The Growing World Outside of the Republican Party

  • National Newswatch

The Red Wave that became a tentative ripple came as a surprise to most and prompted countless observations.  One of the unseen consequences of the American mid-term results has been on foreign governments and how they will now view the effects.The most immediate and obvious will be the new hopes raised in the global fight against climate change.  The Republican party had opposed some of the binding international agreements pending in the coming two years.  A sweep of the House and the Senate would have prevented the world's most influential and wealthy nation from deliberations about our climate future.But it might have been even worse.  Democracy itself was on the ballot in the mid-terms – Biden was correct in that assessment - with the lingering imposing shadow of ex-president Donald Trump hoping for a resurrection of his power and image.  Trumpism was everywhere, in every state and every polling station across the nation.  His presence at times transcended even the Republican party itself in the run-up to Election Day.  Countries like Canada understood the implications and the uncertainty over the future that the Red Wave would have caused.But it didn't happen, and most news outlets across the globe noted a certain sense of relief at the outcome.  Though hardly mentioned, all knew that American foreign policy was also on the ballot, adding a global element over what was supposed to be a domestic mid-term battle between political parties at home.The Republicans were well known for their troubled embrace of climate deniers, insurrectionists, and anti-immigrant forces.  Their enthusiastic response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade likely became the deciding factor in the election, as an increasing number of Americans associated Republican politics with extremism instead of human rights.The Red Wave would indeed have resulted in a pushback against the numerous Trump investigations and a full-court press for the impeachment of Joe Biden in payback.  That would have kept America preoccupied for the next two years and beyond, and distracted from the more significant global challenges requiring American leadership.  All that would represent a tragedy since the two parties largely agree on many key international issues like Russia or China.And then there is the largely discussed issue of Trump's improved chances of regaining the White House in 2024 if the Red Wave had succeeded.  America's great allies, like Britain, Canada, France and Germany, had already learned what that was like and would surely distance themselves from American imperialism.One of the great lessons from the fizzle that was to be the Red Wave is that Americans, too, are fretting over the imperial designs of one of their political parties.  Republicans have turned the country's political balances into organized mayhem, carpet-bombing their enemies and turning a blind eye to the injustices of their friends.  They should have known they ran the risk of turning off a significant part of the electorate, but in their rush to dominate, they partially self-destructed.Leaders around the world know their history far better than their Republican counterparts.  They have learned, sometimes at a high cost, that imperialistic aggression in the modern era often leads to failure.  France lost the Franco-Prussian war that it had instigated with such great fanfare.  World War One started with one man killing another but became a battle of imperial ambitions. This conflict saw both instigators, Germany and Austria, lose after four years of bloodshed.  Germany and Japan, having started the second global war of the century, ended up in ruin.  And now it would appear that Putin's imperialistic Russia is in retreat against Ukraine.Power in the modern world has flattened out, permitting other democratic elements to play a role.  Often underestimated, these elements can be aroused to fight against the fear and anger imposed on them by either global or domestic forces.  The Republicans entered their tunnel years ago, contenting themselves with seeing a distant light in their rear-view mirror and the light of ambition in front of them.  But they grew blind to the broader American influences of fair play, women's rights, economic and racial equality, and the desire for more respectful and effective politics around them.  Those forces turned out in great numbers last week, reminding Republicans that a great, more equitable world lay outside their view.  Democracy bit back, and Donald Trump's party is left licking its wounds.Imperialism in America opened the door for other autocrats across the globe to take a run at dominance without inclusion.  The mid-terms reminded aspiring demagogues that democracy is broader and more complex than they might imagine.  The growing belief that democracy was on the ropes in America has been given a brief respite, a short time for citizens around the world to reconsider their options and come together to fight for something better than the cruel designs of blinding extremism.Glen Pearson was a career professional firefighter and is a former Member of Parliament from southwestern Ontario. He and his wife adopted three children from South Sudan and reside in London, Ontario. He has been the co-director of the London Food Bank for 35 years. He writes regularly for the London Free Press and also shares his views on a blog entitled “The Parallel Parliament“. Follow him on twitter @GlenPearson.