While this shows that the U.S. is becoming aware of the oppression that is happening to women and minorities, it also shows that we have a lot to do. As a nation we are not going to be able to get anything done if the two parties can not come together and agree. We need to move forward. In order to move forward our government is going to have to learn to work together and continue to make this a great nation. There is still a lot of racism and sexism that has to get erased.
Washington (CNN) — When the incoming U.S. House freshmen of the 113th Congress take their class photo, the image will reflect two very different visions of the nation.
On the Democratic side: Women and minorities — a coalition that, along with young voters, largely helped re-elect President Barack Obama — collectively will for the first time in the nation’s history outnumber white male Democrats.
On the Republican side: The majority of the House seats will be held by white men — a group which far outnumbers the now dwindled numbers of House GOP women and minorities after the losses of two minority members and about a half dozen women from that caucus.
“They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well the picture that you see before you is worth millions of votes, millions of aspirations and dreams of the American people for problem-solvers to come to Washington to get to the job done, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in welcoming the incoming freshman class to the Capitol for orientation.
“Today we officially welcome our Democratic freshmen to Washington. They are extraordinary leaders who will make our House Democratic caucus the first caucus in history, in the history of civilized government, to have a majority of women and minorities in the caucus.”
It also symbolizes something else that is more troubling politically.
“It’s basically a sign that both parties are distilling to their core, and they are living in parallel universes,” said David Wasserman, House editor for the Cook Political Report.
The stark demographic and ideological differences now reflected in the House will also likely lead to increased partisan showdowns over entitlement spending, education, health care and immigration reform, political and cultural experts say. Studies and polls have shown, for example, that women tend to be more supportive of government spending than men, and those attitudes might have helped influence women’s choice for president, said Michele Swers, a Georgetown University American government professor.
“You can draw a clear line between the changing demographics of the parties and the polarization (likely to follow),” Wasserman said.
The shift is the result of an increase in the Hispanic population and concerted efforts among the Democratic leadership to recruit and support female and minority candidates coupled with the effect of redistricting, which created large majority minority districts in states such as California, Florida and Texas.