Political partisanship labelled destructive

It’s really hard loving politics and hating how your country handles politics.
Before I start with the shop talk, let’s get something straight. I identify neither as a Republican nor as a Democrat, so I am not as biased as others may be when they talk about their political preferences. I believe in many social policies that Democrats vouch for and I believe in many fiscal policies Republicans vouch for. However, I do not identify with either side and the reason why is quite important.
George Washington, the first president of our fine country, had no precedent to follow when he assumed what is considered the most honored position in the United States. In his farewell address, he warned against the dangers of factions. He stated that creating factions could tear the fabric of democracy apart. It was as if he already knew that there would come a day when we let our titles tear us apart.
Call me naive or call me a dreamer, but I believe the real responsibility of an elected official is to vouch for what their constituents want. Why does it have to be about political party all of the time? Ever since Trump was elected, there has been talk of expelling Obamacare and defunding Planned Parenthood (As I said before, I do not identify with either side, I’m just trying to make a point). Obamacare and Planned Parenthood are not supposed to be symbols of social liberalism, but as a safe place for female American citizens to go when they are in need of medical assistance.
I believe the way democracy should work is a government by the people, for the people. That is the textbook definition of democracy. Even so, that is not how things are.
I know the only real knowledge I have on this topic stems from my AP government class, but I feel informed enough to argue as to why our democracy won’t last for much longer if we continue to let the labels of “Democrat” and “Republican” cause gridlock. For those who are unaware, gridlock is what happens when there is a political stalemate, or when the Senate or the House of Representatives are so divided that a decision cannot be made. This normally stalls or ends the process of a bill becoming a law.
As a nation, we’ve never been more divided. Look at the past two presidential elections. The exceedingly slim margin between percentage of votes for the Republican candidate and Democrat candidate are astonishing. We really are a nation divided.
It’s heartbreaking, really. I know that I have grown up in a fairly liberal bubble and that I have not been exposed to what life is really like out of Potomac. But in order to have a government that is not so divided, we need to give up the labels.

Julia Stern

Social Media Editor

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