The recent 2016 election was a brutal one. It almost clearly divided the United States into three groups: Republican, Democrat, and Stuck in the Middle. Looking back, it all seems like a blur. It's almost unbelievable that people were cutting off relationships based on who their friends were voting for, and not waiting around to listen why.

I was one of those people

Growing up in the age of technology, my generation has always had first access to current events, and everyone's differing opinions about them. On one hand, it is a wonderful example of freedom in action to be able to express ourselves immediately on the internet, and feel that our voices are heard. On the other, however, the great divide between me and some of my friends was more glaring than ever and it made me sad and sometimes angry. It was so easy to group my friends in two: those who agreed with me, and those who didn't. I couldn't understand those who didn't because they supported someone so fundamentally different than I would ever expect. A lot of the conversations I would have with my peers about the election would end up in an argument about our own character, rather than who was fit to run our country.

People have put their political stance in their social media bios, dating sites, and clothing. On some dating apps, people will add "If you voted for Trump*, swipe left." Political parties have become a way to isolate our group from the other, and they are getting in the way of true democracy. The two parties that dominate the floor in Congress spend most of their time arguing over who is right, rather than which solution is better for the American people.

It confuses me that grown men and women cannot take two ideas and come up with a new and better idea that represents both sides. America has some growing to do before all its many voices are heard. Congress is overwhelmingly a white and male group, while less than 65% of America is white and over 50% is female. There should be an equal representation of all groups, otherwise, it is impossible for the needs of each group to be met.

To elect people to represent us, we are forced to choose a side, Democrat or Republican, and stand by it. That is unfair to do Americans. We are more than two minded individuals and we need to use that to our advantage by dissolving political parties and electing people based on their stance and qualifications.

In his farewell address, George Washington warns the American people to steer clear of political parties and put the good of the country above the wants of any individual local, city, or state government and he was right. It is important to look at America as a whole and be specific when writing policies because they affect everyone. No more secret expenses are written into budgets that they have nothing to do with.

Congress has become corrupt, and it's time we fire them all and reset the playing field.

*Using Trump's name is just an example, just one of the more common ones