By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier
The midterm elections held on November 6, 2018, will significantly restrain Pres. Trump’s rule of the United States as a dictatorship.
In the first two years of his presidency, Trump often abused his powers by signing Executive Orders and by controlling both the Executive and Legislative branches of the U.S. government through the Republican majorities in both the House and Senate. During this period, Pres. Trump made many outrageous statements and acted as he pleased disregarding any politically, legally and morally correct behavior.
However, the President’s free ride has come to an end! With the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, Pres. Trump will no longer be able to do as he pleases. He will be unable to propose any bills without the consent of the House Democrats who will investigate the illegal actions of the President and his cabinet members, as well as protecting the Special Prosecutor’s Russia collusion probe in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. The new Democratic majority in the House will be able to subpoena Pres. Trump’s campaign associates which the previous Republican majority had blocked, and will also demand the release of the President’s tax returns which he has adamantly refused to disclose, hiding his business dealings in foreign countries.
This new state of affairs will have two concrete consequences. The U.S. government will be in gridlock for the next two years. Hardly any new bills initiated by Pres. Trump will be approved by the House. Secondly, frustrated by the House blocking his actions, Pres. Trump will lash out at the Democrats even more harshly than before. The President has already declared that if the Democrats investigate him, he will investigate them in return! This means that Pres. Trump’s anger and hostility will rise to new heights, leading him to send more insulting tweets and deliver more outrageous speeches at his political rallies.
During the next two years, Pres. Trump will be so busy attacking his political rivals that he will be unable to pay full attention to domestic and foreign policies which will hopefully limit his mischief in the United States and around the world!
Armenian-American Candidates in the Midterm Elections
On the positive side, at least eight Armenian-Americans won local, state and federal political seats during the Nov. 6, 2018 midterm elections.
Armenian-American Anna Eshoo (Dem.-CA) won reelection to the House along with Jackie Kanchelian Speier, another Democrat from California. Armenian-American Anthony Brindisi (Dem.-N.Y.) is 1,293 votes ahead of the incumbent Republican Congresswoman Claudia Tenney as of election night, pending thousands of votes yet to be counted. If Brindisi wins, he will be the third Armenian-American serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In the history of the United States, there have been only seven Armenian-Americans elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. They are:
— Thomas Corwin (1831-1840; 1859-1861), Republican from Ohio.
— Steven Derounian (1953-1965), Republican from New York.
— Adam Benjamin (1977-1982), Democrat from Indiana.
— Charles Pashayan (1979-1991), Republican from California.
— Anna Eshoo (1993-now), Democrat from California.
— John Sweeney (1999-2007), Republican from New York.
— Jackie Speier (2008-now), Democrat from California.
Incredibly, Thomas Corwin, of Armenian and Hungarian descent, was a highly-accomplished politician and diplomat. He is the only Armenian-American who became a U.S. Senator (1845-1850), a Republican from Ohio. Besides his service in the House and the Senate, Corwin was the Governor of Ohio (1840-1842), and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (1850-1853). In addition, he served as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico (1861-1864).
Danny Tarkanian, Republican congressional candidate from Nevada, lost his election bid on Nov. 6, running against Democrat Susie Lee. Tarkanian trailed with 43.4% of the vote to Lee’s 51.4%.
Johnny Nalbandian, Republican congressional candidate from the Glendale, CA area, lost his election bid to incumbent Democrat Cong. Adam Schiff. Nalbandian had 23.5% of the vote to Schiff’s 76%.
Democrat Adrin Nazarian from the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles won reelection against Republican challenger Roxanne Hoge for the California State Assembly. Nazarian won 77.9% of the vote to Hoge’s 22.1%.
Elizabeth Warren (not to be confused with U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren), granddaughter of Armenian Genocide survivors, lost her election for the California State Assembly to fellow Democrat Tasha Boerner Horvath.
Republican Rita Topalian lost her race for the State Senate against Democrat Bob Archeleta, who won by 65% of the vote.
Outside of California, Mari Manoogian, 26, Democratic candidate for Michigan State House, defeated her opponent former Michigan GOP chair David Wolkinson, with 57% of the vote vs. Wolkinson’s 43%. Manoogian was endorsed by Pres. Barack Obama, Sen. Gary Peters, and Governor-Elect Gretchen Whitmer.
Another Armenian-American candidate, Sara Gideon, a Democratic member of the Maine House of Representatives, was reelected.
Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte was re-elected to Ward Three on Westbrook, Maine’s City Council. Turcotte, a refugee from Baku, Azerbaijan, is a strong advocate for Artsakh’s independence.
Finally, Lorig Charkhoudian, a Democratic candidate for Maryland’s House of Delegates, was elected to become the first Armenian-American to serve in the Maryland State legislature.
Most Armenian-Americans, who ran for political office on Nov. 6, won. The same is true for many non-Armenian supporters of the Armenian-American community. The Armenian National Committee of America reported that 92% of the congressional candidates it endorsed won their seats. This is great news!
On the other hand, Armenian-Americans are pleased that Cong. Pete Sessions (Rep.-Texas), co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Turkey, lost his reelection bid, despite contributions to him by pro-Turkey donors!