The State of American Politics – The 2018 Midterm Elections


In the first lecture of our series of talks on the upcoming 2018 US midterm elections, former Member of the US House of Representatives, Jim McDermott, talked about what he thinks is the most important election in the history of the United States as well as possible Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential election.

On October 12, 2018 our series of talks on the 2018 US midterm elections was opened by former Member of the US House of Representatives and self-proclaimed Borussia Dortmund supporter, James “Jim” Adalbert McDermott, M.D. In front of more than 100 people Mr. McDermott shared his first-hand experience in the political system of the United States, talked about the immense importance of the upcoming midterm elections and revealed his estimates of who could potentially be the Democratic nominee for the presidential election in 2020.

"The Republicans have made a Faustian deal with Donald Trump."

McDermott started his lecture by giving possible explanations of how Donald Trump was able to become president in 2016 before talking about the US midterm elections in November 2018. He identified a problematic electoral system, the Republicans’ use of Fox News as a propaganda machine, and the politicians’ neglect of the effects of globalization on the working class as the main reasons for Trump’s success in the past presidential election. Furthermore, according to McDermott, many members of the Republican Party have abandoned their previously critical stance towards Trump in order to stay in power within the GOP.

"I truly believe this is the most important election in the history of the United States."

Now that – with the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh as Supreme Court Justice earlier this month – Republicans are in control of all three branches of government, McDermott sees a positive result for the Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections as vital for the upholding of the American system of checks and balances and the only democratic way to control the extravagancies of President Trump. A Congress with a Republican majority, thus uncompromisingly loyal to the president and unchecked by the Supreme Court would, according to McDermott, be a great threat to American democracy.

"I don’t think the Senate is going Democratic, but I think there is hope."

While the former Member of Congress was positive that the Democrats will be able to take back the House of Representatives, he doubted that the same will be true for the Senate. According to him, the public dispute about Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation as well as the alleged Republican efforts to suppress voters who would favor the Democratic Party were all factors that would make a Democratic majority in the Senate unlikely.

"I supported Hillary Clinton in 2016."

In addition to his estimates about the midterm elections next month, Mr. McDermott also gave away former US ambassador to Germany, Phil Murphy, as well as Beto O’Rourke, who is the current Democratic nominee in the Senate Race in Texas, as his favorites for the Democratic candidates for the next presidential election in 2020. However, unlike Hillary Clinton, who he supported in the last presidential election, McDermott advised the next Democratic candidate to run for office on a student debt platform.

We thank Jim McDermott for his time and for sharing with us his first-hand experience in the democratic processes of the political system of the United States.


(Photo: Jim McDermott ©Amerikahaus)