By Cameron Pierre-Pierre
The presidential election currently unfolding in front our eyes will without a doubt go down as one of the most interesting, controversial and all around exciting elections in the history of the United States. We have polarizing figures, racist innuendo, crumbling establishment politics on both sides of the spectrum, and mild (at least for now) acts of violence, to just list a few things seen on the campaign trail. What makes this all the more wild is the fact that it isn’t even the general election yet; millions of people will still be getting out to vote in to June. So much attention has been paid to the presidential election that one might think it is the only elected office in the federal government. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your point of view, it is not. After the nominees for the parties are chosen, it is important for voters to not only focus on the future president, but also on their representative in the house and senator(s).
One of the cornerstones of our system of government is that it is split into three branches. Just as a refresher, those branches are the Executive Branch (the President), the Judicial Branch (the Supreme Court), and the Legislative Branch (Congress). The whole basis of our government is that we elect our representatives/senators, who then draft legislation, debate said legislation, pass or fail it, and if it passes, the bill will be put in front of the president who will then either sign it in to law or veto it. This is elementary school political science. My point of explaining this information isn’t so I can brag about how much I know about our political system. My point is that if you like your presidential candidate and what they stand for, then get out and vote for members of congress that will work with the President.
Right now in our political system we are in a state of polarizing gridlock. We have a Democratic president and both houses of Congress controlled by Republican majorities, which translates to: nothing gets done. We can’t change our country by electing a Cruz or Sanders or Clinton or Trump and then expecting them to make everything better all by themselves. That would be a dictatorship, and I’m sure that isn’t what anyone really wants in American politics. So I implore you to please, as you follow the presidential race, take a look at who is up for election for the House of Representatives and Senate in your local area. We may decide that as a country, we want a new political system with different rules. That is fine, but for now help the system we have now actually work properly and vote for more than just the next President of the United States, because that President will need a good Congress to get anything done.