One's success is bound to be a product of one's personal traits and life experience accumulated in one's lifetime living through one's environment. Kyrsten Sinema born on July 12, 1976 had a homeless childhood and worked hard academically to better herself, she developed a successful career eventually becoming a U.S. Senator in 2019 before turning 43 and replacing Arizona retiring Senator Jeff Flake. On December 8th, Senator Sinema announced her resignation from the Democratic party to become an independent, joining two other independents, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senator Angus King of Maine. Officially Senator Sinema's decision will influence the Democratic control of the Senate depending on how independent she will be. If she would caucus with the Democrats like the other Independents do, then Democrats will hold a 51:49 clear majority in the Senate. If she would not caucus with the Democrats, then Democrats will have a 50:49 majority. Judging from her voting records of 50% with the Trump Administration, even though she said she would not caucus with Republicans, there are certainly possibilities on issues related to finance/budget or military spending that may result in a 50:50 tie requiring the VP as the tie-breaker. Another Democratic Senator from West Virginia Joe Manchin, like Sinema, had frustrated the Biden Administration and liberal Democrats in the past two years on certain voting issues, for example, on debating and passing the massive $3.5 trillion Build Back Better Bill and opposition to the changes on the Senators' filibuster rules. Even though the White House (Joe Biden) and the Senate Majority (Chuck Schumer) think the Democrats will still be in charge and day-to-day operations won't change, the fact that Senator Sinema formerly declares as a new independent at a time that American bi-partisan politics essentially is walking on high-wire needing serious reform to get our Congress and Administration to work more efficiently is very significant, more than just an impact on senate voting.
This significant impact may be examined from at least three aspects, first, Senator Sinema's personal career objective – With her background, self-made successful woman, liberal on social issues and conservative otherwise, she may be a possible 2024 Presidential candidate to galvanize the independents and the dissidents of the two major parties who have been frustrated with the past two Administrations. Second, a movement of political reform – Citizens are fed up with our inefficient governments. It is necessary to force the American two-party system to reform and to examine whether a third significant party can make Congress and Administration function more efficiently. Senator Sinema may trigger such a movement. Third, A complex immigration problem - the Biden Administration like the Trump Administration is blaming the U.S. semiconductor manufacturing supply chain deficiency on China and Taiwan. Biden's semiconductor revitalization plan of inducing TSMC of Taiwan to build its fabs in Arizona and grant massive number of TSMC employees visas to work in Arizona is a serious social problem reminiscing the days when black laborers from Africa were forced to immigrate to the U.S. (Arizona having a long border with Mexico is facing the illegal immigrant problem.) How the two parties may be pulled back from an ill-formed anti-China (and anti-Taiwan) foreign policy to focus on our real domestic issues of education and immigration to fix the problem of the decline of America?
Krysten Lea Sinema was born in Tucson Arizona having an older brother and younger sister. Her parents divorced and her mom remarried and moved the family to Florida. When her stepfather lost his job, the family lived in an abandoned gas station under hardship. Yet she finished Walton high school as a Valedictorian at age 16 (1992) and a BA degree from Brigham Young University at age 19 (1995). While working as a social worker, she obtained an M.A. In 1999 and J.D. In 2004 from Arizona State University College of Law and practiced as a criminal defense lawyer. In 2008, she participated in the Harvard University JFK School of Government Program for Senior Executives with an LGBTQ Victory Institute fellowship. She started her political career as early as 2002 running for public office as a Green party member but failed. In 2004, she switched to the Democratic party and won an Arizona house representative seat. From then on, she served three terms as Arizona house representative, then won state senate (2010 election) and next won a Congress House seat (2012, 2014, and 2016 elections). In 2018, she ran for and won the U.S. Senate seat for Arizona by raising three times more campaign funds than the combined total of her three competing candidates raised together. Although Senator Sinema had been attacked on her voting records such as voting 50% of the time with the Trump Administration and having few accomplishments on legislation to her name, but she is a true independent (proven by her voting record), confident and decisive (for example in 2012 running for Congress by resigning state senate position and in 2018 taking on the Senate race).
Sinema is firm in her belief and in saying and doing the right things (“unafraid to say what I believe about and what our party needs to do.”) Sinema voted against both Pelosi and Schumer to be the majority leader. For the current American political system, we have a dysfunctional Congress and government hence being unable to solve many domestic issues ranging from budget, military funding, healthcare, taxation, immigration, and infrastructure, as well as many more social issues (guns and crimes etc.) Foreign affairs have been used to divert attention from domestic problems. With our superior military power (and military-industrial complex), we often set foreign policies to obtain an unfair advantage for us. Using subsidies to move TSMC fabs and employees to Arizona will not solve our education problem failing to produce a sufficient number of STEM professionals other than violating WTO rules, upsetting our EU and Asian allies and destroying global cooperation. The competition from a rising China is inevitable. It can only be sensibly dealt with a fair collaborative attitude for mutual benefits. The U.S. cannot rely on our military power to initiate or engage in wars to solve problems. Since Sinema announced her switch from democrat to independent, there are questions about her real intentions. She says that she is not interested in the presidency even though reporters and Bernie Sanders have linked her independent stand to her personal aspiration. This author would suggest that Senator Sinema might have a chance to be a game-changer in American Politics. He hopes she will consider it.