Gridlock Wins

Carly Palkon, Senior Writer/Editor

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Op-Ed: Election Results


With Democrats in the House, Be Prepared for More of Nothing

Wilmington, DE


In political science, there are various theories revolving around the American government, several of which are central to the understanding of how the government works. One such is one proposed by William Niaskanen, former chairman of the Cato Institute, argues that divided government encourages cooperation and that this was done purposely by the Father of the Constitution himself, James Madison.

However, it is unlikely that the political climate will allow for that. With the Democrats overtaking the House of Representatives, 239 seats to the Republican Party’s 195, the Democrats are in a position to block major points of Donald Trump’s agenda, particularly his agenda on immigration and healthcare.

Niaskanen’s primary argument rests on the assumption that the ideological differences between the Republican and Democratic parties are not so broad as to allow for compromise. For example, Niaskanen argues that a major reform is likely to last longer with a divided government due to the necessary bipartisan support needed to pass it through both the House and the Senate. However, both examples that he uses to back his argument are from the 1980s and the 1990s-times in American history where the two political parties had more ideological similarities. Hyperpartisanship among U.S. voters is growing in the United States, and this is apparent in who they are voting for. Members of government, such as Tea Party-backed senator Ted Cruz and Democratic-Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, highlight a growing divide in the ideology of both parties.

With such vastly different ideologies present in both the House and the Senate, it is unlikely that such differences will be reconciled. With the different agendas on both immigration and healthcare, it is also unlikely that such ‘bread and butter’ issues will be resolved with a favorable outcome, if resolved at all.

For those who were hoping for agendas to be set and settled, sit put. There’s still two more years left.

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