The next mid-term election is just a few days away when you read this article. This mid-term election is very important because it not only may change the color map distribution of the 118th Congress as every mid-term election does more or less but also may determine the outcome of the 2024 presidential election because of the turmoil of the past two presidential elections in 2016 and 2020 the voters experienced. We have lots of domestic and international issues challenging our political servants but there are three key issues that may cloud voters' judgment this mid-term election, possibly dragging voters into a bipartisan turf war by voting purely according to the color of the district rather than the quality of the local candidates. There are always some turf war phenomena especially after a national district remapping following the centennial census. But the problem is getting worse as our election campaigns have become focusing more on so called “opposition research and tactics” which tend to generate fake and negative news (significant Ad dollars) rather than dwelling on candidates' qualifications, abilities, achievements and visions for serving the public office.
Whether one is a Democrat, Republican or Independent, it is important for you to step outside a red-blue color district map to clear the thoughts and accept the truths of the important issues. There are many of them such as abortion, gun control, immigration, healthcare, etc., but the following three major issues are important because they are relevant to the essence of democracy, our very election system. Hence, we must clearly understand them and accept their truth and then judge your candidates’ positions and focus on your candidates' true merits. The three major issues are:
1.Russiagate and its verdict (relevant to our election system and campaign practice)
2.Truth of the January 6th Capitol Event (relevant to our constitution and civil rights)
3.Position on Russian-Ukraine war versus domestic economic plan. ( relevant to our future and value system)
As a voter, we need to accept the truth of these issues, clearly understand our candidates’ position and value system then judge on their qualifications and merits.
Russiagate was the headline news before, during and after the 2016 presidential election. The 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russia were accused of collusion in the election. American presidential election influenced by a foreign country is a very serious matter. After six years of investigation by the Justice department, FBI and investigation of the FBI and the Fed government, the truth is getting clear. Robert Muller, Special Prosecutor finds no collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia. Following Muller, John Durham, investigator then appointed as Independent Special Counsel, investigated the Russiagate mess over 42 months have cleared the following: The Hillary for America campaign organization did create a joint venture to produce false information against Trump (Christopher Steele’s Trump dossier and fake secret communication through Alfa bank were revealed). Although indictments on individuals were not as successful (some acquitted and some plea bargained) but the case became clear to show the serious effects of “opposition research” that had destroyed the integrity of democratic election and voter confidence. We hope that these kinds of negative (criminal) political campaign will never be repeated again. As voters, we must accept these findings and apply to the judgment on the mid-election candidates and their parties.
The Jan 6th committee is another important issue triggered by the 2020 presidential election. Whether an election was stolen was more a critical issue than a squashed protest or violence in the Capitol. Hong Kong's violent protests were praised with false arguments when compared to the much milder protests in Washington. Civil rights and patriotism should be universal values with no double standards. We can use a case involving 18-year old high school student, Bruno Cua, who is a great builder of tree houses in Milton, Ga to call our attention on the election issue. Cua was allegedly seen standing in the Senate chamber of the U.S. Capitol along with a handful of others. In his defense his lawyers said, Cua was an impressionable 18-year old in the middle of working to graduate from high school when he was arrested. The prosecutor suggested that he was genuinely inspired by former President Donald Trump and his unproven ‘intent’ on violence. Both prosecution and defense agree that Cua was influenced by the social media and changed his course of life. More than 250 people have been charged with storming the Capitol. Are they all more guilty than the media which make sensational even fake news? Before the coming mid-term election, shouldn’t the voters clearly understand and accept the truth of this major issue and how media played in fake news. The voters must examine their candidates' position on this issue and whether the candidates partook in fake news generation rather than present their qualification and deeds for the voters to make their choice.
Although Russia-Ukraine war is far away from the U.S., it is impacting the world. It was crystal clear that the root of the issue is NATO, whether or not it presented national security threat to Russia especially when the new Ukraine Administration favored the policy of joining the NATO. NATO is supposed to be a defense alliance against aggression. The U.S. invests significant amount of money annually in NATO for the collective defense of NATO nations. Trump had questioned the value of NATO to the U.S. in 2021, the U.S. contributes directly 811,140 million dollars, the largest, to the total NATO budget of 2.5B Euros. Of course, we do enjoy the influence that we exert in Europe because of that. However, when Russia-Ukraine war broke out (Russia felt threat and Russian speaking Ukrainians suffered oppression versus Ukraine felt threat and wanted to join NATO), it created a crisis in Europe. The NATO and U.S. support of Ukraine diminished the chance for peace talk and resolution, in fact, it elevated the risk of having a nuclear war after the Russian gas-pipe line and Crimea bridge were bombed. Is continuing support of Ukraine worth the risk of a nuclear war? Is it a good idea of focusing on foreign affairs with possibility of creating military conflict rather than focusing on our domestic issues, infrastructure, inflation, rising debt and economy? Shouldn’t voters ask our political candidates where is their focus and what are their solutions to domestic issues rather than using foreign issues such as Ukraine and Taiwan to blur voters' attention?
In the coming mid-term election, only a few days away, let us clear up fake news and accept the truth. Let us ask our public office candidates the real tough questions on how to build up America and make our lives better.