French press review 8 November 2018

More fallout from those US midterm elections. Do the results make the reelection of Donald Trump in 2020 inevitable?


Le Monde reads the US midterm election results as confirmation that the US electorate is home to two more-or-less equal but absolutely opposed views of the world and of America's place in it.

The Democrats now control the lower chamber, the House of Representatives, with Trump's Republicans strengthening their grip on the Senate. That should oblige the president to show a tad more subtlety in his search for a political consensus. But, with Trump, you never know. Especially since "tads," "consensus" and "subtleties" are not, à priori, his favourite game of marbles.

The good news is that the announcement of the death of democracy seems to have been exaggerated: 114 million people passed through the polling booths this week, compared to 83 million in 2014.

We have also seen more women elected, and representatives of a wider range of ethnic groups than ever before. There are even two muslim women, both Democrats, in the new American legislature, a historic event if ever there was one.

But the crucial lesson of this election is that what Le Monde calls "Trumpism" is now an established political reality, no longer a running gag. Many previously moderate Republicans held on to their seats only because they openly endorsed the brash tone and stance of the president.

Now we have to wait and see if Trump has the capacity to work with his political adversaries rather than trying to tweet them out of existence.

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