Musings on the Future of U.S. Politics

By Sebastian Godinez

Every once in awhile, a friend of mine muses that we should run for President and Vice President. It is, of course, a joke (for now), but it highlights concerns that both he and I have with the current administration. My friend is a moderate Republican, and if I were forced to label myself, I am a conservative Democrat. We obviously do not see eye to eye on every issue, but on the most important issues, we have an agreement of what needs to be done.

I have said it before: Mr. Trump’s actions such as his Muslim bans and yelling at the leader of one of the U.S.’s closest allies, Australia, have only tarnished the reputation of the United States as the global protector and promoter of democracy. At the same time, he and I, and also Elizabeth Warren, realized something quite important. The Democratic Party’s base is working-class voters. While some members of the working class care about the social plights of LGBT rights and gun control, among others, they are primarily concerned with the economic well-being of themselves and community. By saying this, I am not suggesting the Democratic Party abandon supporting LGBT rights and gun control, but that they need to direct more of their attention towards the concerns of the working-class.

We all know 2018 is a year with Senate elections, with 1/3 of the Senate up for elections (33 members), with 10 Democrats in “red states” up for re-election. Perhaps, should they implement some of what I have suggested, the Democrats will not only protect the seats they currently have, but also gain a majority (Democrats need 3 seats to the majority). I believe even more the adage of Tip O’Neil, the (Democratic) Speaker of the House during the Reagan administration. He said, “All politics is local.” This means people are more concerned with the goings on of their community than they are with national issues. This is why states that have gone blue since the 1980s and why states such as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan went Republican in this past election. And it helps to explain that why states like Arizona, traditionally a “red state” suddenly became purple.

It is something to consider when analyzing President Trump’s victory last November.  And it is something to consider in future elections. So, my friend (you know who you are), here is to our success in the 2034 election as President and Vice President. Let us hope we blow the competition out of the water.

Sebastian is a junior Political Science major.

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