This archived article was written by: Nick Critchlow
This has got to be one of the most interesting elections I have ever seen. First off, let me clarify that anyone who knows me, knows that I am liberal and when it comes to elections, it is my equivalent of the Super Bowl.
This year seemed much better, but it had its highs and its lows. However I’ll get to that later on. Right now it seems that progressive voters looking for change on Nov. 7, swept in a democratic majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate, ensuring that the U.S. House will be under new leadership with more fair-minded politicians come January.
It is amazing how things change in just two years. When the 2004 election came around, almost everyone I knew was pro-war and pro-Bush. I felt like the only one fighting for the blue team (if you know what I mean). It seems as though more and more people everyday are waking up and realizing that this has got to be one of the most corrupt and war- hungry administrations we have ever seen. Of course this is understandable because this is Utah and we are solid red, I did not expect to see a lot of people to be in favor of the democrats.
In an interesting turn of events, they named Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) the first woman ever to become the Speaker of the House. This is the highest elected office ever held by a woman in the United States.
Progressive and moderate voters seemed to have cleaned House (literally). We turned out on Nov. 7 to kick out the politicians who were tuning out our concerns. This is a prime example that Americans are fed up with the “stay the course” strategy in Iraq, the so-called economic recovery that has left most of the country behind and the relentless efforts to limit the people’s individual civil liberties and rights.
Hopefully the democrats will help clean up the mess in Iraq (though it is unlikely) and help get our brave men and women back home safe. The need for change is alive and well and we have mad a difference on Election Day.
There was also a critical win for women’s reproductive rights in South Dakota, where the state’s draconian and restrictive ban against abortion was soundly defeated by the voters of the state. Also, California and Oregon voters struck down parental notification law initiatives, which basically would have made it a crime for a woman under the age of 18 to undergo an abortion without notifying both of her biological parents. This just goes to show that the majority of Americans are indeed pro-choice and are sick and tired of all these initiatives that infringe on a woman’s right to medical privacy and safety.
However, some of the ballot initiatives that passed have severely hurt the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) citizens of the country. Voters in Colorado, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin have passed state constitutional amendments against gay marriage. Although this is sad, Arizona did become the first state ever to vote down a marriage amendment in their state, even though the state already has a ban against gay marriage in the state.
Course I have to point out that it is almost laughable to see what the percentages were. Now it looks as though the votes for and against the amendments where about 50/50 even. However in states like Tennessee, 81 percent of people voted for the amendment and only 19 percent were opposed. As a member of the campus’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), I find this absolutely appalling and even in the 21st century, people still harbor such negative, prejudice, and downright hateful feelings towards gay people.
All in all, with the results completed. I am confident that we will be sending more progressive senator’s to Washington D.C. than ever before. It is imperative that the people’s voices be heard at the highest levels of our government and the voter’s clearly agree. I hope a change in leadership will result in a real change in direction for the United States at this pivotal time in history. Congratulations to all of you who went to the polls on Nov. 7.