I think it is safe to assume that most of us don’t pay attention to politics. We are too busy with school, work and family to care about which candidate has the better approval rating. When election season rolls around, it’s like a I’m-right-your-wrong-bar-brawl when dealing with political issues. In the 80s Democrats and Republicans can be in the same room and be lifelong friends.
However, as we have seen just last week, two grown men with prestigious titles and noteworthy academics could not even have a conversation about the safety and security of our nation.
Why can’t we talk to people who have different ideologies than us anymore? What happened to being civil? If nobody is negotiating to each other, then solutions aren’t being made.
Simply put, stop arguing and compromise. The political and social systems we live in cannot be changed by a single individual. We need to come together in order to better our future.
We should have never had a party system. George Washington specifically wrote in his Farewell Address that political parties 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.”
Isn’t that what we are seeing now? Not just in the Oval Office but in our legislation as well. By only using two major parties, the diversity of opinions and potential solutions are lost to the minority. This is known as the “Tierney of the Majority”, and we all should have learned it in high school government.
One of the reasons there is a growing divide in our political party system is the rise of social media. One of the driving components for the ideological polarization in political opinion is the algorithms your platforms have.
Social media apps are designed by psychologists and app developers that know the human drain. The more interaction about something you see on Twitter or Instagram and you repost it or continue to click on it, the more you are going to see said content on your recommended feed.
So, for example, if you are a die-hard liberal who hates President Trump and wants to defund the police in it’s entirety, you are going to see more of that kind of content rather than a Tweet from a Black conservative policewoman, supporting President Trump.
I know most people think, "I am just going to vote then be done with it, I have the candidate I want."
While this mindset may or may not be true some of us, we should be concerned about is the vast space between the red and blue is not representing the purple in the middle.
Recently, The Daily Toreador published an article describing what topics and beliefs the major political parties are concerned about. Honestly, I found myself agreeing with a topic in each party, in fact almost all of them.
It got me thinking, "Most people also agree that a good portion of these topics are worth implementing in our government."
I think it is safe to assume that most people are concerned about climate change, a good education for all our children, while having transparency for our government. If you agree with me, then I guess we agree with both parties: Democrat and Republican alike.
So, in this election season, regardless how heated it may be, take the time and evaluate you emotional and moral state. If COVID-19 has taught us anything it is that we all live on the same floating rock and bleed the same shade of red.
I urge you to have empathy and start acting like you see your peers, professors, children, and outsiders not as an ever-changing ideology, but as a person. Together, we can become a unified nation once more.