“Firm adherent to a party, faction, cause, or person; especially one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance,” Sir Webster explains of partisanship. Blind… prejudiced… and unreasoning… Definitely sounds right to me. American politics have been culminating into this us vs. them, our way or no way, we’re right and you must be wrong mentality that is slowly destroying the country. Every year, Congress seems to be getting even more divided and even less productive than the previous session.
The United States has had close to one hundred different political parties, most of which no one has ever heard of. So why have the Democrats and Republicans lasted since before the Civil War and others haven’t? I actually couldn’t say, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the division of the Civil War has something to do with it. Even back then and until some decades ago, party members were allowed to have differing opinions and stances on issues. It wouldn’t be a death sentence to vote for a measure presented by the opposing party, so long as it, I don’t know, makes sense and helps people.
So why are politicians today so willing to ignore constituents and their elected duties so side with their party? Money and power, duh. Without the support of a political party, it’s nearly impossible to get elected and move up in national politics. The parties have the money and the Super PACs that will keep the politician in power. Pretty simple, actually. If we were to drill down passed this partisan issue, it would lead to money as the larger problem (but we all knew that). If you defy the party, you don’t get their money. Without the money from the party, you don’t get elected. If you don’t get elected, you’re just a normal person (and they can’t go back to that).
The recent division between the Democrats and Republicans has intensified since the 90’s. I wish I could pinpoint the reason for the severe split between politicians, but it’s surely a combination of many factors: The money, the old people in Congress, 9/11(?), the money, or maybe it’s our fault? Whatever it is, the burning hatred of the other side is starting to ignite loathing among citizens. It’s no coincidence that the political stalemate and refusal to collaborate in Congress is building just as the general population frustration is slowly dividing our country.
But there is good news coming from the Grand Old Party (never thought I’d say that). I recently touched on the health care battle happening in the Senate over a potential Affordable Care Act “replacement.” The reason the legislation hasn’t been a slam dunk is because of disagreement within the Republican Party. Yes, they are standing up and actually speaking for themselves and constituents. Instead of blind, unreasoning prejudice, some are pushing against the leadership. They might not be doing it for the best reasons, but at least they aren’t just voting to make the party happy.
There has even been whispers of possible (not really) bipartisan cooperation to improve the health care system. President Trump and even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell mentioned the idea of actually working together as a full Senate to help America (say whaaat?). It’s a good sign and a step in the right direction for America.
I’m telling you now, as George Washington famously warned in his Farewell Address, political parties are dangerous. They distort the true duty of politicians in representing the people in improving the country. When the party takes precedent over the people, everyone loses but career politicians. Whether you’re red and you think you’re right, or you’re blue and you think you’re better, we are all Americans.
Written By: CJ Wilcox (@CJWilcox7)
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed by this writer are solely his own. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Couch Guy Sports, affiliates, or other contributors. Yeah, I’m surprised I can get away with it too.