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Election Reflections: 2016

Jackson Winters, Staff Writer

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As another election comes to a close, it is time for each party to reflect upon the past year and how it will affect them moving forward. This is a difficult task not just for congressmen and women, but average Americans as well.

 

For Republicans, things are looking up. They currently have control of the house, senate, and presidency. This means they will have an easier time passing their legislation and putting their own agenda in place. Mrs. Massey, the sponsor of Teenage Republicans at PBHS, said that she believes the country is seeing a deep divide at this moment, but in 4 years will be back on track. “..you will see an effort by our elected leaders in Washington to curb unnecessary spending, fully fund the military, try to bridge the gap between social groups, pass laws or taxes that will encourage corporation and factories to keep jobs in the U.S., and work toward immigration reform for ‘illegal immigrants.’” She also went on to say that our elected leaders will be proactive forces in bring patriotism to the forefront of American values. This will all only be accomplished through bi-partisanship, which she says can be achieved through citizens realizing their role in a proper democracy through voting and using their voice.

 

For Democrats, it’s an uphill battle. The recent election was a major blow, with losses in tight races such as the senate and presidency. The divisiveness seems stronger than ever, and the divide exists even in their party. The major debate at the moment seems centered around Bernie Sander, who ran in the 2016 democratic primaries against Hillary. It is quite evident that the Democratic National Committee didn’t give him a fair chance, and several voters feel the establishment silenced them yet again. On this divisiveness, Mr. Lee, sponsor of the Young Democrats club at PBHS says that the political establishment didn’t realize how much anger voters felt towards them. “Everyone is mad at the establishment, but no one knew how much… going forward, the establishment will need to become more responsive and a voice of the people.” Despite this, Democrats believe there is hope moving forward. Mr. Lee spoke about ignorance in America’s past, and believes that ignorance will only continue to evaporate.

 

With the divide in our country being so steep, Americans have to begin asking themselves now: “How can we begin to see a unification of Americans?” This political bipartisanship has been achieved before, Mr. Davis reminds us. He is the sponsor of the bipartisan Politics Club at PBHS, and he believes that shifting to a bipartisan manner of government could create fundamental change in our leaders. He went on to say, however, that this might not work as easily as it sounds. Mr. Davis acknowledged European politics, and noted that they have to have a coalition among their multiple parties. This provides an incentive for them to work towards a less divisive government, but in America there is no real incentive. This raises the question of the potential in a third party for America, however. When asked about a third party option being included in more debates, Mr. Davis brought up the fact that in a poll released a few months ago, roughly 75% of voters agreed that third party candidates who are on ballots in all 50 states should be allowed in debates. “This clearly demonstrates Americans wanted to see Mr. Johnson in action,” Mr. Davis said. “Third Party candidates have difficulty gaining traction because they lack the resources and money to gain attention from the media.” These candidates may provide a better state of mind for voters, but for some these candidates aren’t even a thought. With that being said, it is obvious now that we have elected our candidate, it is time for Americans to start working together to create a healthier environment for American politics and for the American vote.

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Election Reflections: 2016