Extreme partisanship’s effects on U.S. politics

Katie Eckert, Copy Co-Editor

The United States has run on a Republican and Democratic two-party system since before the Civil War. However, that is not the problem I aim to talk about today. The problem is that the lines separating these two terms are becoming less clear yet more polarizing, which is not doing any favors to our politics.

Nowadays it seems like you pick a party and you stick to it like it is life or death. Not because they are actually standing for your beliefs on the regular, but because that is your party and loyalty is everything. I should not have to explain how pointless and problematic that is. What makes a Democrat a Democrat versus a Republican is not whether they believe in facts or not.

In theory, political parties are supposed to unify people with similar ideas and values, so it makes sense that people in opposing political parties would disagree. Still, within each party there are supposed to be conservatives and liberals, right wing and left wing. There needs to be room for that. If your party believes in gun control, for example, there needs to be a scale on how far to go. Otherwise, there is no room for compromise, and we are seeing the effects of this play out in real time. We cannot continue to allow such important issues to hang in limbo because of our extremely partisan politics.

There are so many big issues that we as a country are fighting over right now, and a solution that is entirely agreeable to all sides of the political field will not be possible. However, without a willingness to compromise, we will not reach a single slightly decent solution either. We cannot set any sort of plan for a problem if we cannot agree that it exists, but we also cannot set a plan for it if Democrats and Republicans are not willing to listen to each other simply because they believe they are too different to even try.