Where Did We Go Wrong: Polarization of US Politics
By: Ziad K. Abdelnour
US politics has its flaws just as any other political system. However, people have been afraid to speak out on it. How can we ever expect to bring about the changes that this country needs if we suffer in silence?
For decades, the political system has failed many Americans, yet the American people remain blind to the ill practices of our political system. Some say that we turn a blind eye toward the inherently debilitating practices that we have adopted. Others would suggest that we have been brainwashed. Regardless, it’s time we take a deep dive into the problems that lie within the US political system and face them head on.
Arguably, one of the biggest problems that the US government faces is extreme polarization. You pretty much only have the democrats and republicans as strong contenders to face off against each other. Each side has become more and more extreme with their political views and it has gotten to a point where it is difficult for the two parties to even work together.
The US government has become extremely polarized, especially over the last few decades. This is in part due to the major media involvement in politics today. Think of all the 24-hour news channels: CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, C-SPAN, CNBC, the list goes on. All you have to do is tune into one of these networks to find two lead speakers, one with a Democrat and the other with Republican, shouting at each other over the latest topic of discussion. Neither side even attempts to stimulate healthy conversations to reach a good median in the best interest of the American people.
While partisan politics is nothing new and was probably even uglier in the years leading up to the Civil War when several physical altercations broke out between members of Congress while at order – but technology has only increased the coverage and audience for mass media in the last couple of decades. Political figures are now quick to verbally attack anyone showing the slightest leaning toward the opposite side of any issue, even in their own party. On top of it, even those who agree with their opponent are routinely attacked simply because they identify with the opposing political party.
But here’s the thing. Do we, the citizens of this country, really want to hear two sides argue about what’s best for them? No! We want people that look out for our best interest. Someone who is going to be a problem solver and not some self-absorbed idiot that’s out of touch with the reality of how the average American lives. The clearest reason why people disapprove of their representative, and of the government in general, is that the majority of people in the United States would reject characterizing themselves as “liberal” or “conservative” or “democrat” or “republican,” Usually when given the choice, the majority of Americans would call themselves “centrist”, “moderate” or simply “independent”. The extreme political viewpoints in public by politicians is off-putting to most. It becomes a matter of “pick your poison” rather than “here’s a candidate that can really help this country move forward.”
It’s plain and simple… the government cannot function without some level of cooperation between the two major parties. This is becoming more and more evident people. With the extreme polarization, the government begins to feel like dictatorship. American citizens are starting to feel silenced as they are caught in the middle of the Democrat and Republican battle. The focus no longer feels like what’s in our beautiful America’s best interest, but more so which side can push their very specific agendas further along. While there are candidates on both sides who are driven by problem solving and executing effective plans that benefit the country as a whole, the overwhelming majority of politicians are mindless puppets looking to push an agenda that only benefits the select few in their groups instead of benefitting the American citizens.
The polarization is also spilling over into areas outside of politics. As mentioned earlier, the media has become intertwined with politics and only fuels the fire behind the pointless democrat vs republican battle. Not to mention, big corps are also getting in on the polarization bs. They partner and fund the political parties in exchange for pushing agendas that will only serve them. It’s getting to the point that if you don’t have a vested interest in either one of these political parties or kissing their asses, you have no say so in your own well being. And since the American people feel they have been stripped of their voices, they feel forced to just go along with it. There’s no room for independent thinkers. There’s no room for solving the issues that really matter. There’s no room for compromise, bringing together the best parts of both political parties. It’s insane!
It’s time to start calling out this system and demanding change. The government shouldn’t be fueled by an internal battle of two parties. The political games must stop. No matter what side, democrat or republican, “wins” the biggest losers in the whole ordeal will continue to be us, the American people if we don’t get a hold of this political issue. The government is meant to serve the people first and foremost. We have to let go of this old fashioned polarized way of thinking. The real solutions will come from letting go of those stupid agendas, focusing on problem solving and working together instead of against each other.