How political parties are dividing America

How political parties are dividing America

“Are you a democrat or republican?” It’s one of the first get-to-know-you questions anyone is asked. Do you like Donald Trump or hate him? Are you a liberal or a conservative?

George Washington himself voiced his disapproval of political parties, in his Farewell Address, he said, “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

In this quote, George Washington is warning America of the dangers of forming into political parties. Washington worried that the division of the people into parties would go on to decrease the power of popular sovereignty (the idea of majority rule and that the American people control the government, not the other way around) in the future.

And it has. Politicians are too often more loyal to their political party than they are to the American people as a whole, thinking of what will get them the most ratings with their party rather than thinking of what is best for all the American people.

For example, when republican politicians are in office, they make decisions that best conform to the ideals of their party, but then when democratic politicians get elected to office after, they go about trying to undo the actions of their predecessor, leading to further division between opposing opinions and parties.

A modern example of this is how when Obama was in office, he created Obamacare, but the moment Trump was elected he began work on getting rid of it. Neither party is innocent.

It’s time to stop dividing the country into two sides and see America for what it should be: one people. This isn’t to say that everyone should always have the same opinions; diverse points of view is what makes people unique and important.

Rather than bullheadedly arguing the ideals of a single political party alone, however, people should listen and try to understand other points of view, and think for themselves to come to their own opinions, and not just go along with all the stereotypical opinions of their chosen party. It’s okay to have varied opinions.

Historically, political parties served the purpose of nominating candidates for political positions and of helping come to compromises over political issues. Nowadays both parties refuse to cooperate with the other and will settle for nothing less than exactly what they want.

There is no compromise, and there is rarely respect for the opposing party. Decisions in government have come to a near standstill. Going back to respectful and calm negotiations where both sides are willing to compromise would ensure a more joined American people, and a more effective government.

It’s important to remember that politicians should serve a country, not a party; and people should think for themselves, not for others.