April 14, 2024

So, you voted. We all saw the dozens of people proudly showing off their “I Voted” stickers Tuesday on Election Day. Hopefully, many college students fulfilled their civic duty to vote and took pride in the voice we have in the laws that will go into effect and the leaders that will make decisions for us at a state or federal level.

There was a lot of hype surrounding this midterm election — more so than previous years. Many advocacy groups encouraged millennials to get out and vote, as young people are typically one of the smaller demographics who vote.

Now, the results are in.

A record number of women have taken seats in Congress, a significant number of “firsts” won their bids for election, and the Democratic Party took control of the House of Representatives.

So now that the day has passed and the votes have been tallied, people may want to hold these newly elected officials accountable for their actions in Congress in the coming years.

As parties further separate, it will be easy to want to blame congressmen and congresswomen when the change a lot of us want to see does not happen.

There were high hopes for a significant number of Americans going into the elections and there is now an expectation for those officials to do what they promised they would. But that is easier said than done.

With the U.S. House being controlled by the Democrats and the Senate still belonging to the Republicans, there is now a split Congress. Bills will need bipartisan support for them to pass through the entire Congress.

As a country, we have to keep in mind that change cannot happen overnight.

More of us are in tune with the happenings in our government and, naturally, we will be keeping an eye on the people we just put in office. It might be easy to blame new Congress members in the coming months if the dire political climate stays similar or the same.

However, we can’t expect these new members to bust down the Congress doors and do everything they promised right away. There is only so much an individual can do.

Instead, we should look at this new Congress as a chance for compromise and democracy to take the driver’s seat in our federal government.

It is no secret the last few years have become increasingly politically divided and the lines between parties are becoming more defined and distinct.

But now the checks and balances of the three branches will take a bigger role in passing initiatives and bills as democracy intended.

And if you truly are not satisfied in the actions of the Congress or the federal government in the next two years, remember to vote in 2020.

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