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A House (And Senate) Remain Divided

Maureen Hines, Staff Reporter

In wake of the recent election, it has become very clear how divided America’s politics are. In November, Democrats managed to take back the House of Representatives, ending up with 234 seats to the Republicans’ 199. The Republicans managed to hold onto the senate, ending up with 52 seats to the Democrats’ 45. This is a gain of two seats for Republicans.

When Congress returns in January, Republicans will hold the majority of state governor positions 27 states to 23. However, there will be six fewer Republican governors. Probably not the best election for the GOP.

Yet, there is much this election tells us about the future of our country. While the numbers between House and the Senate are not that wide, the topics that need discussion remain illusive:  immigration, abortion, mass shootings, and sexual assault will most likely result without a compromise and the government going right back to square one with both the House and Senate blaming each other for why things do not get done.

But, this is not how a government should be run. We should not be blaming each other for the problems in our country. We need to do the thing that seems almost humanly impossible: compromise.

Compromise: how simple does that sound?

It apparently doesn’t sound simple to the ones running our government.

Let’s take the issue of gun control, for example. There have been 323 mass shootings in America this year, as of November 28, 2018. Of course, there is no broad definition for what a mass shooting is, but the Gun Violence Archive defines it as a single incident in which four or more people, not including the shooter, are shot and/or killed at the same general time and location.

With these mass shootings, Republicans have said that gun control is not the answer. Democrats are on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, saying that more gun control is the solution.

Former president Barack Obama spoke on the issue in 2008 in the Philadelphia Primary Debate where he stated, “I think we can provide common-sense approaches to the issue of illegal guns that are ending up on the streets. We can make sure that criminals don’t have guns in their hands. We can make certain that those who are mentally deranged are not getting a hold of handguns. We can trace guns that have been used in crimes to unscrupulous gun dealers that may be selling to straw purchasers and dumping them on the streets.”

Republican Senator Ted Cruz also spoke on the issue after the Las Vegas shooting in 2017 by stating,“The fact that a psychopathic killer murdered innocents is cause for grief. It’s cause for more vigorous law enforcement — for stopping madmen and killers, But it is not an excuse for Democrats to try and strip away Second Amendment rights from law-abiding citizens.”

These two views show a big difference in opinion between both sides of the political spectrum. Because of this, we are allowing our schools, homes, and communities to be in danger. It does not matter what side of the spectrum Americans are on, the bottom line is that guns are affecting us in a negative way. It seems ridiculous that a difference in opinion is the reason for hundreds of deaths this year.

Let’s take the immigration problem our country is facing. The non-profit, Pew Research Center, estimated in 2016, a little over over 10 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.  Although legislation has been initiated with numerous immigration bills, all have failed to make it through the House and Senate.

The Republican base is quick to jump to a border wall as to shore up security measures to aid in America’s safety, whereas the Democrats are morally rooted into providing law-abiding immigrants a legal way of becoming an American citizen.

This election has shown a polarization in our country’s politics and it seems almost hopeless that anything can get done.

However, we can help change that. By showing more respect and acceptance towards each others’ opinions, we can help to change the societal norm of blame and distrust, and make it one of compassion and love. That is the only way we will ever find peace among each other.

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A House (And Senate) Remain Divided