments

  1. Excellent piece Poppy Padmore. How sad that elections today seem to be won on the premise of hate thy neighbour? Mr Trump is one bad hombre

  2. I enjoy Country Wives but I am disappointed that politics is no longer avoided as it used to be, as a matter of respect and politeness. I am amazed how many times the subject of Brexit is brought up by Remain voters. You do not know your audience’s views and could be offending people by, for instance, assuming immigration was the only or major reason for voting to leave. Don’t make the mistake of believing that, as your readers are reasonably intelligent and educated, they will therefore have voted Remain. The Leavers I know usually do not respond to comments, out of politeness and a desire not to cause offence or start an argument. Please don’t make the now seemingly common mistake of thinking all right minded people must hold your views or they are uneducated ,racist, rampant right wingers who want to shut themselves off from Europe and the world. This too simplistic and quite patronising.

    • Surely freedom of speech should cover every topic. Recipes, clothing, make up, politics, humour, experiences – exactly what CountryWives does, and gives us food for thought. I certainly didn’t find this article patronising but very informative. Best wishes, Reasonably Intelligent of France.

      • Thanks Lou and apologies to Margaret if I caused offence. I certainly do not aim to be patronising on any level. I think that unfortunately politics comes into our lives at every angle and with the Brexit deal soon to be revealed we can only be concerned and/or interested. If you read this week’s article you will see that all I want is for us to move forward and get on with it. Whether I think it is the right decision is neither here nor there as we just have to accept the democratic vote and move on. We are a Parliamentary democracy so let’s hope that our representatives can get the right result for everyone whether they live in the UK or are currently living abroad. PP

  3. Writing from California, Election Day morning….thank you for this. I am one of the majority of Americans who did not vote for the person in office. Everyday I am horrified, terrified, repulsed, mystified, disappointed and saddened by what is happening in my country, and, I am not alone. Two years in, the majority of us are walking around like deer caught in headlights, in utter disbelief that this could happen here. This is not something we have been able to put behind us and go about our business. There is no “business as usual” to distract us or absorb our attention. All eyes are constantly focused on the three ring circus, freak show that is now our government. Your post perfectly captures what most Americans are experiencing right now. That from your distance you could so clearly see the situation here is simultaneously impressive and alarming. But, as you said, “barbed wire” and “beautiful” coming out of the mouth of the person holding the office of President of the United States resonates around the world. And, thank goodness there are good people the world over who are chilled by those words.

    • I think there is more to come from Trump in the coming months and years that will prove alarming. I hope it is good for you to know how we feel over here……we are sympathetic and do not judge Americans by the standards of their President!! PP

  4. To me it’s brilliant that a women’s magazine goes beyond the standard – enjoyable- clothes and recipes format to produce well-written, informative pieces about international politics. I found the article interesting and useful re the midterm elections, since I too have never paid much attention. To include politics in a magazine named Country Wives shows how far we’ve come; I believe women to be more than capable of tackling controversial subjects while at the same time respecting difference of opinion. US women are taking the initiative in calling out the madman Trump and his half-witted ramblings, so I say well done Country Wives, pitch in!

  5. As always Poppy (just love your name) for me you are the most articulate of all bloggers or guest writers. I always enjoy the discussion you present or view point or opinion you portray, how ever which way your readers want to perceive what you write. I must admit you never come across as patronising but people are entitled to their views.
    You always get me going about Trump, my view point is he is a buffoon!!
    For him to say barbed wire is beautiful, try telling that to the millions of Jews who were brutally incarcerated behind the damn stuff! Poppy you think like me, he’s a deranged buffoon.
    It was laughable on the news earlier when he was being interviewed, he wishes he had used a softer gentler approach to the way he had often used words. Rubbish, his policy has always been that of a ruthless businessman ‘Divide and Conquer’ no matter what the consequences, he wants to rule his way. Hitler??
    No one can accuse your writings as simplistic they are beautifully articulate.
    Pamela from Wales x

  6. Thank you for all of your comments. I am glad so many of you enjoy our weekly comment posts. I am watching the American elections now as I type and it looks like there is going to be a shake-up over there. Most importantly it also looks like many more Americans than usual have exercised their right to vote. PP

Leave a Reply