It’s too early to sound the all clear. Europe should arm itself.

People walk toward the United States Capitol, the seat of Congress.

After winning the Senate, US President Joe Biden’s Democrats lost their majority in the House of Representatives in the congressional elections.

(Photo: dpa)

The Democrats lost the House of Representatives but retain control of the Senate. The US midterm elections have shown that demonizing Joe Biden and denying the outcome of the 2020 presidential election is not enough to win the minds and hearts of Americans.

Donald Trump also no longer has the Republicans quite as firmly in his grip. Many in the party are convinced that they would have done much better had it not been for his active involvement in selecting candidates. Rupert Murdoch’s media outlets, most notably Fox News, distance themselves from him.

It seems Trump is not the Republican nominee in the 2024 White House race.

American democracy, which has often been declared dead in Germany, has proven to be resilient. There was a high turnout, the mood at the ballot boxes was peaceful, and many losers quickly admitted their defeat.

Top jobs of the day

Find the best jobs now and
be notified by email.

The best news from a European point of view: In the “swing states” such as Pennsylvania, Michigan or Arizona, which are so decisive for the outcome of the elections in the USA, the “waivers to vote” have not been able to get to the crucial control points.

So can we in Europe sit back and relax? Not so fast. While the Democrats got off lightly, many of the races were close and could have ended differently.

Joe Biden

With a divided Congress, governing will be more difficult for Biden in the next two years.

(Photo: AP)

Joe Biden remains extremely unpopular. In 2024, Republicans have a good chance of taking over the Senate. Of the 23 seats Democrats are up for re-election, seven are in states Trump won in either 2016 or 2020.

Republicans already have significant influence over legislation and government spending through their majority in the House of Representatives.

The Radical Republicans have gained power here with a slim majority because every single vote counts. Who will be president in 2024 is completely open.

The Europeans must therefore continue to reckon with the “Grand Old Party”. Trump seems battered, Trumpism is alive and kicking. When it comes to issues such as gender identity, critical race theory, abortion or gun ownership, all influential Republicans are firmly outside the comfort zone of the European mainstream.

Instead, the party seeks to associate with Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban, who was the much-acclaimed guest speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual political gathering of conservative activists and elected officials, in August 2022.

Ties are also close with the national conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) in Poland. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the party’s new hope after his landslide victory, is no exception on all these issues.

Donald Trump, former President of the United States, speaks at a campaign rally in support of Republican Senate candidate Vance’s campaign.

Trump himself could also celebrate a comeback. He’s already won once with the narrative of being the underrated underdog who ended up showing it all.

So nobody in Germany should fall off their chair if the White House goes back to a Republican in 2024 who does not see the federal government as a natural favorite ally.

Should the Republicans take the helm, it would not only become more difficult in terms of atmosphere. Republicans are much less united on foreign policy issues than on domestic policy.

However, they reject the EU’s climate agenda across the board. With regard to China, they advocate extensive aggressive economic decoupling, including export controls, relocations and increased economic protectionism.

They would expect the Europeans to follow them here, even at the cost of European prosperity, and would push to do so much more than Biden. China is and will remain a foreign policy priority for the United States, and that also applies to the Democrats.

As a result, the winds for the Europeans will become noticeably rougher over the next two years: there is little doubt in the short term that the USA will continue to play a leading role in matters of European security and support for Ukraine.

But the Europeans will have to do more to support Ukraine than before, financially and militarily. They would do well to use these years to prepare for a scenario in which the US no longer views its involvement in Europe as a core American interest.

The author:
Jana Puglierin is Head of the Berlin Office of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

More: FTX founder donated $38 million to US Democrats – billion-dollar bankruptcy reaches US government

source site-12