Reading Time: ~3 minutes
If you’re reading this, you’re probably in Commons and you forgot to call a friend for company. If you’re reading this and you’re sitting next to a friend, that’s kind of awkward, isn’t it? Unless it’s lunch, I guess. Maybe you accidentally picked this up thinking it was the New York Times. Either way, lean over to the nearest person and ask them this: “Hey, what’s a Republican? What’s a Democrat?” If you hear qualifier adjectives such as stupid, elite, naïve, etc. try to stop them and have them start over. What, exactly, are the values that make Republicans and Democrats so different?
Frankly, I believe that the party line between Democrats and Republicans has become a massive blur of emotion, a beautiful mosaic of propaganda that has been retrieved, sopping wet, from a lake. People mostly decide the party to which they belong by the social values espoused by the party. Abortion and gay marriage come to mind. These are two of the issues that really make people jump into one camp or the other.
Religious? Head towards the G.O.P. Coastal elite? Throw yourself into the Democrats. Make sure to forget that these really aren’t political issues. Someone else’s sexual or religious beliefs are not fundamental to the running of this country, but these social issues have become the most noted values of Democrats and Republicans. People join a party on the basis of these values, then adopt everything else that the party has to offer, and proceed to demean and wag fingers at the people on the other side.
Politics are not sports. Let me say that again: politics are not sports. This isn’t a contest to see which team’s policies get passed. It’s not the Donkey States versus the Elephant States. It’s the United States. What makes you a Democrat or a Republican? Why are people so angry about climate change? Why are they so fearful about Obama turning America into a socialist country? For the love of God, one of the top three most searched “S” questions on Google is “What is socialism?”
These aren’t issues which should turn people into Incredible Hulks. The government isn’t going to abandon capitalism overnight. A proposition that states the Earth is getting warmer shouldn’t cause people to jump into one party or another and angrily decry the opponents of their particular side. That just isn’t productive.
By strictly maintaining two parties and not allowing any other parties to form with our ridiculously antiquated voting system, we’ve become mired by our own inability to compromise. First of all, we need a system where voters can rate their top three candidates and those points are added for each candidate to decide a winner. Is that so complicated? Instead, the right moves farther right and the left moves farther left. Media makes sure the gap widens and deepens with every tiny jab.
Anyone who tries to negotiate is seen as a traitor or a hero. We are actually blown away when a Republican comes forth to vote for a Democrat bill. Is this where we are now?
Honestly, we may be at a point in our country’s history where we’d be better off with no political parties. Both parties have only served to isolate two halves of the country who have a lot more problems in common than in difference.
Meanwhile, newspapers record every movement of the healthcare “reform” bill (remember when it was national healthcare?) like it’s some kind of gigantic game changer.
Since when is forcing uninsured Americans to buy insurance some subversive socialist ploy? I’m from Massachusetts, we’ve had this deal for a while now. It’s too late for Obama to be a normal, Capitalist President, anyway. Ever since he preserved tens of thousands of American jobs with the stimulus bill, he has forever been labeled as a socialist.
The new jobs bill, of course, passed through the Senate with barely a cough (70:28), despite the fact that the government is basically paying companies to employ people. Socialism! Massachusetts’ shiny new Republican Senator, Scott Brown, was criticized by conservatives simply for voting for this thing, while being glamorized for doing so by being specifically mentioned in papers. Bipartisan displays really are that exotic now. Still, this bill shows that we, as Americans, do still have worries in common. Our country is exhausted by this endless party soap-boxing.
I’m done with the interminable whining about bipartisanship. I’m done with the whole partisan thing in general. Oops, but, without party labels, how can we generalize and assume an entire party’s agenda by using one party member’s actions? How can different media outlets pander to, and inflame, specific audiences? Hm, without parties, maybe our elected representatives would actually be able to focus beyond “party politics” and, theoretically, focus on the political bills in front of them. That was their job at some point, wasn’t it?