Maybe I’m ignorant, or optimistically naive.
Maybe I never listened enough in social studies or political science classes.
Or maybe I’m just flat out wrong.
But I do not understand politics.
I don’t mean the basic understanding of government, how we elect a president or how a bill becomes a law.
I do understand the fundamentals of our nation.
No, I mean name calling, one-upping, just genuinely nasty trying to outdo each other.
I know I’m young, but it seems like our country has never been this cruel and divisive.
Politics are normally such a taboo topic, but all of a sudden it seems like it’s the “cool thing to do” to belittle and berate someone who doesn’t see the world in exactly the same way you do.
When did it become an insult to call someone a “liberal” or “conservative”? Isn’t that just a label?
I’m not sure when it became a way of life or death for some people, but it’s a bit frightening.
I receive emails, phone calls and social media comments all the time calling me and our paper, the media as a whole, “too liberal.”
But when I saw a comment last week calling me the “Republican mouthpiece,” I had to laugh to myself.
How can I be “pushing my liberal-biased agenda” on my readers while also being a mouthpiece for the opposing party?
And when did it become OK for people to just assume political affiliation of a person based on their life views and morals?
Frankly, I’m fed up and sick of it.
I don’t agree completely with one side or another. I feel strongly about certain issues, and they are almost evenly divided for Republican or Democrat viewpoints.
But what gets me is that unlike most people I’ve heard from, I won’t back down on my viewpoints just to fit a certain party’s typecasts.
I heard at a debate a few weeks ago that in order for a candidate to win a seat, they have to promise when they go to the Capitol or Washington that they will completely vote, support and talk in the way their chosen party wants.
Because they are now in this position of power, they must forfeit their own beliefs and only further the agenda of a political party.
For the most part, I understand that, but I just can’t comprehend giving up your morals just to go along with what’s always been the way politics are run.
This way of thinking will just keep us at a standstill and encourage us to be more at odds and divisive in order to further our party. But at the end of the day, the power will just flip flop from one to the other, and nothing will change.
When a crisis occurs, we almost automatically jump into our “Republican/Democrat way of mind” and start spouting off why the other side caused the tragedy to occur.
How does that solve anything?
Even when we voted for president last year, it was tough to choose a side because both had made mistakes and both took stances that I didn’t agree with.
It makes me wonder if the politicians also waffle internally about having to be completely gung-ho supportive with their party, even if they are questioning what they think of a certain topic, or God forbid, disagree with their affiliation’s decision.
Maybe politics has always been this way.
But I find it very hard to believe that we can summarize the United States into just two simple boxes we check at the ballot.