OPINION: What the Democrats should be worried about for the next 4 years

OPINION%3A+What+the+Democrats+should+be+worried+about+for+the+next+4+years

Kevin Ashley, Staff Writer

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If the Democrats thought all of their problems were over now that former President Donald Trump is out of office, they need to think again. If CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) taught us anything it is that Trump, Trumpish and right-wing populism as a whole aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. However, what should Democrats be worried about? Two things:  Trump and his promoters continued support and control over the GOP and voter suppression.

Despite losing the 2020 election, Trump and his followers still have a powerful sway within the Republican party. With the 2022 midterm election quickly approaching the Democrats might have some problems, according to COD political science Professor David Goldberg. 

“2022 is very crucial because these are midterm elections,” Goldberg said, “and in political science, we know that the president’s party always loses seats in a midterm election. Recession or a surging economy, regardless of the circumstance politically and economically, the president’s party loses seats.” 

Given the current state of U.S. politics, a loss of the majority in the House or Senate will lead to an outright gridlock of Congress… like always, unfortunately. Midterm elections, in particular, are notorious for their lack of voter turnout despite their overall importance. 

NPR found that back in 2010 and 2014 only 4 in 10 eligible voters went out and voted for the party of their choice. This staggeringly low rate does not sound good for Democrats, because historically speaking, the Dems do better when more people vote. 

How does this tie back to Trump and his supporters? Currently, the Republican Party is, and probably will be for the foreseeable future, run by Trump and his base. If Trump tells his supporters to go vote for Ted Cruz or Josh Hawley they will, without a second thought. This is bad for the Democrats because in an election where every vote counts and voter turnout is usually very low this level of follow-through and organization will be terrible for them. In Iowa, a new voter law was passed that will shorten the time that you can both early vote and vote the day of an election. By limiting the amount of time that people can vote in the state it ensures that fewer people do and goes to help keep Republicans in power.

The chances of the Senate and the House flipping to Republican control is very high; with that control, Republicans can block all of Biden’s agenda and even restrict his authority (if enough seats in the House and Senate are acquired). 

Having a Republican Party fully devoted to Trump and his ideology isn’t good for the Dems or Conservatives who actually believe in the values that Trump has actively broken. However, a Trump Party filled with Trump loyalists like Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Green is the future that is coming if the Republicans get a landslide victory in 2022. Victories made all the more possible by the Democrats’ second concern Voter suppression.

Voter suppression is something talked about a lot on the Left when discussing how Republicans win elections and how terrible gerrymandering can be. However, at no point in modern history should people be more concerned about voter suppression than for the next two elections. 

So far in 2021 alone, Republicans have filed over 165 bills meant to restrict people’s ability to vote in 33 states. 

One of the many notable voter restriction bills is currently being passed in Georgia, which flipped blue in 2020.  The bill restricts early voting start and end times shortens the days you can early vote, restricts access to mail-in voters and changes the requirement for who can early vote and how they must do it. The bills also decrease the areas where you can drop off a mail-in ballot and make fewer areas for people to go and early vote and vote the day of. And the list goes on. Although everyone in the state is affected by the new law, everything that is changing has been changed because Democrats and people of color primarily use those methods. The new gerrymandered districts have yet to be created in those states. This bill and bills like them are a direct attack on democracy and the best way for Republicans to beat Democrats. The fewer people who vote the better the Republican Party can do. The better they do, the chances of them winning back the House and the Senate and, perhaps, even the presidency.

If the Democrats don’t act quickly on the federal level they and the American people stand to lose so much in the years to come.