The student blog for Drake University first year seminar entitled Visual Politics

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Revolution of Ballots not Bullets- November 2, 2010

Hadley Jennings

As I was waiting in the airport in Chicago during our 3 1/2 hour layover (which ended up being way longer with plane delays), I briefly saw some election coverage. CNN was a popular station at the airport that night. Exhausted out of my mind from golf all weekend, I still noticed a few things about the election coverage that CNN provided that night. They do their coverage with many different tables with numerous people at the tables and screens flashing behind them and they also provide a continuous rolling update of who won each state election across the bottom of the screen. CNN focused on many different elections, which can be quite challenging because each state wants to know how they are doing. Some of the highlighted coverage was on California and also Nevada. However, since I was in an airport I could not hear a word that was being said because they mute the television, which in my opinion is absolutely ridiculous. However, when I returned home I turned to The Washington Post for my official election results. The Washington Post website provides a map of the United States and show you who won in each state, each county, and each district. It was very helpful to me and was organized quite well.

Click here to see the map for yourself.

This election as you all know has proved to be one of the most pivotal elections of our time and not only our time but in the past 50 plus years. This election proved to be pivotal because with the economy plummeting, unemployment sky rocketing, and the deficit growing higher than ever before, the nation needs a solid Senate and House of Representatives to influence our President. In the United States we have always had a set election schedule. This election schedule allows Americans to change government every few years, but they cannot change the government all at once with one big blow. The election schedule is designed in a specific way that 100 percent of the House of Representatives is up for election every two years and at the same time only 1/3 of the Senate is up for election. Americans can make a tremendous change, but they cannot change 100 percent of Congress every 2 years. This set election schedule enables Americans the chance for a peaceful revolution and not a violent one.

Americans proved the election to be quite revolutionary because over 60 House of Representative seats went to Republicans, a change from a previous majority of Democrats. In Iowa, for instance, our District 5 winner of the House of Representative was Republican Representative Steve King by an estimated 70-30 vote. Also, in my District in Missouri Republican Sam Graves also won the House of Representative seat by a 70-30 vote. The Republican Party regained control of the House by a 239-187 Representative margin. As Megan noted in her post it is usual for majority to lose seats to the minority, but America has not seen a turnover like this in quite some time.

This election and the Presidential election of 2012 will be pivotal to determine the face of America in our future. With the ever growing deficit, high unemployment rates, and a plummeting economy, America must make the right choices politically to help solve these problems. The deficit in America has grown so much that our generation of Americans will have to work longer, lower our standards of living, and expect to start paying for our own retirement. That doesn’t settle very well with me personally because who in their right mind wants to work longer when they could have retired and who wants to put away money for their own retirement when money is tight in this recessionary economy. The focus of these elections needs not to be on the party by which won, but by the views of the winners on these important issues. Looking ahead that same idea applies to when we pick the President in a few years, we must not choose based on party but rather on who will get us out of the hole we have dug ourselves into.

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