A Note on Party Politics

A Note on Party Politics

Meghan Geraghty, Editor

At the end of the second term of George Washington’s presidency, the only president not affiliated with a political party, stated in his famous Farewell Address that while political parties may be convenient in the short term, in the long term they will serve as an engine for power-hungry individuals to serve their own agenda at the expense of the American people and ultimately tear us apart.

222 years later we have fallen into the habits with party politics that Washington warned us about all those years ago; and with those habits, we are finally facing their consequences.

It’s not news to anyone that America’s society is polarized, and this polarization can be clearly attributed to the dominance of party politics in American life.

Ever since we were little kids, we’ve been raised to see the world through two lenses: right or left. This black and white perception has trained us to put the world into little boxes; to accept our parents’ or the media’s or our friends’ perspectives as gospel instead of coming to our own conclusions based on our own experiences and opinions.

The issue of reliance on political parties is not just a “liberal” or “conservative” issue; it’s an American issue”

The issue of reliance on political parties is not just a “liberal” or “conservative” issue; it’s an American issue, and it’s going to take people from all areas on the political spectrum to rectify it.

This divide between parties has stopped so much progress on important issues facing American society today, some of which include the environment and immigration.

You would think that saving the planet that gives us life would be the one thing that can unite a nation that has become so fractured. Instead, it seems like Americans can’t stop fighting for long enough to decide whether or not climate change is real, let alone how to work towards a solution. Our own President has chimed into the debate claiming in a tweet that “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

Immigration has been another hot-button issue in politics for years. To an extent, I do believe this should be politicized in that our immigration processes are in desperate need of reform; but the way modern politics has distorted the issue has halted any real progress. Instead of sitting down and drafting new ideas to fix our broken system, we are demonizing and holding an incredibly vulnerable people in glorified refugee camps refusing them the right to seek asylum, which is an internationally recognized human right.

Not only has it stopped progress from being made, the dominance of party politics has wasted billions of dollars in slanderous campaigns that focus not on the policy of the candidate it aims to endorse, but on tearing apart the character and of their opponents.

We need to stop using our differences in opinions and parties as an excuse to demonize our fellow Americans, whether they be members of the government or everyday citizens, and make an effort to listen and truly understand one another.