Harmful spillovers from toxic partisan politics

In the respective speeches they made in Pennsylvania last week, US President Joe Biden called his predecessor a "clear and present danger" to the democracy of the United States, while previous US president Donald Trump claimed his successor and the group around him were an "enemy of the state".

The Capitol Hill riot, originating from Trump's claims that Biden "stole" victory in the presidential election from him, might prove to be only the prologue to the country's future sufferings should the political divide in the country continue to foment animosities and claims that the other party is a threat to the nation.

At present, the political situation in the US is in an abnormal state ahead of the midterm elections, as the political mobilization of both sides is similar to that for a presidential election in terms of the scale and depth.

This trend reflects that in the context of increasing political polarization, the significance of shaping the political landscape has been amplified, and even the midterm elections are regarded as important means of doing that.

With each side attributing to the other the problems facing the country, which range from the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation to gun violence and the immigration issue, among other things, the polarization of the US politics is clearly going from bad to worse. It is ironic, therefore, that in order to gain an advantage over the other, both parties are adopting a similar line toward China. While this serves to divert public attention from domestic problems, the competition to see who can talk and act toughest toward China is a race to the bottom of the barrel.

Their decadent tug-of-war has intensified in the wake of the 2016 and 2020 elections, and they are scrambling for power with the clumsy tactics of suppressing and even stigmatizing their opponents, and pouring oil on the flames of international relations.

Since both the Democratic Party and Republican Party are unwilling to work together to find solutions to the country's problems, the fault lines in society continue to widen.

If Congress is controlled by the Republicans after the midterm elections, which is very likely, it will only further intensify the polarization and division in US politics.

That means the problems the US faces at home and those it has created abroad will become even more challenging.

The world should be on alert to that.