New Diversity in Congress

Grace Bobel, Editor

The recent midterm elections proved to be decisive for the Democratic party as they took the majority of seats in the House of Representatives, leaving more power for the party to pose resistance to policies set forth by President Trump. Not only is this a first for Democrats since the midterm elections during the Obama administration, but it has also proved to be a first for this amount of diversity within Congress. New faces elected better represent the American people from age, gender, sexual orientation, or race.

The election proved to be extremely important for women. For the house Democrats, women were responsible for winning 60 percent of seats, prompting many to declare 2018 “Year of the Woman” according to the New York Times. Twenty four new representatives are people of color and the number of congress members of the LGBT community has reached double digits for the first time in history.

Now, what does all this sudden change from the standards of usually male, white elected officials mean? Why so suddenly in our time period have we seen such a historic first for diversity within our political sphere?

There are practically thousands of different takes and opinions on the events during the midterm election of 2018 and what led to such a diversity explosion. From professional political commentators to everyday people on Twitter, there is no lack of possible explanation. One such general consensus is that the success of Democrats and such diverse pool of candidates is based on a rejection of the presidential election of 2016 and its subsequent winner.

Surely history follows its patterns, and what we see before us in this political field is no exception to the rule. No one can deny that Donald Trump has caused an extreme, deep division within American politics, forcing many to choose sides they had never considered before.

Those already against Trump feel a particular resistance to his policies, particularly the young. There is no doubting that was a particularly strong movement among millennials to get out to vote, to truly put a foot in the door on the constant stream of controversial policies.

Frankly, the sudden wave of diversity is long overdue. I truly think that minorities being elected along with an increase in openly LGBT members is all part of a movement to reject the current administration’s steady stream of intense scrutiny over such groups. The quote ‘glass ceiling’ is cracking for women in politics.

The true question to pose is what will this all lead to in the near future? Frankly, this opens up a new form of resistance against policies of discrimination. A new frontier of inclusiveness is opened up before us. A voice given to those previously oppressed or felt left out of consideration.           

The end result is a Congress that truly represents the American people. People of every walk of life that now has the option of voting for someone that truly represents their core values. I can only hope that such a pattern of progress will not be hindered by those who fear it.