The most racist electoral cycle since the Civil Rights era
Only two years after the unexpected victory of Donald Trump, the political phenomenon in the United States seems to be copying the formula to maintain success during the mid-term elections, triggering one of the most racist campaigns in the country's recent history.
While it is true that politics is a bloody sport, the Donald Trump phenomenon in the United States has shown that, when it comes to votes, anything goes.
Since Trump inaugurated his presidential campaign with a speech in which he called Mexican immigrants "rapists" and "traffickers," the line between political correctness and the First Amendment of the Constitution has become blurred, triggering one of the most troubling political episodes in the country.
Just days before the mid-term elections, the U.S. has been involved in an atmosphere of violent, racist and inaccurate ads, which show not only the desperation for the control of Congress but the true facet of politics in the Trump era.
Just a week ago, the president shared on Twitter a campaign against the Democratic Party using the case of Luis Bracamontes, an undocumented immigrant who murdered two police officers in Sacramento in 2014, and arguing that "the Democrats let him into the country."
This is one of the many examples of the inappropriate use of political demagogy and the exacerbation of reality to divide the country, a tool that Trump has coined thanks to its success during the 2016 presidential campaign.
With the appearance of a new Caravan of Refugees in Central America, the Republican ammunition has become increasingly racist and xenophobic, trying to drag with it some of the support that the president awakens.
Campaigns such as that of Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee, and ads against candidates like Antonio Delgado in New York and Ammar Campa-Najjar in California, have raised the tone of aggressiveness during this election cycle.
To make matters worse, candidates to become the first African-American governors in regions such as Georgia or Florida have been attacked through robocalls that mock their ancestry and, in the particular case of Andrew Gillum (Florida), Republicans have adopted a language that had not been seen since the Civil Rights era, more than 50 years ago.
After Gillum's opponent, Ron DeSantis, told Florida voters "let's not monkey this up," Trump Administration Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue urged voters last week not to choose Andrew Gillum because “this election is so cotton-pickin’ important,” the Washington Post reported.
According to the professor of political science at Emory University, Alan Abramowitz, "the attacks are now much more blatant and out open, at a level not seen since the 1950s and 1960s."
"It's quite extraordinary. It goes beyond criticizing their views," he said to the Post. "This is using very racially tinged language. It’s remarkable to hear from a president, and now it’s seeping down to candidates running below the presidential level. And it’s spread beyond the small fringe now."
On the other hand, for a large part of the Republicans, the racist and xenophobic discourse instigated by the president could be counterproductive when it comes to collecting the necessary votes on Tuesday.
Senior party officials have begged the president to focus on economic development and put aside the anti-immigrant campaign, which Trump has ignored.
But whatever the outcome of Tuesday may be, the country seems to have been irreparably fractured.