Voting in the 2018 midterm elections got underway yesterday and the results have been streaming in all morning.
The 2018 midterm elections mark the halfway point between the inauguration of a President and the next election. They are often used to gauge the political climate of the US, as well as highlighting potential forerunners for the next electoral campaign.
It was expected that some surprises would be in store, but no one could have predicted the sheer scope of diversity which has been highlighted in the results so far.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 29-year-old from the Parkchester neighborhood of the Bronx, New York City, became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, making history in the process. A year ago she was working in a bar and helping to support her family. Today, early polls indicate that she has attained 74.3 percent of votes tallied. She marked the occasion by simply stating that “A better world is possible.”
“These struggles will not be solved in 2 years or 4 years. They will take our (whole) lives, but this is the fight of our lives.” – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
In New Mexico, Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland became the first Native American women elected to Congress. According to their respective campaigns, Davids is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and Haaland is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna.
According to CNN: “Davids identifies as a lesbian, making her the first openly LGBT member of Congress from Kansas. She will enter Congress as a lawyer and a former mixed martial arts fighter.”
In a global political climate in which diversity was becoming a hugely divisive and toxic issue, having more representatives from backgrounds such as this will ensure that minority voices are both represented and heard.
Continuing that trend, Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party will become the first Muslim women in Congress.
Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis has become the first openly gay mayor to be elected. The first female senator from Tennessee, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, joins Veronica Escobar, who will be the first Hispanic woman to join Congress from Texas.
Whilst there may be a long road ahead for the newly-elected representatives, the public support, particularly on social media, has been overwhelming for those involved. Diversity in itself is always progress.