Many people have been saying that “American spoke” on November 7, 2017, as they elected a wide array of Democrats across the country. But, what does this mean for 2020? Virginia and New Jersey both elected Democratic Governors. Although, it was not unexpected to see New Jersey go blue, as many citizens have felt frustrated with Governor Chris Christie. The victory of Ralph Northam against Ed Gillespie was considered an upset to the GOP. President Trump did send out one of his infamous tweets after Tuesday night’s results. He claimed that Mr. Northam did not embody what Mr. Trump represents.
The election was not singularly about Democrats beating Republicans. It was a turning point in history, as many firsts were accomplished. The first Sikh-American Mayor was elected in Hoboken, New Jersey. Ravi Bhalla won despite racist remarks made by the opposition. Flyers were made that called him a terrorist, after the Halloween terrorist attack. Danica Roem's victory in Virginia made history. She was the first openly transgender lawmaker elected to serve in Virginia. Making it more momentous, she defeated the incumbent who introduced the bathroom bill.
Vi Lyles is the first black women elected to be Mayor of Charlotte. While in Seattle, Jenny Durkan was elected. She is the first women mayor in almost 100 years, and she is also the first lesbian elected. New Jersey saw a change as well, as Sheila Oliver is the first black lieutenant governor. Back in Virginia, the House of Delegates saw a change also. Elizabeth Guzman and Hala Ayala are the first Latina women elected. Local races saw firsts too, as many first-time female politicians beat incumbents. Laura Curran is the first woman to be elected to Nassau County Executive position. She beat incumbent Jack Martins, by 8,000 votes, in a predominately conservative county.
Although, change is not instant. Michigan’s Senate voted for a “conceal and carry law”. This means that concealed weapons are allowed in churches, schools, stadiums, bars and other places considered “no gun” zones. This is a response to the Sutherland Springs shooting in Texas on Sunday, November 5, 2017. The small town was traumatized by the shooting that killed four percent of their town. The alleged gunman was shot by a bystander, which many gun supporters have advocated. Their claim is that if people carry guns, they can protect themselves and others in a case like this.
The saying "one step forward and two steps back" can be applied, depending on how Democrats use their victory. If they do not intend to implement change, these victories mean nothing. If they want to break the glass ceiling, they need to make slow cracks. The only way to shatter the ceiling would be if there are constant small cracks made every day; rather than going on the defensive in a Trump era. They need to listen to voters and attempt to implement the change that will affect the voters. If not, these victories will be as meaningful as President Trump’s victory.