Shifting the Focus

As the results of last night’s midterm elections continue to trickle in, the long-standing idea over the last year or almost two years that a Republican resurgence would take place still seems valid. While the outcome was dubbed by some to be a “Red Tsunami,” the specific word that I had in my mind was “resurgence.” Why I chose the word “resurgence” rather than the word “Tsunami” or “Wave” which other folks decided to choose – even though I acknowledged that a “Tsunami” or a “Wave” is possible – is because even though war and inflation thoroughly undermined Joe Biden, issues such as minority rights and women’s rights are still important for a largely left-leaning American population. Thus, the economic considerations have to be balanced with social factors as well, which is why I chose the word “resurgence” as a means of attempting to be as accurate and specific as possible, even though no one can be fully right all the time.  

Another reason why I thought that a Republican resurgence would occur aside from the issue of war and inflation is because more often than not, Congress switches parties at some point during a president’s term in office. Certain polls and projections had shown that the Republicans would take 53 seats in the Senate last night and at least 233 seats in the House of Representatives. Gubernatorial races were also believed to be leaning more towards the Republicans. But what seems to be a sure bet at this point in time is the prospect of the Republicans taking the House of Representatives, even though the Gubernatorial and Senatorial races seem to be more fluid than the House races. And if the Republicans take the House, then the pestering of Joe Biden and certain folks in his administration will be top of the agenda for House Republicans. 

Thus, with the House most likely going to the Republicans, Biden’s focus has to shift towards something other than domestic issues in order to make his term in office worthwhile until his term expires in January 2025. And the likelihood – although no one can predict these things to the full extent – is that Biden might shift his focus towards foreign policy issues after this midterm election. Moreover, foreign policy can be tied into domestic considerations and domestic issues. Diplomacy and engagement with other countries is not aimless. Rather, and as some experts have noted, the core aim of diplomacy and engagement for the United States in this day and age is domestic renewal and revival. 

As the CIA director Bill Burns wrote in his memoir, the case has to be made that “diplomacy and international influence are aimed as much as facilitating and accelerating domestic renewal as they are at shoring up global order.” In extraordinary circumstances like ours and in a world that is now in constant flux and rapidly changing and shifting, what a president would normally do over two the course of two terms now perhaps has to be condensed into one term. By getting certain things done on the foreign policy front, Biden can then make something out of what would otherwise be a lame-duck presidency. 

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