The Ups and Downs of the 2018 Midterm Elections

First off, if you didn’t vote, please don’t talk to me. That is, if you are over 18 and a US citizen and didn’t vote. Don’t say you’re not into politics. After the two years we’ve had since the presidential election, it’s not just politics anymore, it’s life. While not all of the states are at 100% reporting yet, the results for the 2018 Midterm Elections are basically confirmed and final at this point. Some of the results may seem confusing, but all in all, there were some big wins and some big losses for the Democrats.  

A pretty significant thing that happened was the Democratic Party gained control of the House of Representatives. The Republican Party had previously held a House majority since 2011. The Democrats won seats in Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia that had previously been held by Republicans. What does this mean? This means that, with their new House majority, “Democrats could now launch investigations into Donald Trump’s administration and business affairs,” and they are now able to “more effectively block Trump’s legislative plans” (BBC). So, in simpler terms: Trump could finally face the consequences for his actions and it will be a little harder for him to continue to do whatever he wants with no pushback.

On the opposite side, the Republican Party unfortunately still has control of the Senate, expanding their majority within it during these elections. This means Trump is more easily able to appoint judges to the Supreme Court and “it will now also be less difficult for the Senate to confirm new high-level Trump administration officials who might have been blocked or significantly delayed if Democrats had taken over” (BBC). With the House controlled by Democrats and the Senate controlled by Republicans, it gives us a divided congress. But at least now we can hope that in the future, both sides will get to have a say in what happens in our country, as opposed to the previously Republican-dominated control in congress.

One of the closely watched elections that ended on a sad note for Democrats was Beto O’Rourke’s (D) defeat by Senator Ted Cruz (R) in Texas. Other close races were the gubernatorial races in Florida and Georgia, with Ron DeSantis (R) defeating Andrew Gillum (D) and Brian Kemp (R) defeating Stacey Abrams (D), respectively.

The Democrats had some pretty celebratory victories though, with a record number of women winning races, as well as a significant number of people of color and LGBTQ candidates emerging victorious. To name a few: Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan will be the first Muslim congresswomen. In New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham is the first Democratic woman of color elected governor in the US. Ayanna Pressley became the first black woman elected to Congress in Massachusetts. Sharice Davids is Kansas’s first lesbian, Native American member of Congress. In Colorado, Jared Polis became the first out gay man elected governor in the US.

We didn’t get the full ‘Blue Wave’ that we were hoping for, but there were wins and losses for the Democratic Party in the 2018 Midterm Elections, and they should both be acknowledged. I don’t consider myself an expert on politics by any means, but I care about our country and what happens to the people living in it, so I am doing my absolute best to educate myself and engage in the political affairs happening in the US. The stress and fear I had during this election night wasn’t quite as intense as it was two years ago during the presidential race, but I was still nervous as I watched the results flood in. While these results weren’t the best possible scenario for Democrats, they certainly were better than that cursed election in 2016, and flipping the House was a significant victory.

Even if you can’t get interested in every aspect of politics, you should at least educate yourself on who is in control of your country, what their beliefs are, and how they will affect you and everyone else in the US.

For more information on the candidates, the winners, the results, the policies, what it means, and any other queries you may have about the state of our country, check out these websites:

NYTimes.com

theguardian.com

bbc.com

politico.com

Time.com