Letter to the Editor: Vote Democrat in the Midterms

Sean Atchison, Contributing Columnist

Since the American people granted the Democratic Party complete control of Congress and the White House in 2020, Democrats have wielded this power to increase American economic strength and international standing. Democrats have done more on the issues critical to the survival and success of students in the last two years than any administration has in decades.  

From the big-ticket items such as climate change and student debt relief to less publicized successes like investments in infrastructure and public transportation, President Joe Biden and the Democratic Congress have delivered for students and our future. On the other hand, Republicans have put on full display their extreme agenda for America — one that will cost us our democracy, freedoms and futures. 

As the entire world faces incredible economic woes and rapidly rising inflation, in comparison to most countries in Europe and Asia, the United States has weathered these economic challenges incredibly well.  

At a time when energy prices were skyrocketing and launching price hikes across the economy, Biden took decisive action to bring down gas prices, releasing over 125 million barrels of oil — a move that the Department of the Treasury estimated in July had lowered costs by an average of 40 cents per gallon.  

What were Republicans doing while Biden acted? Complaining, dodging and offering no solutions — other than a promise they would magically make it better by having power. The Republican Party even criticized Biden’s decisions (which resulted in 11 straight weeks of declining prices) and leaped into their normal delusions, calling Biden’s decision a giveaway to China.   

As for inflation, Democrats in Congress have acted conclusively to ensure Americans are more independent from foreign conflicts and supply-chain disruptions. By passing the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors Act of 2022, which included billions of dollars for producing semiconductors in the United States, Democrats have bet on long term sustainable investment that will create jobs, lower inflation and counter the United States’ greatest geopolitical threat: China. For students, this means a stronger economy, more job security and increased opportunity.   

Additionally, the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act has done even more to secure the economic stability of the United States for our generation, primarily by fighting the climate crisis. The IRA is the largest investment in climate technology and resiliency in American history, and with its passage, Democrats catapulted the United States to a leading position in fighting climate change — a stark change from just three months ago, when action seemed to be dead. For students, tackling the climate crisis is the difference between our future and death. Democrats are the only ones in Washington willing to act and with more power Democrats can do so much more.    

Beyond the climate crisis, Democrats are lowering costs for American families by expanding healthcare subsidies and capping insulin costs at $35 for government healthcare recipients.  Democrats have shown how to govern in the face of multiple crises delivering for students and families. 

Students need only look at the Democratic Party’s agenda in the House of Representatives and the agenda of Alabama’s Seventh District Democratic Congresswoman Terri Sewell. With more power in Washington, Democrats intend to go further in safeguarding democratic institutions, solidifying America’s economic future and increasing humanity’s chances of surviving the climate crisis.  

For example, Democrats’ plan to end gerrymandering, cap political donations and tackle large-scale lobbying will increase equality and allow more UA students to access the vote easily by expanding voting by mail and eliminating draconian voter identification laws. Additionally, Democrats have committed to banning assault weapons, expanding healthcare through a public option and decreasing further American reliance on fossil fuels.  

While Democrats have a comprehensive agenda to rebuild America, the Republicans have radical plans to slash rights for minoritized communities, end Social Security and increase taxation of the working class.  

Republicans have called for a national ban on abortion, making the entire country just like Alabama, where abortions are illegal under every circumstance. If you do not believe the Republicans, just look at how they have campaigned. In the past week, Herschel Walker, the Republican nominee for senator from Georgia, has been accused of paying for his ex-partner’s abortion, abandoning their child they had together, and physically abusing his children and ex-partners.  

How did Republicans in Washington respond? They called the women liars and said that even if it was true, the facts did not matter. Republicans made clear their future for female students. Republican men can do as they please; women will go to jail, be forced to give birth and be called liars whenever they speak up.   

Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and the Republican House Freedom Caucus have called for the forceful detransition of transgender people nationwide. Like in Florida and Alabama, Republicans will force teachers nationwide to out LGBTQ students to their parents and communities. 

The consequences of these decisions are already being seen statewide here in Alabama, where AL.com reports that “families of elementary school students who said their trans kids are being pulled out of line when the whole class goes to the bathroom.” 

If Republicans will do this to kids, dare to imagine what they will do students at universities. This is the vision Republicans have for minoritized communities: intentionally and systematically discarded, traumatized and endangered.  

Further, Rick Scott, the leader of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which is in control of electing Republicans to the Senate, has announced an 11-step plan for how Republicans intend to redesign America. This includes new plans to hold votes on the existence of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid every five years.  

These programs are vital for the future of students and necessary to achieve a primary goal of Gen Z and the Democratic Party: universal healthcare. With control of Congress, Republicans will fulfill their long-held ambition to destroy the social safety net once and for all.  

What does this Republican control mean for students at The University of Alabama? Students with the capacity for pregnancy are unable to access abortion anywhere in the country. Queer students are unable to exercise their own private decisions without permission from the government. Students are left with an unstable economy. Students bear the harsh realities of climate change, a reality that will be disproportionally felt by impoverished and Black students. Students continue to suffer the steep cost of higher education and crushing student debt.   

Democrats are ready to act to solve these issues and fight back against the Republican assault on our futures. They have proven in their legislative agenda, their proposed policies and their decisive action that they deserve the support of students.  

Republicans have proven with power that they will fight tooth and nail to preserve an America of the past that no longer exists and must not come back if we hope to thrive in the face of modern challenges.  

As you debate who you will vote for or if you will vote at all, the choice you face could not be clearer — one that will define our country for generations. While Democrats will not solve all our problems, the reality of our world requires us to make the choice between these two parties. While they are not perfect, Democrats are the only choice for people who want a real chance at improving our global standing, equalizing our economy and surviving the climate crisis.