The recent election is being declared as a huge loss for the Democratic Party, even disastrous. After all, the Senate changed to Republican majority, many heavily Democratic states elected Republican governors and many House of Representatives seats stayed or went Republican.
Some people feel like this is a step backward in terms of equal rights and progressivism. The Democrats are renowned for being advocates of gay marriage, the right to choose and minority equality. However, this election wasn’t all bad for marginalized groups. In fact, it was one of the best in history.
On a large scale, there’s a record 100 women in the House of Representatives. One Republican elected from Utah, Mia Love, is a Black, Jamaican Mormon woman. Another, Elise Stefanik, broke the record for the youngest woman to serve in U. S. Congress. Republican Tim Scott is the first Black man to be elected in a Southern state since Reconstruction. Although it still may be too close to call, it appears that the first openly gay Republican, Carl Demaio from California, was elected.
The list goes on and on.
This could mean the new face of the Republican Party. The representation of minorities in the Republican Party may be as a result of the party’s desire to focus on what they consider more important and electable issues and breaking away from the extremism of the Tea Party.
On the other hand, it also shows that minority representation isn’t just limited to the Democratic Party and in fact proves that prejudice and discrimination are bipartisan. In northern Virginia’s 10th district, where many Jefferson students reside, Democratic candidate John Foust was accused of sexist comments that were the downfall of his campaign. In Iowa, on the other hand, Republican woman Joni Ernst declared “as good looking as Taylor Swift or as nice as Mr. Rogers” by the current Democratic senator who was not up for election in this race, and his comments were also quickly denounced as sexist.
With so many people looking quickly to decry this election as a step backwards instead of forwards in terms of progressivism, it is important we keep in mind the many marginalized winners who took steps forward.