The Small Victories of the United States Midterm Elections
Even though the Democratic Party did not win back the senate in this past midterm election, do not assume the fetal position. There were still a lot of wins, and these little things add up. Voter Turnout was at a high, Dems won back the house, and intersectionality and diversity laid claim to the House, Governor, and Municipal races. It’s these little battles that help make history.
Midterm-voter participation was the highest it has been in over a century, with nearly 50% of the voting population casting votes. Regardless of who voted for what, that is an amazing victory for democracy. Not many citizens show up for the midterm elections despite how wonderful it is that we live in a country where we get to vote for our leaders-- but this year, the turnout was the largest it has been since the year 1914. Maybe it is because the current President has created such a strong divide in politics in this country, so more people cast their vote to try to either change things or keep them the same. I imagine a lot of voters on both sides felt they had a lot to lose, so they showed up at the polls.
Democrats Won the House
Sure, Dems didn’t win the Senate, but they did claim the house for the first time since 2014. The Trump presidency has had the majority in both the House and the Senate so far, which made it easier for his policies to go through and get approved. Now, because Dems have the House, the process of making contentious laws will be slowed or halted, since both bodies in the Legislative Branch need to approve a bill before it goes to the president for approval. I imagine that a Dem-held House of Representatives will be a little less supportive of giving Trump what he wants. The true victory though may lie in the fact that the House can now subpoena Trump’s mysterious tax returns.
A Victory for Diversity
Full disclosure: I might probably definitely be crying as I write about this, because after two years of hate, bigotry, homophobia, racism, and all kinds of bullshit coming from this administration, we have wonderful, qualified, and diverse individuals stepping in to make laws and govern our nation. Here is just a short list of firsts:
First Native American Women Elected to Congress: Sharice Davids (D, Kansas) and Deb Haaland (D, New Mexico). Davids is also LGBT.
First Muslim Women Elected to Congress: Rashida Tlaib (D, Michigan) and Ilhan Omar (D, Minnesota)
First Openly Gay US Governor: Jared Polis (D, Colorado)
The Second and Third Transgender Women Ever Elected to the House: Gerri Cannon (D) and Lisa Bunker (D)
Again, this is just a short list, and there are many more at state and municipal levels that show how there are voters in this country that want more voices and perspectives to be heard in our government. So, wipe away those tears, drink some water, and get ready for the next two years when it’s time to vote for president. Take these victories, hold them close, and go kick some more ass.