Voter suppression and intimidation has been a time-honored tactic in America. With those realities and the apparent disconnect between the electorate and the elected, should people even bother to vote? Early vote totals in at least 17 states already surpass 2014 turnout at this point. Will the projected Blue Wave and the awakened Red Surge cancel each other out? In some cases, early and absentee vote totals are on track to double since four years ago. The numbers are so high in some states that early voting may exceed total vote counts — including Election Day tallies — from four years ago.
Even though foreign policy is traditionally not a central issue during midterms, could there be foreign policy impacts as an outcome of this election? Two recent articles that have come to my attention, first: "Could Trump Take Down the American Empire?" In it, Gareth Porter says, "Trump's attacks on the system of the global US military presence and commitments have gotten little notice. He has complained bitterly, both in public and in private meetings with aides, about the suite of permanent wars that the Pentagon has been fighting for many years across the Greater Middle East and Africa, as well as about deployments and commitments to South Korea and NATO." This has resulted in an unprecedented struggle between a sitting president and the national security state over a global US military empire that has been sacrosanct in American politics since early in the Cold War. In another article, "The New Cold War May Never Arrive," MK Bhadrakumar states, "From a historical perspective, presiding over a great power in decline is a very difficult thing to handle. Trump is doing remarkably well in the given situation. His tantrums and grandstanding are expedient, diversionary steps become necessary through bluster and rhetoric, but he's largely getting away with it. The bottom line is, Trump has not started any new war — and to my mind, he has no intentions, either."
The projection of the impact of younger voters on these mid-terms. Thirty-four million millennials voted in the 2016 election, constituting 25 percent of votes cast. The 48.1 million baby boomers may have outnumbered millennials two years ago, but those numbers are shifting. While the ranks of the boomers thin out each year, an estimated 8 million more Americans are eligible to vote this year than in 2016. Many of these young voters enter the political arena with a particular agenda, and one of their key obsessions is gun control. A generation traumatized and energized unlike any time since September 11 identifies school shootings as a very important issue (68 percent of respondents), followed by access to higher education (64 percent), healthcare reform (64 percent) and job creation (62 percent), according to a poll by SocialSphere.
Trump tweeted, "All levels of government and Law Enforcement are watching carefully for VOTER FRAUD, including during EARLY VOTING… Cheat at your own peril. Violators will be subject to maximum penalties, both civil and criminal!" But the real issues involve machine-based errors, not individuals trying to cast fraudulent votes. Voting machine errors are already being reported in Texas and Georgia races. All this is happening while Georgia Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp's office, without citing evidence, is investigating Georgia Democrats over an alleged "hack." What's the truth with voter fraud?
Dr. Julianne Malveaux — African-American economist, social and political commentator and author of Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy.
Jon Jeter — Author and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist with more than 20 years of journalistic experience. He is a former Washington Post bureau chief and award-winning foreign correspondent.
Shermichael Singleton — Writer and political analyst.
Barbara Arnwine — President and founder of Transformative Justice Coalition, internationally renowned for contributions on critical justice issues including the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1991 and the 2006 reauthorization of provisions of the Voting Rights Act.
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