Opinion: Midterm madness showcases need for higher standard in politics


"VOTE" by Sean McMenemy is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Political yard signs lined up one after another. The upcoming midterm elections will be one of the most controversial in United States history with seemingly every candidate rife with scandals. A more vigilant and active volunteer base might be the key to preventing similar elections in the future.

With the midterm election just days away, the ultimate decider of whether the balance of power will shift back from the Democrats to the Republicans, voters have various questions on their mind, like “Who should I vote for” and “What positions do certain candidates have?” This article answers none of these questions. 

Instead of highlighting certain candidates or their views, I have taken the liberty to briefly go into the many controversies candidates face going into election day. 

Centerstage is Republican Brian Kemp, the current governor of Georgia. Brian Kemp faced a Trump-backed David Perdue challenger in the primary and survived, probably due to Perdue’s own blunders during and after the 2020 Georgia run-off race against Jon Ossoff. 

Both sides have criticized Brian Kemp for his election reform bill, which Republicans argued did not go far enough and Democrats compared it to a much worse version of Jim Crow laws. Kemp has also been criticized for allowing the state of China to buy up farmland within Georgia among other activities. 

Opposite of Kemp is Democrat Stacey Abrams who is similarly running for the governor position. Ideology aside, Abrams was responsible for getting companies like Major League Baseball to pull out of Atlanta, the city she was the mayor of, in order to protest racial inequality in the state. Ironically, because of this, the MLB All-Star Game was moved from a predominantly black city, to a predominately white one in Denver, Colorado. 

Stacy Abrams had also been pictured numerous times without a mask at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite her pro-mask, pro-lockdown stance. The best example that highlighted this hypocrisy was when she was photographed in a classroom full of small kids all with masks on due to mandates Abrams supported while she herself was not wearing a mask.

Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, caught flack in late 2020 for publicly releasing private phone calls between him and then President Donald Trump. 

The topping on the cake in the Georgia midterm elections has to be the senate race. Both Raphael Warnock and Hershel Walker have been accused by former family members of domestic violence. 

While nobody is perfect and admitting to mistakes is preferable to lying, political candidates should be held to a higher standard. ”

— Staff Writer Ashton Lewandowski

Herschel Walker has admitted that he has been diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder and has repented for his past actions. Warnock has denied any wrongdoing despite video footage of his wife emotionally claiming he ran over her with his car. 

While nobody is perfect and admitting to mistakes is preferable to lying, political candidates should be held to a higher standard. 

Backing away from specific candidates themselves, the sad reality is, for the most part the quality of the candidate does not matter, at least not to the Republican and Democratic parties. 

The solution to this is not to refuse to vote for certain candidates based on what they themselves have personally done, but to instead fix the problem from within each respective party. By having the party’s full support behind these candidates, it tarnishes the party alongside the candidate in the minds of the voters. 

The scrutiny these politicians face during the lead up to the election should be the same scrutiny they face before being allowed to represent the party they are running with. Having more people involved at the beginning of the political process would force accountability on politicians before supporting them becomes a flight risk.  

Whichever political party undergoes betterment by the volunteers within themselves is destined to gain power. If a political party just ran trustworthy and honest candidates that represented the people they are claiming to represent then it is likely that they would not lose races, especially in swing states.

Regardless of whichever politicians win, expect the election results on November 8 to be a wake up call for both parties.

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