A vote for history or a vote for the nation?

Ocasio-Cortez has become a big face for women in politics in the media.

Ocasio-Cortez has become a big face for women in politics in the media.

Sydney Varner, Santa Fe Editor in Chief

2018 was a year of impressive political change across our nation as many women and minorities were elected into integral positions throughout our political system. However, despite the whelming excitement and expanded representation, it is still important to understand why someone is getting the vote; equality and representation are absolute key factors in the United States political system, but do voters sacrifice their political belief systems in an effort to bring such massive political change?

Midterm elections not only flipped districts in Oklahoma and across the nation, the votes created a divided government with a Democratic majority in the House and a Republican majority in the Senate. Amongst the divided government, a total of 117 women were elected to office with 96 seats in the House going to women and 23 in the Senate (nytimes.com). There were many candidates, some of whom are now elected officials, that have continued to not only make names for themselves but to also forge a reputation for women across the entire political spectrum. Kristi Noem was elected as South Dakota’s first female governor, Deb Haaland became one of the first Native American women elected to Congress and Marsha Blackburn became Tennessee’s first female senator, just to name a few (time.com). However, not all women are making history in quite the same way; For example, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a female representative from New York’s 14th district, has come out in extreme support across all platforms of media for something referred to commonly as the “New Green Deal.” This deal, associated closely with the ideals of the Green Party, is based on prevention of climate change and global financial crisis. However, despite what the headlines are saying, are Ocasio-Cortez and the Democratic party right to back this deal?

This deal also includes a promise of an “Economic Bill of Rights” by 2030 containing “the right to single-payer healthcare, a guaranteed job at living wage, affordable housing and free college education” (gp.org). Ocasio-Cortez, while making history as a woman, by backing this deal is making more history and a name for herself as a socialist. Nevertheless, a better question begs to be answered here: how does one woman effectively tarnish the reputation of all women?

Looking at the United States government as a whole, this country was founded on the common ideology of individual liberty and self determination. Women becoming more highly involved in the political process does not tarnish those original ideals; women who have gone to extreme lengths for the sake of staying in office and in the headlines do. By doing this and backing such acute socialist ideas, Ocasio-Cortez is only hurting the historic movements of women into office.

However, women like Ocasio-Cortez had to get into office somehow; they were elected. This leads to an even larger question about not only the women themselves but the American public that backs them: are people voting for women for the sake of saying they voted for for history or are they voting with the betterment of their nation in mind?

For more information contact Sydney Varner at [email protected]