RACE TO 270

Given today’s political climate and how Texas almost became a toss-up state in the 2018 Senate elections, the idea of becoming a “purple state” almost became a reality. I’ve mentioned this before, but I don’t favor the two-party system we currently have in our government. I have also argued that most people fall in the middle between red and blue. 

With projects like Jubliee Media’s Middle Ground, a show dedicated to bringing people with opposing viewpoints together in civil discourse, the motivation to push for compromise and meeting in the middle with hot topics and politics seems more achievable. With the help of the internet and wide exposer to different cultures and ideologies, the possibilities of social compromise for a better future are reachable. 

As our generation starts to replace the seats in the House and Senate, our mindset of inclusivity, diversity, and overall concern for the human good and a better future will, I think, allow us to have better conversations to provide better solutions. 

According to a study done by the Pew Research Center in 2015, 6.9 percent of adults in the United States are multiracial. Now that some five years have passed, that percentage will only increase within the United States’ population. 

 In his TedTalk about cultural diversity, motivational speaker Julien S. Bourrelle quotes the statistic, “boards composed of both genders will perform 15 percent better than those composed of mainly one gender.” Additionally, “boards that are composed of different cultures will perform 35 percent better than boards composed of only one culture.” Ultimately proving that diversity improves creative thinking and problem-solving abilities. 

Think of the different experiences and creative solutions everyone can provide when our House, Senate and presidency become the ultimate expression of “the melting pot” we all grew up believing in when we bring those to the table, including the political parties we identify as. The ability to reach a common ground to satisfy the needs of the majority of people, in regards to our government, could be the driving force that can place the U.S. at the top for the better. 

However, because there are no 20-year-olds in high-ranking positions in government at the moment, the idea of achieving “purple” in a manner where legislative action is beneficial for our country is still out of reach. 

The last time our country was in a state of theoretical purple was during Barack Obama’s administration. Given that he was a Democrat and the legislative branch mostly consisted of Republicans, in the first 100 days of his presidency Obama pasted 14 laws and signed 19 Executive Orders according to Business Insider.  

When we compare the same time frame with Republican Donald Trump and the mostly Republican legislature in the 2016 elections, Trump passed 29 laws and signed 32 Executive Orders in his first 100 days. 

These statistics prove to show the potential gridlock that can happen when there is a vast polarity in our political status as a country and our country’s political status becomes purple. If we want to achieve purple, knowing of the benefits to the diversity of opinions and thinking, how can we do it? 

Well, I’m no expert, but I think a good place to start is being open-minded. We as a society (the 20-year-olds who are causing change) have already started this with Black Lives Matter, being aware of cultural appropriation and the notion of accepting and appreciating other cultures. However, we also need to be accepting of political views as well. 

I may not agree with what some topics like abortion or defunding the police are about, but I can at least acknowledge that change needs to happen regarding women’s health policies and a restructuring of the functions of the police system on a national level. 

This is what I mean by “achieving purple.” Having your opinions but using your framework for the collective good, and not hating on a particular party, to better our future. This is doable, granted it might take a long time with baby steps, we just need to start. 

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