Tuesday's Elections and What They Reveal About the Current State of American Politics

This past Tuesday, November 7th, elections were held in several states. The results took many by surprise when the Democratic party claimed a majority of the victories, even in states that have voted predominantly Republican in the past.

In the words of the New York Times,

“A black transgender activist, Andrea Jenkins, was elected to the Minneapolis City Council. A Hispanic woman won the mayor’s race in Topeka, Kan. A Sikh man was elected mayor in Hoboken, N.J. Latina, Vietnamese and transgender female candidates won state legislative races. Black candidates were elected lieutenant governor in New Jersey and Virginia. A Liberian refugee in Helena, Mont., was elected mayor.”

Minorities have stepped up in office and are gaining political momentum.

Some critics are rejoicing at the Democratic party’s increase in popularity foreshadowing their comeback as the majority power in the legislative branch. These critics believe the turnaround is a slap in the face to Trump’s administration. Minorities have come together and given back power to the Democratic party out of contempt with the president and his legislation.

The Washington Post, however, published an opinion article that provides an alternative view into the Democratic victories.

Whether or not they were due to a public rebellion against the Trump administration is not the point of Joe Scarborough’s article. What Scarborough is most interested in addressing is what this turnaround says about our nation. In his words, “American politics are a disaster.”

It is no secret that the Republican and Democratic party have been the two dominating parties in our democracy for as long as most of us can remember. At different points in time, one or the other has dominated the White House. What is new, and the reason Scarborough believes our politics are a disaster, is that the period of time for which a specific party holds power is much shorter now than it has been in previous years.

“The political alignments that once endured decades of change have begun collapsing in two-year intervals,” explains Scarborough. When Trump was first elected, the GOP had a strong presence in the polls, and now, only a year after his administration, “Trumpism is in full retreat” with “historically low approval ratings.”

This doesn’t mean that the Democratic party is in better shape, however. Democrats faced huge losses in the past year because they have lacked unison and organization, and while some believe that the party has come together in the past year, Scarborough questions the validity of this claim. He believes that the underlying reason why the nation’s governing party is fluctuating so quickly is that “voters are voting against political parties instead of voting for aspiring leaders.”

The American people are dissatisfied with the government’s inability to find solutions to problems such as job scarcity. When Trump ran for president, claiming he would “make America great again,” many took a chance on his promises. Now that the problems don’t seem to be solved, voters are swinging to the other side. This flip-flop trend of the past couple administrations is what has brought about the political disaster in our nation.

The solution to this is in the hands of greater political minds, but we can all do our part to better the political state of our nation by doing our research before we vote. Instead of voting for specific parties, perhaps we should vote for specific leaders. It is essential that we make educated votes and stop putting people in power simply because they are from a different political affiliation than the previously elected official.

For Scarborough’s full article, please visit:https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/tuesdays-election-proves-it-american-politics-are-a-disaster/2017/11/09/5ed37e84-c599-11e7-afe9-4f60b5a6c4a0_story.html?utm_term=.e61610fac0a4