We’ve entered a dangerous zone in our current political climate. The climate that has been cultivated is allowing the democracy to decline. Both sides of the political spectrum, right and left, are to blame. Through childish tactics, blatant partisanship, and unabashed ignorance, we’ve murdered objectivity. Collectively, we have denigrated the very Constitution that we swore to protect and may have set the stage for the usurping of democracy as we know it.
This did not happen because of the election of President Trump, that was merely an effect of the past decade. For hundreds of years, despite their differences, the right and left worked together for the protection of democracy and the continued welfare of the greatest democracy in the world. But, as the Founding Fathers had warned, factions began to divide us. The Republican Party, originally standing for constitutional principles and traditional families values, and the Democrat Party, initially fighting for the working class, instead became opposition forces. When Republicans led the charge to desegregate America and grant African-Americans the same rights as whites, for the most part the Democrats opposed them. When the Democrats fought to preserve worker unions and institute better working conditions, the Republicans refused to even hear them out. However, despite their differences, it was a Republican Congress passing the Civil Rights Act of 1965 and a Democratic President signing it into law. Before that, it was a republican who instituted the Interstate system, which is now fiercely protected by Democrats. Later, it was a Republican president who instituted the EPA, continuing a historical republican president’s fight for environmental conservation. As a result, the two-parties have always been able to reach across the aisle and find common ground.
Divisions began to show though when, in 2009, a democratic president took office and blamed every misfortune on the former republican president, putting an already disliked president into the categories of one of the most hated presidents of all time. Those divisions were exacerbated when the Republican majority leader at the time pledged to make the president a one-term president, attempting to stymie every piece of legislation that fit said president’s agenda. Due to this, in 2010, upon retaking the House and Senate, the Democrats utilized the “nuclear option” and forced Obamacare into legislation. And so, it continued, republicans refused to work with democrats and vice versa. Policies that the parties shared were ignored in their fight to get their agenda through.
Enter 2017, after a vitriolic election that sparked massive protests and counter-protests, we now have a president struggling to stay afloat and two parties so confused they don’t even know their own platforms. The GOP, the same party that stopped an infrastructure bill in 2012, now will most likely pass a similar bill before the end of President Trump’s first turn. The same party that once complained about their voices being silenced have attempted to paint any adversarial press as “fake news.” The Democrats have now reversed several stances as well, becoming opposed to ending free trade deals that would greatly affect our economy (decades ago, the GOP was the party of free trade) and opposing any sort of progressive policy instituted by the Republicans. In short, the parties no longer stand for anything except loyalty to their own and that’s where it becomes dangerous.
Take for instance, Hillary Clinton’s emails and the DNC rigging the primaries against Bernie Sanders. Both Democrats and Republicans should have been up in arms about it but the Democrats pretended that nothing was illegally done and instead painted their opposition as a sexist for even mentioning it. Even a majority of Bernie supporters, including Bernie Sanders himself, acquiesced to their anointed candidate. Later, after winning the election, the republicans fell in line behind everything that President Trump has done. The problem with that is there is clearly something going on in the administration. Donald Trump Jr’s email chains prove that he colluded with a Russian attorney to attempt to receive damaging information on Hillary Clinton, something which is not, as the Trumps have claimed, “opposition research.” The lack of transparency and the blatant lies coming from the Administration should be reason for worry and, at the very least, an uninhibited bipartisan investigation. But, instead republicans have fallen behind the president when they blasted the former administration for lack of transparency.
I supported Donald Trump and, had I been eligible to vote at the time, I would’ve voted for him, however, we cannot be blindly partisan and disregard things that are clearly wrong. While I do not believe that President Trump will become some sort of dictator and while I also believe the media has painted him as a monster, I cannot ignore the partisan bias and the blind loyalty that could set the stage for an actual dictator. We may have murdered objectivity this year, but it is up to us to not acquiesce, to look at things on a case by case basis and realize when something is wrong if we ever hope to revive impartiality.
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