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EIC column: political parties try taking down one another

Justin Hannasch, Print Editor-in-Chief

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Republicans and Democrats. A rivalry that has been around since the 1800s. This long-storied rivalry is bigger than ever. In the 2012 election for example, just over 129 million people voted according to uselectionatlas.org. On the Democratic side, President Obama received almost 66 million votes. On the Republican side, Mitt Romney received nearly 61 million votes. That leaves only two million votes were cast for other presidential candidates in the Libertarian and other Independent parties. That means 98.2 percent of voters voted for either the Republican or Democratic candidate. Looking at the big picture, what are these parties intended to be? Sure, political parties spread good competition throughout our great representative democracy. It is also true that this two party system pushes presidential candidates and other leaders to be the best that they can be. But that is actually not what our Founding Fathers intended. In fact, George Washington extremely opposed the two party system as he worried it would take attention away from the core issues and beliefs in this country, and have people be more focused on trying to win their party. He stated in his farewell address, “interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.”  Being now well into the 21st century, Americans have really started to feel the two party presence. It is this two party system that has started to turn Americans away from the core ideas and principles this nation was founded under, to a battle for their party to be the upper hand.

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The campaign ads, speeches, debates and even the signs have already started to appear as Americans get ready to vote for our next president in November. If you have paid any attention at all to the news, it is apparent there is a fierce rivalry between the Democrats in Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, vs. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio on the Republican side. A large battle between the two parties has ensued over social media such as Facebook and Twitter. The question I can’t seem to figure out is why? People having opinions on politics is a good thing and helps make democracy great, but some Americans seem to be more focused on trying to take down one party, rather than listen to the other party’s ideas.

What made the Founding Fathers who they were, was their ability to come up with ideas to help Americans and spread democracy in America. But a large part of that was listening to others ideas. Our country is starting ignore the other side’s point and just believe their side is the right answer. To make democracy truly great, Americans need to start listening to one another. Having ideas to help this country and truly believing in a party is good thing, but don’t just ignore the other side. Everybody brings something unique to the table.

The political parties in this country are the largest they have ever been. More people are getting out to vote and share their opinions than ever before. This country’s political beliefs are getting out on social media and through people all across the country. These are all great things, yet Americans are still lacking a crucial part of democracy. Americans need to stop labeling themselves simply by what party they support, and need to start believing in their own beliefs and principles. It is what truly made this country great. America is the greatest country in the world and it’s time Americans start listening and spreading ideas based on their own beliefs. Not by someone else’s just because they are a candidate in your party. Most of all, Americans need to start being true to themselves, to understand and spread the true meaning of democracy.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “EIC column: political parties try taking down one another”

  1. Shad Kraftson on March 28th, 2016 8:57 pm

    This was a very thought provoking article. I agree that many people need to rethink their political stances and be more open to others ideas and compromise. I don’t think the two party system is going away any time soon. This may be a mistake but the lead/nutgraph is too long in my opinion. It is also important to remember that two party politics has been around for centuries and this is nothing new. I wish people would take your advice.

    [Reply]

  2. Brianna Halverson on March 29th, 2016 7:28 pm

    I agree that the country is steadily dividing itself through labels. The upcoming election is a heated topic in my household as votes sway from one candidate to the other — but the phrase “I don’t want a Republican in office” has come up once or twice. The article’s conclusion is very strong. I don’t enjoy reading so much about politics but this article kept me engaged.

    [Reply]

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EIC column: political parties try taking down one another