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Political Parties are Ruining America

As the country becomes more focused on political parties, we are ignoring the important issues.

Attendees+hold+up+a+%22Go+Vote%22+sign+during+a+get-out-the-vote+rally+with+former+President+Barack+Obama%2C+gubernatorial+candidate+J.B.+Pritzker+and+other+members+of+the+Illinois+Democratic+ticket+on+Sunday%2C+Nov.+4%2C+2018+at+the+UIC+Pavilion+in+Chicago%2C+Ill.+%28Armando+L.+Sanchez%2FChicago+Tribune%2FTNS%29
Attendees hold up a

Attendees hold up a "Go Vote" sign during a get-out-the-vote rally with former President Barack Obama, gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker and other members of the Illinois Democratic ticket on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018 at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Ill. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

TNS

TNS

Attendees hold up a "Go Vote" sign during a get-out-the-vote rally with former President Barack Obama, gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker and other members of the Illinois Democratic ticket on Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018 at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Ill. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Ana Pendergast, Managing Web Editor

George Washington adamantly believed that the United States should not develop a party system, believing it would cause more harm than good. Hundreds of years later he has been proven right time and time again. Washington believed that we must “Be Americans. Let there be no sectionalism. In one word, be a nation. Be Americans, and be true to yourselves.” However, the tensions between the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as 3rd parties, have divided the nation.

With election day fast approaching, mainstream media has been filled with posts urging fellow Americans to vote. Though some of these posts are free of endorsements or political affiliations, many have encouraged voters to vote for certain parties. Hashtags such as # VoteBlueToSaveAmerica, #VoteBlueToEndThisNightmare and #VoteGOPOut have spread across social media platforms in support of a Democratic ticket. Whereas #VoteRed and #RedWave have urged support for the Republican party.

These polarized posts, which is symptomatic of the extreme division in the United States, are only fueling the problem. Rather than focusing on political parties, the nation needs to focus on the issues. Candidates should be judged on their views and policies, not on their political party. Not every Democratic nominee is best for the nation, state, county or community, just as not every Republican nominee is the best choice either.

Furthermore, political parties are distracting the population from what really matters- the people. It has become more important to be affiliated with a certain party than to side with a particular belief. Representative Walter Jones (R-NC) has voted against the Republican party over ⅓ of the time. On the other side, Collin Peterson (D-MN) has about a 30 percent discrepancy rate. In the Senate, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) have voted against their respective parties over 25 percent of the time, according to the Washington Post.

Representatives and politicians don’t always agree with the rest of their party. During the Kavanaugh hearings, Manchin voted the supreme court nominee through, despite being apart of the Democratic party, whereas Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) voted against him. The Kavanaugh hearing is just one of many examples where politicians crossed lines set by their parties.

Tweets, such as that from Neil deGrasse Tyson, claim that Americans need to participate in this year’s this election based on the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. The 58.1 percent voter turnout rates in the 2016 election were lower than the 2012 presidential election by .5 percent and the 2008 presidential election by 3.5 percent, according to Penn State University Libraries.

As tensions continue to rise in America, especially through political parties, the freedom, safety, and democracy of our country are threatened. As political issues of the day are becoming decisively more partisan, the American people are becoming more and more divided. Rihanna recently claimed in a tweet that “Me nor my people would ever be at or around one of those tragic rallies,” in reference to a Trump rally. As celebrities, public figures and the population begin to become more politically charged, the divide in the nation continues to worsen. In actions such as that of Rihanna’s tweet, the nation is divided into an us-versus-them mindset. Political parties are beginning to become a source of discrimination and hate.

If we continue to allow partisan beliefs to dictate our votes and thoughts, we will never be able to reconcile our nation. We should be focusing on what each candidate has to say about the issues and their effectiveness to get things done. Instead, we are to focus on electing candidates based on their affiliation with a certain party. By making the issue bipartisan, the importance of political parties would be reduced and more legislation would be passed.

Political divides in the government, especially Congress prevents many necessary laws from being passed. Politicians won’t approve laws for the sole purpose that they don’t agree with their political affiliation, even if it is for the benefit of their constituents. This election, whether voting or not, focus on the candidates and issues themselves, not political parties.

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Ana Pendergast, Web Managing Editor

Favorite Show: The Office

Spirit Animal: Koala

Guilty Pleasure: Microwave Kettle Corn Popcorn

Pet Peeve: People who walk slow

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