By: Thomas Horvath
When our country was founded, then President George Washington warned of what would happen if we broke off into political factions, as he claimed it would be a distraction from our main goal. Shortly after he left office, the country did exactly what he had warned of. Now, it’s hard to imagine American politics without Democrats and Republicans. Back then, these parties disagreed, of course, but still respected each other and only cared about what is best for this country. Nowadays, it feels like the parties are at war with each other and can’t find common ground on anything.
Studies have shown that polls asking if you could be friends with a person of opposing political views have been getting the answer “no” more and more often, but why has it been increasing?
The reason for this is because each side of the political spectrum are becoming more competitive with the other. Politics are getting dirtier, with candidates mostly using their own campaigns to smear the opponent than actually show why they are qualified. It has become a battle of the lesser of two evils. With politics being pushed into mainstream media, it tends to be on people’s minds constantly. Both sides try to gain power by making each side look the most radical, violent, and delusional in order to make the average person dislike that party. For instance, the riots after the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others were used to make it seem like all of those on the left wanted to burn down America. On the other side of the situation, after the January sixth insurrection, the right was labeled as fascists that hated democracy. If you even speak against one of the sides, you are grouped in with these extremists. No one can just disagree anymore. If you disagree then you’re labeled as one of the current insults to make you seem delusional. Racist, sexist, homophobe, xenophobe, ableist. The list goes on. Both parties always seem to spin it when there is a catastrophe to make it the opposer’s fault. This creates a false illusion that the opposing political party is this extreme when, in reality, most people on both sides are not even close to these extremes.
Sure there are people like this, but they don’t make up the majority. Most people forget we’re all on the same team. In reality, most Americans, whether Democrat or Republican, love this country-and only want the best for it: a country where everyone gets to speak their mind, vote for who they believe in, and get an equal opportunity at being successful.