Don't let party politics slow down progress
By Thunderword Staff
The election of 2018 is over, and with the results in, it's time to set aside party politics and get to work.
The ending came as predicted. Democrats gained control of the congressional House of Representatives while Republicans strengthened their majority in the Senate. The blue wave also hit the state Legislature, as Democrats added to their majority in the both the state Senate and House of Representatives.
The Democratic majority in the congressional House of Representatives is predicted to create a major shift in politics over the next two years.
Because all legislation must pass both the Republican-held Senate and Democrat-held House of Representatives, the divides between the two congressional houses will likely result in very few laws being passed during the next two years. Many see this new majority as a check on the Trump administration's right-wing policies, while some Republicans see this as Democrats blocking necessary change.
The effect of this is most felt by the states. When Congress isn't addressing problems like
health care and gun control, it becomes the state legislatures' responsibility to make more laws. States are then stuck trying to mitigate national issues rather than dealing with their more local problems.
This situation of Democrats and Republicans both holding majorities in different chambers has happened before. In 2012, Democrats controlled the Senate and Republicans held the House of Representatives, resulting in a very ineffective Congress. Any bill or resolution provided by one chamber was usually killed by the other.
This concern for an ineffective legislature due to party politics is well founded and there is no simple solution. Bills that satisfy one chamber will often be killed in the other, continuing the cycle of distrust and resentment between parties. Bipartisan compro- mise is so often frowned upon in these situations, seen as working with "the enemy," being held against incumbents if they choose to run again.
Unlike in 2012 or in other situations, the current divide between parties is becoming more intense as
anger and fear are more rampant. The mindset of us versus them has split the
country, and people are getting caught in the middle. People are screaming at each other in restaurants, berated in public, and otherwise harassed, simply because of which party they choose to vote for.
As we enter this period of legislative uncertainty, take time to look at the legislation in Congress and contact your representatives. If you want anything to change at the federal level, it is going to require more push from constituents.
The elections ending does not mean it's time to stop paying attention for another two years. Be aware of the issues that are important to you, and be vocal when those issues aren't being addressed.
Instead of being mad at the government for the next two years, look at the issues objectively, understand that compromise is going to be necessary, and don't place blame on supporters for the actions of their representative. In order for change, the future needs to be bipartisan.