Midterm elections are just the start of party division in our country

Marsha Blackburn made history in the 2018 midterm elections.

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Marsha Blackburn made history in the 2018 midterm elections.

Samantha Viel, Opinions Editor

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Analyzing the Midterm Election Results: What does this mean for the

future of our country?

Tuesday, Nov. 6, the Midterm Elections, was a nail-biting nightfor all. This election made it apparent that Washington, D.C., as well asthe rest of the country, could be hit with immense changes regardinghow next two years will unfold politically.

To summarize the election, the Democrats won the majority in the House ofRepresentatives for the first time in eight years, while the Republicansmanaged to keep the majority in the Senate, resulting in a dividedCongress.

The split in government should not be the only concern ofAmericans.  Rather, we should be more concerned with the overalldivision in our country that will continue to grow because of this election.  

For the first two years of his first term, President Trump didn’t face any objections from Congress, as the Republicans possessed themajority in both houses. However, the Democrats now have anopportunity to place a deliberate check on the presidency, making itdifficult for Trump to pass his intended legislation.

For instance, the 10-percent tax cut the president promised to middle-class Americans seems unlikely now with a bipartisan Congress.

“Since the government is now divided, I think that it’ll be difficultfor Trump to pass legislation through the Democratic majority in theHouse,” said senior Daniela Caceres.  “It will be interesting to see if there will be clear opposition to the president.”  

Moreover, the Democratic majority in the House will not onlyslow down Republicans in their actions to pass new legislation, butprovides the Democrats with the ability to conduct congressionalinvestigations, hearings, and order subpoenas.

There have been implications that the Democrats will attemptto pursue impeachment, depending on the results of former FBI DirectorRobert Mueller’s special counsel investigation, which has already beguncontroversy on the Senate floor.  However, the Republican gains in theSenate would make it less probable that there would be the two-thirdsmajority, which is needed to remove President Trump from office.

“A Democratic Congress will work for solutions that bring ustogether, because we have all had enough of division,” said currentDemocratic Minority Leader of the House Nancy Pelosi.

Nonetheless, it seems that Trump will continue to appointconservative federal judges through the Senate.  Currently, there are 21 judicial nominees pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee and 32 nominees awaiting a vote from the Senate.  While celebrating Diwali at the White House, the president also announced his nomination of attorney Naomi Rao to fill Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s seat on the D.C. Circuit Court.

So, it is clear that the Democrats will be looking further into thePresident’s actions.  This begs the question if the president will attempt to cooperate with the Democrats or continue to use social media as an outlet to criticize those who disagree with him, the majority of which are Democrats.

If it is the former, and the president attempts to cooperate with Democrats, the divide in our country will begin to diminish.  However, recent trends in the midterm election, and in Trump’s actions, prove that this is unlikely.  So, the divided congress that was created, and the fear-mongering pursuit of our President, will allow this drastic divide to flourish.  

This divided government may also make Trump reconsider theway he displays his aggression and frustration as he will soon begin hiscampaign for re-election in 2020.

“We’ll just have to work a little bit differently. It’ll all work out,”said President Trump on the following Monday after the election.

The weeks leading up to the election, there were predictions of a “blue wave” that would spread over the country, aiming to send anti-Trump messages to the White House.

The Democrats needed to flip only 23 Republican seats without losing any of their own. Come election night, the party ended up gaining over 30 House seats at the end of the night.

However, Democratic efforts displayed more of a splash. While winning the House was a victory for the Democrats, their call for change was not reflected as strongly as the party had hoped.  Most of the House seats they acquired were in districts that Trump didn’t win in the 2016 election.

Additionally, President Trump’s rallying and campaigningthe weeks before the midterms seemed to have paid off.  Trump’sfocus throughout his campaign was on saving the Senate for theGOP.  This method was effective because the Republicans flipped four Democrat Senate seats in Illinois, Missouri, North Dakota, and Florida. 

Whileit was not anticipated for the Democrats to take over the Senate,the Republicans gained a bigger majority in the Senate,demonstrating how the Democrats’ goal to display retaliationtoward Trump just simply didn’t happen. 

While there was no positive outcome for the Democrats in the Senate, the impact of their campaigning efforts cannot be ignored.  In fact, the efforts of both Republicans and Democrats point to a stronger division between parties and the unwillingness they have to work with one another. 

There were also many significant achievements for women,people of color, and the LGBT community. For instance, Republican MarshaBlackburn became the first female Senator to represent Tennessee. 

Democrats Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland became the first NativeAmerican women elected to Congress.  Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, both Democrats, became the first Muslim women elected to Congress.

Additionally, Democrat Jared Polis became the first openly gay man

elected as governor.  These elections illuminate the path for more diversity in Congress, which is much needed, especially during a time where intolerance still heavily exists in our society.  Hopefully these new Congress members can bring insight into the government that was not present before. 

The presence of a new group of minorities in our Congress will either bring Congressmen together by providing a new perspective, or only contribute to the divide.  Again, because of recent trends, the latter is the more likely solution.  

There is a population of people in Congress who believe that the fights for women’s rights, African American rights, and equal representation for all religious or ethnic groups are unnecessary because great progress has already been made in all of these respects.  Because of this, the divide will only increase as these new minorities as they come into congress with the intentions of initiating the debate for more progressive legislation.  

While the result of incorporating new minorities should bring the country together, as it gives a voice to a new population of Americans, it will only end up enlarging the divide.  This is because of our already-polarized government.  Every time a controversial issue is brought into light, there are two solutions and the nation is simply more divided than it was before. 

We cannot ignore the significant triumph that women, people of color, and religious groups have made during this election. However, we can also not ignore the impacts it will have on an already-divided nation that will unfortunately only contribute to the divide. 

It seems that the parties are continuing to grow farther apartand unwilling to work with one another, which suggests that the countrymay be harder to govern in the near future.  10 years ago, there were 17 statesthat had one Republican Senator and one Democratic one, but fromJan. 2019 there will only be seven, showing that candidates arehardly able to survive in an opposing party’s region.

Our elections willcontinue to result in close races and will continue to  separate Americans, rather than unite them, all of which is frightening in a world that is already filled with so much unresolved controversy and intolerance. 

“With the Democrats taking over the House it’ll be interesting tosee if Republicans and Democrats will try to work together to pushforward and make compromises on legislation, or if it will divide thecountry even more,” said senior Rebecca Orlick.

Ultimately, our country is looking at many deadlocks on issuesregarding immigration, gun regulations, environmental regulations, andhealth care.  This can be worrisome in a country that is constantly demanding change and reform. 

Hopefully we can place our faith in the congressmen and women that were elected and see bipartisan legislation within the next two years.  This division will essentially dictate how the 2020 presidential election unfolds, whichunofficially begins now.

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