Republicans versus Democrats, liberals versus conservatives. It is no secret, the United States is bitterly divided. Partisanship has been something that has boiled for arguably decades and spilled over during the 2016 presidential election. People yell at one another, call the other un-American. They hide behind internet username’s to post comments of dissent and ridicule in order to make a personal point. Partisanship has overtaken political competition.
Political Competition Vs. All Out Partisanship
What is it all for? Somewhere along the line, honest political competition turned into all out partisanship. Individuals hate others simply because of the policies they pursue. And that difference grew and grew, until it became so wide, that the gap was too far for individuals to see eye to eye. Combine all of this with 24 hour cable news networks, and negative social media posts, and it is no wonder that Americans are as upset as they are.
Partisanship has become so tumultuous that legal tactics have been pursued against each other. Congressional districts are drawn up in order to create political advantages in any way possible. It is not a Democratic strategy or a Republican strategy because both parties do it. Along the way they take with them the inherent American value of a free and fair republic.
Our divide has even become dangerous. Attacks and fires set to political offices, fights and riots at political rallies, and verbal abuse spoken forcefully at one another in order to discredit, not to discuss.
It Should Never Lead To Violence
The mindless menace of violence, as Bobby Kennedy once said, again stains our land and every one of our lives. This time, it is under the veil of political discourse. It is clear that in order for this country to heal it’s wounds, we need fight to disarm this aggressive partisanship, not feed into it.
We have to make of a real attempt to understand. We cannot feed into the easy route of shame and deconstructive criticism. Destructive criticism is the shovel that digs the trench. It is the stick that draws the line in the sand. It is the gun that kills honest debate.
Instead, it is important to remember what we all truly believe. That we are citizens of the United States. With that, we all believe in the freedom of expression, the freedom of the press. Americans believe in the freedom of religion, the right to a fair trial judged by our peers, the right to bear arms, and several others. We must remember that we hold all of these to be self-evident truths.
We must remember that these principles and others are just a few things that unite us, and that we must understand these truths, especially during any disagreement on certain policy initiatives.