Donald Trump’s reign of unchecked power might just be drawing to a close as the Democrats crawled their way back into the House. If that sentence means nothing to you because you don’t know the ins and outs of American politics (or watch House of Cards) then it basically means it just got a bit harder for the president to pass his mad policies.
While there is definitely some room for improvement – Ted Cruz still has his seat, Republicans still hold the Senate and some hard-line Trump sympathisers are still standing firm – there’s a lot of historic wins to focus on. The evening was full of pleasant surprises that might signal a turning tide.
Over 100 women were elected to the House. Among them is Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, a single mother who recently made a cameo in Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 11/9 as one of the radical female candidates hoping to enter mainstream politics. She became the first Muslim congresswoman after a crowdfunded campaign.
She gave a powerful victory speech: “I stand here before you tonight as your congresswoman-elect with many firsts behind my name. The first woman of colour to represent our state in Congress, the first woman to wear a hijab, the first refugee ever elected to Congress and one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress. Here in Minnesota we don’t only welcome immigrants, we send them to Washington.”
New Yorkers are revelling as the news emerges that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman to ever sit in Congress and won a staggerinig 78 per cent of the vote. Like Tlaib, the 29-year-old ran a campaign funded via crowdfunds, opting out of leaning on donations from corporations and her average donation was just $22.
The election also ushered in Massachusetts’ first black woman voted into Congress, a Democrat named Ayanna Pressley. While Ilhan Omar the first Somali-American in Congress, also became the second Muslim in the House. New Mexico and Kansas saw victories of the first Native American women, one of whom, Sharice Davids is also an openly gay woman.
In the governor race, Kristi Noem, and Janet Mills were also elected as the first female governors of their respective districts in South Dakota and Maine. And, Colorado elected America’s first gay governor in Jared Polis.
Elsewhere on the ballot, voters in Massachusetts upheld a state law to protect transgender people, ensuring that they can continue to access public spaces like bathrooms and restaurants.
Overall, the night saw some historic changes and perhaps is a slight indication of trouble for Trump in 2020.