How Tuesday’s Midterms Will Change America
Everyone can take a deep breath: the midterm elections are now over. Good or bad, win or lose, the events that have been building over the past several months have been resolved. Campaigning is done, all the confetti has been launched, concessions have been made, and now everybody can go home–until 2020.
Overall, not much happened that people weren’t anticipating. Ted Cruz stayed afloat in a deep-red state; Claire McCaskill lost in Missouri due to fallout from her vote against Kavanaugh; the Democrats now have control of the House of Representatives for the first time since 2010, and the Republicans have held on to their power in the Senate. There was not quite the “Blue Wave” that Democrats had been hoping for. While Tuesday was definitely exciting, many of the results were already expected.
However, the elections this week were historic for several reasons, and the impact of them will be felt in politics throughout America for years to come. This is how Tuesday’s turnout, and results, may impact the country.
Historic Crowds Took to the Polls
While we won’t know the exact numbers for a while, voter turnout soared for these midterm elections, going far beyond typical turnout. A record number of people voted, showing unusual interest and participation during the midterms.
Hopefully, these midterms have sparked renewed interest in politics and have made more people realize that their vote matters, even when it’s not for a Presidential election. Time will tell whether midterm elections will continue to see numbers like the ones the polls experienced on Tuesday. Overall, the crowds and soaring statistics are positive indications that people are becoming more involved and interested in having a say in who represents them in office.
With Control of the House, Democrats Can Go After Trump
Although some votes are still being counted and some wins are still waiting to be officially announced, the Democrats have already surpassed the 218 seats they needed in order to flip control of the House of Representatives. Now that they have the power they desperately needed, and which was a big source of anticipation for this election, what can they do over the next two years to fight back against Trump?
As is usual with the House, winning control will not necessarily be about pushing Democrat agenda but will be more about preventing the Republicans from advancing theirs. When it comes to actually passing legislation, the House will still need to find a compromise with the Senate.
What’s most important about winning the House is that Democrat’s new legislative capabilities include investigations that they’ll now have the power to launch. This includes enacting subpoena-powered probes into Trump’s finances, ethics scandals, and Russian interference. Democrats can even now demand the President’s tax returns, an act that Trump has already called “a waste of taxpayer money.”With the House flipped, there may be investigations within the next year or two that will attempt to tell the truth about situations that will put our President in further hot water.
History Has Been Made for the Face of Politics
The days of political influence residing with older, straight, white men may be beginning to melt away. Tuesday witnessed the election of the first openly gay senator, Jared Polis (D-CO); the first Native American women to Congress, Sharice Davids (D-KS) and Deb Haaland (D-NM); and the first Muslim women as House representatives, Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib, (D-MI). After the elections, a record number of 118 women will take their seats, either in the House or as Senators.
Together, these men and women represent a new face for politics: one that is more diverse, whether by skin color, gender, or sexuality. Tuesday may not have brought a Blue Wave, but it did bring what some are now calling a “Rainbow Wave.”
While it may take a few years for Tuesday’s impact to settle, there were moments of greatness in the midterm election. We are currently facing a new kind of politics– one that is diverse, loud and commands the attention of more Americans than ever before.
Laura Myers is a lead contributor to The Daily Lead.