Where does the United States stand politically now, in November 2021, after the dust has settled from an off-year election, and a full year after the election of Joseph Biden as the nation’s President? What can we say looking forward, to next year’s Congressional election and beyond?
One compelling observation: Former President Obama (2008 – 2016) remains a force in the political arena. The fact that his chief legislative achievement, Obamacare, has in large part survived an openly hostile administration has given Obama himself stature. This makes him a powerful weapon for the Democratic at need: though that weapon was plainly not sufficient to carry McAuliffe to victory in Virginia.
On the other side, the direct influence of former President Donald Trump (2016 – 2020) is receding in the Republican Party. The Republican candidates for Governor in both New Jersey and Virginia distanced themselves from Trump, if not always from “Trumpism.” Each likely benefitted from this distancing, a fact that will encourage more of it.
The Thing to Know:
Where are we? We are in the midst of a re-alignment of political parties, and of the forces and alliances beneath the parties. Where the re-alignment will take us, we cannot yet say. But it is underway and its consequences will be profound.