The Scarlet

Redder and Bluer: The Country Finishes the Midterms Even More Divided

Maral Askari Sirchi, Scarlet Staff

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After an intense evening of controversial results, the Democrats took control of the House, which was more relief than triumph for the nation as Democrats had hoped that the country would have a more direct verdict on President Trump and Republicans. Though the Democratic party flipped about 30 GOP-held seats to take over the House of Representatives, winning large majorities of young voters, women, nonwhite and minority voters according to exit polls, and moreover, reclaimed the Rust Belt that won Trump the White House, the GOP still holds the Senate by large numbers in Indiana, Missouri, and North Dakota. Overall, the 2018 shift to the left was smaller than the one in 2006, the last time the Democrats flipped the House and half the size of the most recent Republican wave in 2010 that shifted districts 19 points to the right.

Many of the Red states that Trump had won over in 2016 elections and that he campaigned in days before the midterms turned back strong to support him and the GOP. Although the 2018 midterms were more significant than any in the recent history, as it was perceived to be a chance for the nation to rise up and rebuke the President and reverse the 2016 elections, the results did not show a nation in unison; the two sides drew further apart leaving the country more divided than ever.

The midterms, alarmingly, showed an intensification and continuation of the trends that put Trump in the office and the wave of anti-Trump resistance coming to the White House is more than likely to be confronted by the GOP who stands closer to Trump than before, further polarizing Washington in its wake.

Democrats paid more attention to local political needs rather than advocate for a strict ideology, addressing issues such as Medicaid and health care, student-debt crisis, raising minimum wages, and restoring voting rights to previously convicted felons who had served their time. The Republicans, however, inched closer to Trumpified notions of wars against immigrants and imagined voter fraud, neglecting the traditional messages of lower taxes and less regulation, reorienting to accommodate the Presidents political agendas even further.

The bulk of the Democratic legislative priorities are expected to span on the blocking of the GOP running themes and investigating the Trump administration and the president himself on issues regarding tax fraud and other entanglements and scandals in his cabinet, from the Environmental Protection Agency to Housing and Urban development. More importantly, the Democrats will push for more investigation in the Russia probe which under Republican leadership had been preemptively considered a resolved and closed case.

Despite the Democratic ambitions for progressive change and the concerns over the 2020 presidency and what is at stake if the Republicans win again with Trump’s reelection, potential crisis looms in the horizon for the nation. Democrats and Republicans are as divided as they have ever been in generations, and the pattern seems to be in Trump’s favor, with rural, small town, ex urban America going in one direction and suburban, metropolitan urban America going the other. And so long as the president can hold onto his base, he can still win the electoral college majority needed for reelection. Although the Democrats gained a relative swing to their side in the suburbs and thus may have created a more hostile environment for Trump than the 2016, the midterm elections usually serve as a referendum on the party and the president in power. And while it is common that only the opposition is roused to anger and the President’s party usually loses some of it power in the midterms, the results did not clearly and directly show a rebuke to Trump’s presidency and did not confirm any vindication on his race and culture wars. Terrifyingly so, the midterm results indicate that the American society remains, as Trump revealed and won the election based off of, an angry and divided nation that only seeks to put blame on others for its ills and misdoings.

(Credit must be given to Time’s original article)

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Redder and Bluer: The Country Finishes the Midterms Even More Divided