I hate American politics. These days, I’m pretty politically agnostic. Now, before you start yelling at me and start telling me that I live in one of the greatest countries in the world and I should be glad I have a voice and I can vote—I totally agree. However, I do wish that politics would just stop being so ridiculous.
In America, there are two extreme sides. The Democrats and the Republicans. The “liberals” or the “conservatives”. What doesn’t work about this, is that these two sides both think that they know what’s best for America, and refuse to here the other side’s point of view. I will say this: I am neither Republican nor Democrat. I am too “liberal” for the “conservatives” and too “conservative” for the “liberals”. However, there’s lots of room in the middle when it comes to politics. The problem is, most of American politics is the polarization and demonization of their fellow man or woman. (With this post I’m only focusing on the rhetorical aspect of the American Political system, not the corruption within the system.)
“What’s the reason for the low legislative activity? President Obama and the Democrats who control the Senate blame Republicans for wasting time on measures that have no chance of becoming law, while House Republicans accuse Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of deliberately sitting on House-passed bills for political gain.” - Drew Desilver, Pew Research Center
In my opinion, I think both parties are to blame. Republicans continue to be too stubborn to hear Democrat ideas, and Democrats continue to be too stubborn to hear Republican ideas. Both sides continue to blame each other for the reason why bills, laws, and anything that has to go through our political system takes forever. The problem isn’t necessarily politics, either. It’s people who don’t know a thing about how to properly debate / have a rhetorical discourse.
Because of the day and age we live in, when we hear the word “debate”, we cringe and think of two people yelling at each other, or someone yelling about his “hand size” and other obscenities on national television. (Dangitt Drumpf.) In reality, debate is SUPPOSED to be a GOOD thing. Debate means that two people are exchanging ideas from opposing sides and trying to persuade people to come over to their perspective through the means of logic, facts, and possible emotional appeals of why one’s side is correct. (Emotional appeals aren’t a bad thing, either, as long as they have facts and sound logic to back it up—and that the argument doesn’t fully rely on emotions.) Instead, we have now people (and currently we have people in the same political party) yelling and hurling insults at each other like children on a playground, making politics more like a really bad reality TV show, instead of adults trying to talk about something of value. We continue to polarize and demonize each other, picking sides and refusing to listen to what others have to say.
At some point, however, we have to wake up and realize that in the words of Jesus (and then popularized in American politics by President Abraham Lincoln), “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” I don’t care what “side” or “party” you choose to affiliate with when it comes to American politics. Until we realize that both sides believe that what they’re trying to do for this country is the best thing for it, we finally stop the yelling and shouting, listen, and disagree without demonizing a person—the point of American Politics and the political system stops working and doing what it should be doing, which should be attempting to make this nation awesome (notice I didn’t use the words “great again”. I am REALLY trying to keep my biases out of this post, but haven’t done well with this when it comes to a particular candidate. Sorry, y’all).
With that said, I’m so tired of this election season and ready for it to be over. Watching people polarize and demonize other people is exhausting to me. I’m especially tired of people polarizing over complex issues like gun violence, abortion, economic woes, the healthcare system in America, and global warming. None of these issues (regardless of what side you find yourself on when it comes to these issues) have an easy fix in this country. All I’m asking for is that people try and be more civil to each other, remain open to the idea that they could be wrong, and start working together instead of tearing this county apart. American politics are kind of stupid these days, but it’s not too late to make it smart again.