Midterm Election Reflection: Parties over actual politics

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Last Tuesday night, the United States announced its Midterm election results and sitting inside of my dorm, finally a contributor to politics, I saw how much of a difference every vote makes.

The democrats added 26 seats to the house and the republicans added two in the senate. Ted Cruz won Texas and Jared Polis is the first openly gay individual elected Governor in America. Not to mention the other small victories that occurred in every other state. Breaking barriers is no small feat and there were many broken down and discarded this election.

It was beautiful to see the expansion of the types of people who will be coming to Washington D.C. soon and even more exciting to know that the people of the United States elected them in their states. The New Yorker did an amazing illustration showing the “incoming freshman” entering Washington after the midterms, to show the new diversity with women and women of color, entering a white male dominated system.

I now see the melting pot analogy America is supposed to be in the distance. Finally, politics is starting to represent who the people of America are, not just the majority.

Basically, there were many important instances happening for both parties. The New York Times is currently estimating that around 114 million ballots were cast this year in the midterms, making it a highly interactive election. Especially for midterms, this is incredible.

The Senate will remain Republican while The House will now be majority Democratic, which is the win Democrats were hoping for.

At a few points at the beginning of the count, it was close but Democrats took hold and stayed there. Ted Cruz was a big win for Republicans as Cruz and O’Rourke were almost neck and neck the entire time, at one point being 80 vote a part. This just goes to show how important every single vote is.

The truth is, while watching the midterms, the parties seem to have taken over what really matters in elections and electoral: their beliefs and values. On social media I have come to find that it is more party versus party than anything else. I see more rooting for the “overtaking” of the Democratic party instead of rooting for what the particular people of the party are bringing to the table.

People were extremely upset about Ted Cruz’s win over Texas, but I saw very little media over Jared Polis, which is a win for the LGBT community as well as those who value what he stands for, or for Ayanna Pressley, the first African-American woman in Congress for Massachusetts.

Overall, media like Twitter and Instagram, although helpful in gaining voter turnout in millennials and Generation Z, makes for an environment of scrutiny between parties, further dividing political parties in the youth instead of teaching young adults to get along amidst their differences.

It feels as though now there is more hostility between parties than ever. I know there has always been a divide, but what will get solved if the gap is widened even more?

Not everyone will always agree on particular aspects, but when did everyone forget that we should be working together rather than working farther and farther against one other?

America is built upon this idea that we are a nation of individuals melted together in this “melting pot” of different backgrounds and beliefs. It feels as though we are regressing into a time when we are seperated and fighting against each other instead of coming together and creating a world where compromise is valued higher than fighting and disagreeing.

We all have different beliefs and backgrounds, I grew up being taught these differences are what makes America so special, not something to steer away from. There will come a time when we all need to come together and by then we will have forgotten how to.

The midterms showed great advances for society, but they also highlighted our regression.