On Tuesday, people across the country will go to the polls. The entire House, a third of the Senate, more than half of the governorships, and several state and local positions are on the ballot.
Vote. College students don’t vote enough, and whether you’re an environmentalist liberal or a deficit hawk conservative, please vote. Several issues affecting younger people get left behind too often. If our representatives see younger voters turn out, perhaps they’ll care about the issues which will greatly affect us in the long term.
Midterm elections are often known to be about the president. I think there’s a serious chance that the polling is overestimating turnout of Trump voters. Many Trump voters in 2016 were first-time voters upset about Washington and interested in his “Drain the Swamp” message.
Two years later, I’m not sure if those anti-establishment voters will show up when Trump himself isn’t on the ballot and Republicans have controlled Congress for two years. There is no more change for them to support.
Recognizing this, Trump has moved the conversation towards the caravan. The idea is that by inflaming racial tensions and fear of immigrants and asylum seekers, Trump can bring up turnout among his base. Trump overstates the size of the caravan, says that they’re coming extremely soon, has implied that there are terrorists in the caravan, and has sent soldiers to the border to defend against the caravan.
What I don’t understand is why nobody has discussed Trump’s ineffectiveness at securing the border. Last year, Trump neared a deal with congressional Democratic leaders which ensured protection for “dreamers” in exchange for funding for border security.
Trump balked since this funding did not include a physical wall. The dealmaker made no deal. As a result, we sent soldiers to the border, only because nobody held Trump accountable for backing out of the deal.
While I understand that the anti-immigrant rhetoric has been bigoted, untrue, and inflammatory, it is clear that the country should be doing something about illegal immigration. Yet, due to the growing partisanship and the way that Trump’s rhetoric dominates media coverage, the Democratic Party never brings up the fact that Trump has actually done little to defend against and prevent illegal immigration.
Of course, there are other important issues this election. Many Democrats are running on healthcare. Republicans are running on a strong economy. Candidates do care about other issues, including education, the environment, and treatment of minorities.
There is one claim that I’ve heard a lot about this election. They say that it’s the most important election of our lifetime. Those saying it are often two to three times as old as us. They’re wrong. Of course this election matters and of course you should vote. But I see no way that this election is more important than 2016 and 2020, since the President is on the ballot for those.
That being said, elections have consequences. This one will have big consequences too. If Democrats win the House as is expected, they will be able to hold congressional hearings on anything they want and will have a stronger foothold in the legislative process. But in a year when you lament the consequences, remember that Tuesday made it possible.