On Nov. 6, U.S. voters elected politicians for federal, state and local offices.
The 2018 midterm election results may abolish the us-versus-them mentality driven from the nasty plague coined as “Trumpitis.”
Democrats needed 23 seats to secure their House of Representatives majority, and they received more than that. These winners included the youngest woman elected to Congress, as well as the first Native American and the first Muslim women elected.
There should be no excuse now for Democrats to not deliver on their promises of investigating the cheeseburgers out of President Donald Trump, repealing inefficient tax plans and initiating the Medicare for All proposal. Unfortunately, moderates and progressives in the Democratic Party bicker over whether Nancy Pelosi should lead them as speaker of the House or not. This better not be another Democratic civil war before the 2020 presidential election, especially when Democrats gained House seats in toss-up states.
Republicans maintained their majority in the Senate, actually gaining seats. Mitt Romney, snubbed of Trump’s secretary of state seat and beaten by Barack Obama for the presidency in 2012, finally joined the big leagues as a senator of Utah. Maybe his Trump snubs will fuel an “anti-Trumpublican” agenda, or foster the bipartisan voice the party desperately needs.
Here in “Blue” York, incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo followed in his father’s footsteps and secured a third term in the gubernatorial elections against Republican Marc Molinaro and other minority party candidates.
Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive, did articulate impressive credentials. His plans to reform the Metropolitan Transit Authority and create more programs for the disabled were not that bad for a New York Republican candidate.
The undoing of Molinaro came from missed opportunities to campaign and a dead-or-alive platform by failing to alienate himself from his shrewd, Cuomo-christened nickname, “Trump Mini-me,” despite Molinaro not even voting for Trump. If he did not stand up for himself then, he could not be trusted to stand up for New York.
Cuomo has the potential to do more. In all of people’s anger over MTA troubles and renaming the Tappan Zee Bridge, New Yorkers forget his efforts to enact gun regulation, a $15 minimum wage, paid family leave and free college tuition. This has maintained New York core values and immunized residents from Trumpitis.
Incumbent Democrat Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand unsurprisingly secured her seat against Republican Chele Farley, a private equity executive.
While Republican Farley hoped to regain New York tax dollars from the federal government, she forgot how the progressive tax system works. Unless she magically implemented a new system, subsidizing less affluent states remains the cost of being in the union. Farley’s race was a lost cause from the start.
Despite criticism regarding populist rhetoric and reckless abolitionist U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement initiatives, Gillibrand’s James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, Medicare for All, STOCK Act and Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station funding proves her continued engagement, reminding New Yorkers why she deserves her U.S. Senate seat.
Democratic Public Advocate Letitia James will shine more as attorney general than the opponent she beat, Republican bankruptcy lawyer Keith Wofford. James’ commendable record of protecting residents’ rights and pragmatic plan to create an independent attorney general’s office are essential for ending Albany corruption and possibly prosecuting Trump for tax evasion.
Overall, whatever encouraged this voting surge must continue for future elections.
Political Science ‘21
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