The US mid-term elections ended with the close victory of the Republicans in the House of Representatives and the victory of the Democrats in the Senate. The election ended in favor of the Democratic Party, contrary to all predictions that gave the possibility of a massive victory for the Republicans.
However, one thing became clear in this election: the failure of the candidates who were supported by former US president Donald Trump. This showed that the political life of the former American president was not over for him, but it made his position among the Republican Party very shaky. In fact, it can be said that even with the announcement of Trump's readiness and candidacy for the 2024 presidential election, he has a very difficult task ahead of him to gain the support of his party members.
On the other hand, the surprising and unexpected victory of Muslim candidates in this election made experts and analysts see this minority as an influential group in the upcoming elections. Almost 150 Muslim Americans had run for office this year, including 51 state legislative candidates across 23 states.
In an interview with IQNA, Professor Michael Aaron Rockland shed lights on this topic.
He is a prolific writer and a Professor of American Studies at Rutgers University. Despite the variety of his books and articles, the recurring interests in his writing—whether scholarship, memoir, journalism or fiction—are New Jersey culture and America on the international stage.
Following is the full text of the interview about US mid-term elections:
IQNA: We saw mid-term elections in the United States. How do you evaluate the political situation after this election?
Rockland: I think we have gained some sanity. More Americans now see that Donald Trump is a dangerous fool. The people he backed in the recent election mostly lost. What we need is two solid political parties. The Democrats are currently quite solid. The Republicans under Trump became crazy.
Hopefully, that is mostly over now, Trump's influence depleted. So, although I am mostly a liberal Democrat (although I have occasionally voted for worthy Republicans), I want to see a strong Republican party. Joe Biden has set them a fine example to follow. So, in general, I see the country as being in pretty good shape at this time.
IQNA: In the presidential elections, we saw the large presence of racial and religious minorities such as Muslims. How do you evaluate the presence of Muslims in this election?
Rockland: We are a country of minorities and so I am delighted to see Muslims increasingly seeing themselves as Americans like the rest of us. They are adopting 'The American Dream.'
IQNA: In this election, we saw an unprecented number of Muslim candidates who won. What effect do you think this has on the country's policies?
Rockland: I think it speaks to what is best about the United States: the belief that anyone can be an American. Unfortunately, there are still jihadists. They spoil things for all of us especially good Muslims.
I think Muslim Americans are slowly learning that theocracy and democracy do not go together, we are not a Christian country but a country which supports all religions equally.
IQNA: How do you think the state of Joe Biden's government will change after this election due to its poor performance in domestic and foreign affairs?
Rockland: I do not believe Joe Biden has performed poorly in domestic and foreign affairs, Quite the contrary. The fact that Democrats retain control of the Senate and have almost as many Democratic representatives in the House now, speaks well of Biden's skill. He is a smart, good man with vast experience.
IQNA: What do you think are the chances of Joe Biden's re-election as president based on the results of this election and is it possible for a Republican candidate to win in the next election?
Rockland: As for Joe Biden running again for president, well he will be 82 then. But some people are sharper in their 80s than other people in their 50s and 60s. Biden is in good shape physically intellectually, and imaginatively. Should it come down to Trump getting the Republican nomination, I suspect Biden will run—and win!
Interview by Mohammad Hassan Goodarzi
The views and opinions expressed in this interview are solely those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the view of International Quran News Agency.