Politics is a touchy subject for most people - not all - but most. Growing up, it was first on the list of things not to talk about, followed by money and religion. Though truthfully, I have never abided by that societal rule. For those of us who see it as more than just a taboo topic, it's easy to weed people out once it's brought up. Whenever someone mentions politics, in my head I always see the word in quotation marks.
"Politics."It's almost always spoken about with a whisper and an eye roll. But isn't it a bit deeper than a mere talking point?
I've realized recently that I don't align myself with a particular party anymore. While I am aware that there are other parties besides the dominant two, the idea of forcing my beliefs into a generalized box doesn't appeal to me. I'm never going to completely agree with everything that comes with identifying as a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, etc. so why do it? Perhaps it's the millennial coming out in me, but political party affiliation seems rather antiquated to me. I'm putting myself at risk of sounding ignorant, however, I do understand why the two-party system exists. It's easier to have a majority and a minority; one will always win out over the other. And it works.
But it also doesn't. The two-party system, this eternal battle between Republican and Democrat, doesn't allow much room for anything else. As issues in our country become more complex, the same older, white, privileged men deal with them the same way. Anybody in government with an opinion that isn't Republican or Democrat — based is considered revolutionary, rebellious, extraordinary. There is a huge disconnect between the government and the people; it's no secret that American voter turnout is not as high as it could and should be.
Along with other factors — such as voter intimidation and harassment that minority groups face — limiting the power to two parties doesn't appeal to every voter. Americans know any third-party candidate is more than likely to crushed by the two larger parties and for many, it feels pointless to cast a vote for someone who won't win so they simply don't vote at all.
However, not everybody takes politics as seriously. Many are privileged enough to see it as not much more than a horse race to place bets on, simply a source of conversation every now and then, an inconsequential civic duty. Many check the box on a party and vote blindly for the members of it. For others, it is monumental, a mark of the state of our society, a moral duty. Many people can't help but care about politics as the policies and rhetoric that come from D.C. have huge impacts on their daily lives.
That is why I can't find myself in a political party. I see "politics" as something much deeper, more to do with morals and a perspective on government control that includes compassion, not the way it is played like a game by party members. I don't have a solution for the problem I'm presenting but I can't possibly limit myself to an established party that evolves at a glacial pace when it comes to today's issues. I am more than comfortable voting the way I feel, independently.