Beliefs vs. Party Loyalty

By Rebecca Stamp, Staff Writer

Polarizing partisanship has driven a wedge through the moderate constituents of America. The Democrats and the GOP continue to move further and further apart, and compromise seems out of reach. Issues now seem less of a discussion and more of a fight, and if you put a Democrat and a Republican in a room together an argument is sure to follow. But is either person actually listening to the other? And, more importantly, do they believe, or even understand, what they are saying?

Partisan bickering has hampered American politics for centuries, but its prevalence is clearer now than ever. Studies conducted by the Market Research Foundation last month showed that voters changed their own views on race and gender issues to match that of their political party. Instead of the people shaping the platforms, the platforms now shape the people. Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court will have ramifications for decades to come, and yet the issue of whether this candidate was fit to serve on the Supreme Court became nothing more than a vehicle for political posturing, a power struggle between Democrats and Republicans. In both parties, how many senators made their decisions about Kavanaugh’s fitness based on the facts, and how many simply toed their party’s line? Partisanship is not inherently wrong, but the polarization that has arisen as a result presents no benefits and hurts progress. Party identity has become too interchangeable with personal beliefs.

What we have to ask ourselves now is if the people in charge really care about the issue, or if they care about their political party dominating the other. Do I, as a Democrat, agree with the liberal stance? Or does blind loyalty to my party hold too much sway over my opinion? Do I even understand what the issue is? We are the generation that’s meant to change the world, but nothing will change until we bridge the gap our elders have created and learn to make our own decisions.