Photo courtesy of Sharice Davids's Twitter
Midterms reflect changing demographics, ideals of Americans
The 2018 midterms showed that politics are continuing to be polarized, with candidates on all sides going further left or right in order to distinguish themselves from the opposition. Democrats took a victory this season with a new majority in the House of Representatives, which will also be more demographically diverse than ever before.
Kansas’s own Sharice Davids reflects this, as she is one of the first Native American women to serve in Congress as well as a member of the LGBT+ community. Her victory over third district incumbent Kevin Yoder showed that residents are welcoming change and representatives that some believe better symbolize the reality of America.
“I believe it’s like a new wave of more diverse politicians coming in, because you know everyone’s experiencing new things,” senior Cai-lee Warner said. “The world’s changing and everyone’s discovering new things about themselves. Some people have been locked in closets for a long time, and only now they’re coming out.”
Warner said that the outcome of the midterms has made her hopeful. She believes that the increased diversity will bring a positive change to Congress and make people reevaluate their perspectives on certain groups.
November 7 resulted in more than one first. The first Muslim women were also elected to Congress. Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democratic state legislator, and Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democratic former state legislator, will be serving the House of Representatives. The first Latinx, African-American, and female representatives out of states such as Texas, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Tennessee were also elected.
History was also made in gubernatorial races, with Jared Polis as the first openly gay man, Kristi Noem as the first South Dakota woman, Janet Mills as the first Maine woman and Lourdes Leon Guerrero as the first Guam woman to serve.
Although senior Chris Baumli believes that diversifying Congress will result in diversified policies and overall more representation, he said that it will also likely result in gridlock.
“Compromise will definitely occur, it always does,” Baumli said. “But the quality and quantity of those compromises will not be consistent.”
Baumli also said that the diversity is coming as a result of “frustration from centuries of lack of political representation,” as people want to see themselves reflected in their lawmakers.
Junior Wyatt Stella said more diverse candidates on the ballot shows just how much America has changed.
“So for the November midterm we had more LGBT, POC and women candidates on the ballot than ever before,” Stella said. “And it’s a testament to the younger generations that have been activists their entire lives, growing and advocating for the future that they represent.”