STUDENT SUBMISSION: WHY REPUBLICANS WINNING MAJORITY HELPS DEMOCRATS

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By: Logan Zelk, Student Submission

Last Tuesday, the nation held their breath as the off year elections for congress and governors took place. Wednesday morning saw the faces of a shocking mix of confusing political attitudes. Marijuana was legalized in DC and Oregon, while Congress saw one of the largest Republican turnarounds in history. With a Republican majority in the house, many people believe that the country should see a shift towards Republican policies.

However, this won’t be the case, for several reasons. One, the Republicans do not have a ⅔ majority, which is required to overrule a president’s veto. Considering that the current president is still a Democrat, Republicans won’t be able to either pass their own Right-aligned agendas, nor remove any of Obama’s current legislation, especially the infamous PPACA (Affordable Care Act).

So, with this face value in mind, Republicans certainly shouldn’t be able to pass anything distinctly right this governmental cycle, especially given their stubbornness concerning the past years of Obama’s terms. However, even if Republicans did have a ⅔ majority, to override the presidential veto, the Republicans still wouldn’t be organized enough to agree on passing any form of legislature, and would only be able to remove current legislature.

As it stands, there are three main blocks to the Republican party: Libertarians, the socially progressive individuals with a large emphasis on free market policies, Reaganites, socially moderate and fiscally conservative, and Tea-Partiers, who are far right in nearly all categories. On the other side, Democrats are fairly unified, a major boon to their effectiveness and image in the eyes of the American people. Focusing on one individual for the Democrats versus the din that occurred last presidential election caused in Republican party allows for easier motivation and stronger followings.

The division of the GOP in unison with not having enough supremacy in Congress means Republicans will be able to do very little, while taking the burden of having control in the eyes of the American people. The Republicans will be splintered farther as arguing over policy lines intensifies, and the GOP’s ability to rally against Democrats in 2016 will be greatly hindered.

Furthermore, Americans themselves have voted on fairly progressive policies, as shown this past election with the addition of legalization in two new areas — Oregon and D.C. — and the removal of the gay marriage ban in Mississippi. If Republicans do succeed in pushing conservative legislature, it might not be what the people actually respond to. Other tough issues such as the GOP stance on immigration also hurts large demographics of would-be Republicans, such as Catholic Hispanic immigrants, further diminishing their voter base.

Consequently, what the Democrats lose these upcoming years in terms of political efficiency and mobility should be far outweighed by the suspected ease of the 2016 elections from predicted Republican splintering and two years of stagnation with Republicans in power. In two years, it  would not be surprising to see three branches of Republicans and a stronger Democrat political base. The only question would be who the Democrats pick as their candidate, but otherwise the road ahead looks favorable for the party, and not so fortunate for the GOP.