On Nov. 5 Americans took to the polls to decide the fate the country and the result was a significant change in tradition. Republicans are in the ranks, from the legislative to the executive.
It may only be a slim margin, but never the less the single vote majority held by Democrats will only last a few more weeks. President George Bush’s agenda will be easier to get through Congress and Democrats will have to choose their battles.
Americans are known for preferring stagnation to revolutionary change. The less action, the smaller chance for a mistake. While other countries want to see their leaders make decisions, Americans can’t decide what needs to be done, so nothing is good enough.
That isn’t necessarily the case after this general election. Americans essentially voted for war and power for a single party to rule the country. It almost seems un-American.
There needs be compromise on both sides and not a unilateral decision throughout the process. Both Democrats and Republicans should forgo their extremes to settle for the moderate, which the majority can identify with. The middle of the road, is where most people place themselves politically.
Bush already considers presidential prerogative to include attacking Iraq, now he has the blind majority to sign whatever resolution his administration puts forth. This election didn’t only give Republicans control of Congress, it gave Bush a straight avenue to succeed at pushing his plan.
Although according to the polls citizens are leaning to the right, with Republicans gaining seats in both the House and Senate, the question remains whether the outcome will sit well on Americans’ conscious.
Campaigns to distract voters from the real issues, such as a depressed economy and high unemployment, were overshadowed by Bush’s near declaration of war against Iraq. The real issues were thrown aside by a nation still mourning Sept. 11 and a president still pushing the emotional buttons.
The election may have been a historical moment, but history may not look well on the consequences of this election.
After this election, a majority of the state legislatures are divided between parties and branches. Alaska is no longer one of those states.
There was a break from history in Alaska as well. The state’s government resembles that of the national: Republicans run throughout. This is the first time in 20 years Alaskans voted a Republican as governor. Despite talks of the gubernatorial position being a close race, it was evident an hour into tallying that Sen. Frank Murkowski was the favored candidate.
Votes in his favor went from 20,000 to 27,000 in a half hour. Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer gave her concession speech and the eight months of campaigning were over. In a single night, the hype of electing state representatives came to an end, at least for now.