Power shift in Congress may help fix this mess

Smile. Today we start fresh. The claws of the monster have been shackled by the people, and the emperor’s tyrannical rule has come to a jarring end – the Democrats are back in power for the first time since 1994.

It has been six long years since the Bush administration, along with Donald Rumsfeld, Tom DeLay and Karl Rove, have taken the reigns in Washington and conned us into a fear-induced agenda towards disaster. Medicare is a mess, North Korea is armed, and every household in America spends $500 per month to finance Bush’s escapade in Iraq.

A squinty-eyed George Bush defensively faced the media after the Democratic victory – with his sinister smirk slightly less noticeable. “I was hopeful I could change the tone in Washington,” Bush said, reflecting on the past six years under a Republican political monopoly.

For all of the mistakes and empty goals, this is one expectation that our President has consistently met. Over the short length of his term, Mr. Bush has drained the lingering hope and optimism in our government from the hearts of Americans. That hope was restored on November 7, when America spoke, giving the most diverse group of leaders in the history of politics control of Congresss.

Nancy Pelosi will be the first woman to ever stand so close to the presidency, second only to our Vice President, Mr. Oil, as Speaker of the House. Making history alongside her is New York Congressman Charles Rangel, who will become the most powerful African-American to ever sit in Congress, as soon-to-be chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Sixteen women will sit in Senate, Keith Ellison will become the first Muslim congressman, and Massachusetts will have its first black Governor in Deval Patrick. A fresh and new face has been swept across the country. It was time for a change, and that change arrived.

There is a new “tone” in Washington today – a tone of change and difference in all of its forms. A more flexible and united ideal to end the war swiftly and successfully, while rebuilding after the gutting of social principles by the Republicans. This administration has ignored and marginalized this country, inflicting its arrogant and incompetent polices for six years – while the real issues remained untouched.

While Bush is lost in a childhood “Axis of Evil” fascination of Cowboys torturing Indians at Guantanamo Bay, we have renounced all global credibility. It has left room for extremism to creep into Africa on the back of anti-Americanism, while it flourishes in the homes we have built for it in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Domestically, Social Security and immigration lay unresolved as Republican leaders have looked to “build a fence,” – literally, in the form of an unfunded gate in the South to stop aliens, and figuratively in the rest of the country, through making lines and decisions in people’s private lives. You’d think a gay immigrant, making minimum wage at a Mobil station has the right to raise his son in a world where someone else’s religion isn’t shackled to his legs.

The power has now shifted; it is time for the tone to sway back towards righteousness. We have hold of the reigns and we have sight of the mountains to climb. It’s time to get to work.

Corey Ciorciari is a sophomore majoring in creative writing and business management. He may be contacted at c.ciorciari@umiami.edu.