The midterm elections of 2022 have concluded. Democracy has prevailed, and despite our optimism for the future of our country, we are still a nation divided. In spite of the setbacks each person’s party suffered, everyone has cause to be grateful for and to celebrate the fact that democracy emerged triumphant; everyone, regardless of race, color or religion, was able to cast a ballot with general ease.
Our nation has endured a variety of challenging moments over the past several years. This nation has been ripped apart by tribalism and a culture of division, making it difficult for its citizens to find common ground on even the most basic issues on which they could formerly at least agree to disagree. Voting is the most accurate representation of what it means to be an American citizen. Our midterm elections provide the American people with the opportunity to exhibit their pride in our nation’s values and elect their leaders — a principle for which even the most extreme loyalists and independents would give their lives to preserve.
On the other hand, elections do have consequences, and each election has winners and losers. Acceptance of election results and the peaceful transfer of power from one political party or candidate of a political party to another is, notwithstanding defeat, a vital ingredient for a successful democratic process. This is because accepting election results is the only way for power to be distributed fairly. This is precisely what transpired throughout this year’s election season, and we are all in better shape for it. It indicated to the rest of the world that despite our recent string of domestic problems, the United States is still able to agree on and find stability in its most fundamental doctrines.
As we move past the midterm elections, the focus switches to the 2024 presidential campaign. Both Democrats and Republicans will soon begin focusing on fundraising for their respective campaigns. In spite of Joe Biden’s declaration that he would most likely run for president again, the spotlight is on the Republican candidates. Donald Trump has announced he will be running, but in light of the results of the midterm elections, I doubt that many people within or outside his party are enthusiastic about his running again. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), on the other hand, are gaining favor and financial support from the GOP base across the country. DeSantis’ mandate and dominance in Florida is the most remarkable development so far. In Florida, Trump’s margin of victory was just 3%, but DeSantis’ margin of victory was 20%.
The fact that many Trump-endorsed MAGA candidates lost is an obvious sign that he is losing influence and standing in the Republican Party. Trump’s attacks on DeSantis and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin following the election results have further eroded his base’s support. Coupled with the fact that Trump has become such a major issue for the Republican Party and is viewed as a loose cannon by a sizable portion of the populace, the former president’s chances of being reelected are indeed challenging. To be blunt, the majority of people would rather see Trump become an elder statesman and support the emerging future leadership. This is an honest assessment of the situation. To be a successful candidate, the former president will need to demonstrate self-control and put forth the required effort, including heeding the counsel of political strategists and advisers. Trump, as we all know, is not a man who enjoys losing, and he is unlikely to accept the risk of running and losing again.
This is what brought attention to DeSantis, who now has the mandate to — unofficially — enter the presidential race early and with confidence. He looks presidential; he seems equipped to lead. But what is most important is that he has a vision for the future and how he intends to build the nation’s top executive, if he decides to run for office. Trump, on the other hand, bases his campaign on the fact that he is Trump, which is insufficient. Where is his vision, and what is his strategy outside “Make America Great Again”? The requirements of the people exceed that significantly. People are becoming bored of resentment-based and petty politics and are ready for something fresh.
Despite the fact that the party’s defeats are still foremost in everyone’s mind, 2024 will be different for the Republicans and foretells potential hope for the party. There will be a greater number of Democrats running for reelection in the Senate, including several contested races. This also affords the GOP a chance to reset and reorganize around messaging that appeals to a wide spectrum of voters, including independent swing voters and suburban voters whose confidence the GOP must continue to earn back. As the election pendulum swings from left to right, each political party has the chance to demonstrate to the American people why they are more qualified to lead the nation.
Nevertheless, as we go forward into the year 2024, the people have made it quite clear that they want our political leaders to listen to what they have to say. I hope that someone will say something along these lines: “The people have spoken, and the message is crystal clear … They are demanding that we work together for bipartisan solutions to the difficulties that our nation is facing. No other mandate exists than that of making our nation safer, more powerful and more unified — to truly be again the ‘United’ States. That is my sole mission. May God bless America.”