Midterms: a new direction
Americans signal desire for change as Republicans take control of Senate
The skies above the Empire State Building lit up Nov. 4 as election results were gradually revealed. The top of the Empire State Building, an iconic and historic landmark in New York City, lit up red when the Congressional majority shifted, declaring to the nation that Washington’s political power had been handed to the Republicans.
With a new party as the majority, major changes are expected.
Voters held Democrats responsible for many of the problems plaguing the nation and the world. Exit polls from last Tuesday’s election echoed dissatisfaction with the last six years of the upper chamber’s leadership. In fact, Congressional approval is at a measly 13 percent with an 80 percent disapproval rating, according to Fox News.
As the new leaders, Republicans have the task of whipping our House and Senate into shape in the next two years to re-instill the American people’s confidence in the government — a task they are very capable of completing.
Congressional leaders are not the only people Americans are disgruntled with in Washington.
President Barack Obama faces new struggles stemming from election results. With only 44 percent of voters approving of his actions as president and 78 percent worried about the direction of the economy in the coming year, according to Fox News, it is no wonder the Democrats lost out last Tuesday.
During a news conference in the East Room of the White House, Obama spoke of his feelings about the outcome.
“It doesn’t make me mopey,” Obama said. “It energizes me, because it means that this democracy’s working.”
When speaking of the lack of faith Americans hold in Washington, Obama took responsibility.
“As president, they rightly hold me accountable to do more to make it work properly,” Obama said.
Change is necessary for progress. As the Republicans have spent their time refreshing their playbook and creating an improved system within the party, according to CNN, Democrats have been feverishly fighting, and losing, to protect Americans’ hope in the White House.
“At some point, the voters have to start believing the government — and the people who are supposed to be running it — works,” CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger said.
Voters’ hope in the government wavered as distractions like Ebola and ISIS threw Washington into a state of disarray and political leaders attempted to combat the issues.
According to the White House Office of the Press Secretary, Obama referred to someone with Ebola reaching our shores as an “unlikely event” in September. This is clearly not the case, as there have been three cases of Ebola in the U.S. in recent months.
Democrats fell further in the polls after Obama admitted in late August that there was no set strategy for dealing with ISIS, according to the Washington Times.
It is no surprise that the Democrats lost control of the Senate. The chaos in their ranks and the president’s underestimation of Ebola and ISIS led Americans to lose faith in the party they elected two years ago.
Now, the American people have run to the arms of the Republicans, who have accepted their new role gingerly, understanding working with Obama could be difficult, according to NPR.
With change comes opportunity, and Republicans have the opportunity to whip Washington into shape, hold our president accountable and help Americans regain trust in the federal government.
Moving forward, foreign policy, healthcare and immigration will be the issues of our day. It is up to the newly-elected majority to prove to the electorate that they made the right choice — that the Grand Old Party is the party for true progress.
So let us find joy in the red that graced the Empire State Building, because it signifies a new chapter in our history, a chapter that will hopefully find America back on its feet, united and ready for whatever should come next.
STEFANICK is an opinion writer.