Polls indicate that Democrats will gain control of the U.S. Congress House and Republicans of the Senate. The 2018 midterm elections come at a time of extreme party polarization fueled by events such as the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, pipe bombs being sent to Democrats, a caravan of Hondurans making its way to the U.S. border and ongoing NAFTA reform. Both sides of the aisle will vote in record percentages and believe that their respectively colored waves will win the midterm elections. Regardless of political affiliation, we all must keep in mind major business that the midterms will decide when voting.
Globalization: President Trump has been a feverish advocate of protectionist international policies, inciting tariff wars with Europe and China valued over $300 billion as well as NAFTA reform. NAFTA, the governing law of trade between Canada, Mexico and the U.S., cannot be changed without approval of Congress. A blue house may mean that President Trump’s reform and international policies cannot be passed.
Taxes: Corporate tax cuts’ margins were largely reinvested in over $437 billion of stock buybacks. This means that corporations invested the added equity into stock purchases which increased their stock prices. Corporations have fiduciary responsibility, or are legally mandated to do what is best for their shareholders in the long run, which likely explains the buybacks. It increased financial value for the shareholders and its equity position in the secondary market, albeit most blue-collar workers did not see paycheck increases. Democrats believe that this shows that trickle-down economics did not work, and Republicans believe that it will take time for the tax cuts to prove long-term value.
Gun Control: The 2018 Pittsburgh shooting left 11 people dead due to anti-Semitism. Other tragedies such as the Parkland, Florida yoga studio and Kroger shootings prove that no community is definitively safe from gun violence even in 2018. Future gun control legislation will likely be voted on by candidates elected in the midterm elections.
Diversity and Tolerance: Georgia and Florida may have their first African American governors, the House may have its first Native American and/or Filipina female representative(s), and a record number of female and LGBTQ+ candidates are running. This comes at a time when Black Lives Matter is a national movement, millions of refugees desperately seek asylum and race-based affirmative action is contentiously debated in courts. This election will be appurtenant in gauging the nation’s tolerance and value of diversity in governance. It is likely that these diverse candidates, if elected, will set policy that supports fellow underrepresented communities.
Of course, there is a plethora of other policies that this election will be impacted by, which highlights the importance of informative voting. If the Republicans maintain the Senate and Democrats gain the House, Washington may experience deadlocks. As party polarization maintains in society and likely Congress, then the nation must embrace empathy and unification to reverse its internecine division of partisanship.
Christine Savino is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.