In Tuesday’s midterm elections, voters in the United States will have the opportunity to judge on the domestic and international actions of two years of Republican government under the belligerent leadership of Donald Trump.

El voto boricua puede cambiar la ruta política

This time, the participation of Puerto Ricans living in this seriously divided nation is of great importance, especially of those who live in states with a large Puerto Rican population such as Florida. The vote will define the composition of the federal legislature over the next two years, strengthening or weakening Trump's controversial programmatic initiatives.

On Tuesday the 435 House members –who represent the people- will be elected. In the Senate, 35 of the 100 representatives of the states will be voted; Senators terms are staggered so one-third are up for re-election every two years. A Senate term is six years to give continuity to government processes. 36 governors will also be elected as well as thousands of state legislative offices.

Republicans focus their campaign on restricting immigration policies. They have imposed obstacles to entry and asylum processes. In addition, with an executive order, the President seeks to end constitutional birthright citizenship.

On the other side, Democrats, eager to swing the legislative pendulum, highlight benefits and risks of the amendments that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) faces.

Meanwhile, the majority of the population remains trapped in a coexistence crisis that is becoming more acute and in which diversity is in focus. Political bias and others motivated by race, religion, origin and orientations have escalated. In less than a week, people motivated by hate left a deep trace of terror. The country has been shocked by the absurd: eleven innocents murdered in a synagogue; another two were killed in a store after their attacker tried to break into a church with black parishioners; and dozens of mail bombs sent to two former Presidents and other Democratic figures.

An inflammatory rhetoric toning up, in the President´s own voice, exacerbates both extremes of the voting population. In response, minorities make up a whole political movement that stresses the historical character of these elections.

 This time, perhaps like never before, ballots reflect the diversity that enriches the United States: 410 candidates break the typical profile for the federal legislature and state governments.

Among them, 272 out of 964 candidates are women - mostly Democrats. Female participation reaches record levels. Alexandria Ocasio Cortezcould add a Puerto Rican to Congress. Stacey Abrams, in Georgia, could be the first black governor. Jay González could become the first Latino governor in Massachusetts. Andrew Gillum has the potential to be the first black governor of Florida. The list of possible "firsts" extends among the other candidates with minority faces.

U.S. peace and welfare are at stake, as well as its relationship with the world. In addition to the healthcare law, Medicare and Social Security, attitudes and policies toward minorities, including Puerto Ricans, will be decided on Tuesday. Issues with global repercussions will be defined, such as the trade policy dilemma: competition within globalization, or protectionist and isolationist nationalism.

 Puerto Ricans who can vote are called to reflect on their responsibility. In areas with large Puerto Rican population, they have the power to influence the present and future of the United States.

They have to weigh the circumstances in their areas of residence and the scope of federal policies on the island. Those who remain in Puerto Rico also have a role in these crucial elections: motivate family and friends in the mainland to exercise their right and duty to go out and vote. What they will decide on Tuesday will have direct consequences on all Puerto Ricans.

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