Stuck between a rock and a hard place

Photo by Dakota Zugelder

Americans love to choose. Coke or Pepsi? Android or iPhone? Dogs or cats? Coffee or tea? Movies or TV shows?

Democrat or Republican?

Our obsession with polarization is fun when we’re arguing for The Office or Parks and Rec. It gets more serious when it threatens the future of the country.

Growing up in Kansas, I was told that being a Republican was what I needed to be. Being a Democrat was frowned upon. As I got older, I realized that both sides have ideas that I agree with and ideas that I don’t. I now believe that being completely conservative or liberal isn’t the best thing for this country, but that both sides should work together to find what is best – too bad we don’t live in a perfect world.

For the past few years, people have gotten way too emotional and angry at the other side, which has led to a lack of compromise. Politics in the United States are in a state of turmoil. With the rise of politically correct culture and Donald Trump running for and winning president, not to mention far-left ideas becoming more and more socialistic after the popularity of Bernie Sanders, this country couldn’t be any farther away from reaching compromise. This has led to the left becoming more radical and the right becoming more reactionary. And neither side is willing to budge.

The big problem with this is that none of the far left or far right ideas will ever get passed in congress, but that compromise is equally as impossible. Compromising to allow abortion for only cases of rape and incest is still not enough and compromising to only ban assault weapons isn’t enough either. The wall is another example. Building the wall is a far-right idea, and because of how divided congress is, there could be no compromise for it, which led Trump to shut down the government. The same thing would happen if a president tried to enact far-left legislature, like banning all guns. It would never happen.

If there is someone running for office who doesn’t completely agree with the party they choose, then the party they’re running for down on them. For example, when Donald Trump first launched his campaign, there were a lot of conservatives who questioned whether he would hold conservative ideas in The White House.

This is getting even worse for younger people. They are realizing what they care about through social media, but they only care about a few issues at a time. The one or two issues they care about lead them to choose the party that caters to those issues, then they decide that that is the party they support. The youth then do research on that party to see what it believes and then start agreeing with those ideas to stay in line with their party. There is no way millions of people could have ideals that line up with only two parties.

With the way the two-party system is set up, there is no chance an Independent or Libertarian could ever win. This leads a candidate to choose a party they don’t entirely agree with. For example, Bernie Sanders won as a Senator of Vermont as an Independent but changed to a Democrat when he ran for president. His ideas were then adopted by the left and are now considered far left ideas.

The last president to be elected who wasn’t a Republican or Democrat was Millard Fillmore, back in 1853. Even then it was a two-party system, but it was Democrats and the Whig party. The hesitancy of voters to elect independents leads leaders of that party to, at best, have either Democrats or Republicans push their ideas, which only separates people even more.

If we got rid of the two-party system, the American people would be forced to vote for the president based on policy, not party. It would also make Americans more open-minded and closer to compromise, which is what is desperately needed in the United States right now.


Story by Jake Ditto



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