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Numerous Republican victories will prolong efforts to bring “change” in America

Staff Writer

Published: Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Updated: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 18:11


Every election, the party in power is going to suffer a blow. Two years ago, after eight years of Bush, Democrats won handily in every level of government. Democrats were worried about this year’s midterm elections, and with good reason! The uprising of the Tea Party saw a flurry of Americans upset and galvanized like we have not seen in a long time. But what Democrats all across the country did not expect was how bad it actually was to be a Democrat in this election.

Let’s look at local politics for a bit. The North Carolina House and Senate, for the last 112 years, has been in Democratically controlled hands. In the last decade, the School Violence Prevention Act narrowly passed to enforce bullying policies and to include target groups of those who identify as GLBT. North Carolina is the only Southern state to not have an outright ban in their state Constitution to say marriage is between a man and a woman. Those are only a few examples of GLBT victories in North Carolina.

With the Republicans taking control of the North Carolina General Assembly, all of the progress for the GLBT community in North Carolina has the potential to go by the waist side. If there are any Republicans that frighten me, it’s the ones that live in my own state. They have the potential to use how I identify myself as a political football, and have a direct impact on my life.

The numerous victories of Tea Party candidates and radical Republicans put the fear in my heart Tuesday night. While only 32 percent of Tea Party candidates won on Election Day, and only half of the Senate elections with Tea Party candidates won (5  seats), it’s 32 percent too many. One of the most glaring examples is Michelle Bachmann, who serves as a representative for the 6th district in Minnesota. During her campaign, she was quoted as to saying that she would subpoena members of Congress in an investigation for “un-American thinking.” When asked about this quote on MSNBC by Chris Matthews on Election Night, she did not answer the question. Whether or not she plans to go through with that, the all too familiar McCarthy-like actions reflect a person who is going backwards, not forwards.

While all Tea Party members are not like this, it still reflects a general theme across the board of the idea that if you don’t vote for their candidates or conservative GOP candidates, you are not American. Two years ago, Sarah Palin, when addressing a crowd at ECU, she referred to ‘real Americans’. What is a ‘Real American?’ Two years after, I still frown at those words.

What I have learned in my short stint as a registered voter is that no matter what, the pendulum shifts. If you’re like me, you hope the Democrats would be the more progressive, more reflective party of the people. I truly believe President Obama believes in a lot of the things I do, but his party is about as divided as they come. The GOP, generally, has been a more uniform party and sticks by its ideals, however wrong they maybe.

For all those voters who voted in 2008 and did not in 2010, they were living under an illusion. Some would say Obama created this illusion, but he didn’t. It’s the illusion that one man or perhaps someday, one woman, can change the fabric of the nation. Our government doesn’t work like that. No one said change was going to be easy, it never is. In a speech on election night 2008, Obama, himself, said change would be not be easy. The 2010 elections served as an example of just that. 

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