The all-or-nothing effect of political polarization

Jake Sinatra (TheLorian)

My entire life, I’ve had an issue with people who have the “all or nothing” mindset. And it isn’t always in politics. My grandfather, for example, refuses to even play the White Sox on the T.V. (unless they are playing the Cubs) strictly because he is a Cubs fan and is convinced he can’t even enjoy a baseball game without the Cubs.

Through my own experience and observation, as well as that of my close friends and family when I asked them, we are seeing a stricter divide into “one way” or the other way” in politics. There are Conservatives who are big supporters of Mr. Trump who are incapable of criticizing anything he does solely because they are “Trump Supporters”. On the other side of the same coin, the same thing occurs with Liberals putting full-fledged support into both Mr. Obama and President Biden, with no regard for criticism. It’s almost as if a brain virus is going around and convincing people they have to dive headfirst in on everything that comes out of their elected official’s mouth. Sadly, I have to say that this should not be the case.

We seem to forget as a society that in the United States of America, power is held by the people, and we allow these elected officials to use that power in our best interest. So then, why are we allowing any politicians on any political spectrum to do whatever they want? They have grown accustomed to minimal backlash from their supporters, and this is what is driving our country apart. We should not have dependency on one person or even one political party.

George Washington addressed this in his farewell address and stated it very well. “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterward the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

George Washington even knew the detrimental effects of political parties and societal divide, yet we did not listen to him, and look where we are now. Neither side can listen to each other, neither side wants to compromise, and neither side is capable of having a civilized debate at the end of which two people can go see a movie and stay friends.

We as a people NEED to get back to the basis of unity, for it is the lack of unity that creates tyrants who could end our country as we know it. Once people start holding politicians accountable and stop agreeing with everything that leaves his or her mouth just because he or she has a Blue or a Red tie; once people realize it is the PEOPLE who hold the power, not any government employee; once people can finally see that at the end of the day, we all breathe, eat, sleep, and bleed–we will be able to return to the way things were. We cannot become content in the good times because they will not stay that way for very long.

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