Everyone seems to have expert analysis of last Tuesday’s midterm elections. But these interpretations are really just personal opinions. Only the numbers are reliable.
As expected, the Democrats captured the House of Representatives; the Senate remains in Republican hands.
More interesting are those who were elected. Winners include 23 women in the Senate and 101 in the House. These include two Native Americans and two Muslims. And much is being made of how many Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) individuals were elected nationwide.
Is this significant? Perhaps but only to limited degree. The usual perception is that women tend to focus more on education, child care, reproductive rights and health than men. I think that is true and it should mean that in the next Congress there will be more sensitivity to and debate about these issues. But concern and discussion don’t guarantee more legislation.
I also doubt that Congress will quickly pass more bills promoting Native American, Muslim and LGBTQ interests. In fact, what would such an agenda look like?
Will Native American representatives call for revised school curricula to include greater depiction in history classes of America’s indigenous populations? Or will they advocate for more money invested in improving health care and jobs on native lands?
Will Muslims in Congress demand that the Pledge of Allegiance in schools include the phrase, “one nation under God and Muhammad,…?” Or more importantly will they introduce bills requiring equal recognition of and more money for religious organizations?
What is the LBGTQ agenda? And end to all male-female bathrooms? A minimum percentage of LBGTQ employees required of all businesses that apply for federal monies?
I expect the new faces and voices in Congress will mean a broader more realistic examination and discussion of national challenges affecting the diverse segments of America. This should happen soon after the House and Senate convene next January. But actual substantive results from these new voices will take much longer.