I'm More Than A Political Party
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Politics and Activism

I'm More Than A Political Party

"The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you." - George Washington's Farewell Address

I'm More Than A Political Party

This article is not an identification with a party system. It is not a persuasive piece on why the election should have turned out differently or why the election results are exactly what the country needs. This article tells you nothing about my partisan stance, and I'm going to try my best not to insert any of my opinions on the results of the election into it.

It seems to me that we have three roles, following this election. Three things that matter more than who we voted for, and more than which party we support. There are three things that I am before I am a Democrat, Independent, or Republican.

I am an American.

The 2016 American Presidential Election placed the United States on the world stage in a whole new way. In the age of social media and immediate news coverage, people all over the world were able to watch as the whole messy, lengthy, taxing election unfolded. People in England, Germany, Australia, China, Spain, and countless other nations stayed up or woke up early to watch the polls on the evening of November 8 and the morning of November 9. I received messages from friends in Switzerland, Denmark, and England, asking for information on what was going on in the United States.

The thing is, we've set ourselves up in an embarrassing way. For starters, it's alarming to many of those not living in the United States that these candidates were the best we could come up with. Many people have asked me, "Really, of all the Americans, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were the best choices?" The fact that the nation was so evenly split in this particular presidential race seems, at least to some degree, to be an acknowledgement of the fact that these candidates, at least to many Americans, were not the best that we thought we could do. It seems to be an acknowledgement of the fact that many Americans felt they were choosing between two evils.

By the same token, many Americans did feel that these candidates best represented their views and beliefs. America is divided on the very notion of the caliber of the candidates, every bit as much as the nation is divided on which one would have made a more effective world leader.

All of that being said, I am an American. Chances are, if you're reading this, you are too.

We have a responsibility, as Americans, to respect our system. I have my opinions about the Electoral College, as most people do. But our Founding Fathers provided us with a system that they believed worked. The Electoral College is intended to be a check on the people. There are checks and balances at every level of our government - why should voting be any different?

We also have a constitutional responsibility to seek change when necessary and proper. The Founders included a clause by that name for expressly that purpose. If people are unhappy with the system, real change can be sought through an amendment. We are given the capability to write to lawmakers, asking for amendments in any area we choose. That is the check on the US Constitution itself. It is clear that the Founders actually expected us to seek change in our system. It is to be expected that over the course of 227 years, real change would occur in a modern nation's society and political climate.

I am a college student.

My actual job right now full time is to educate myself.

We live in a world where only 7% of the population receives a college degree. 40% of the American population receives a degree of Associate's level or higher.

I recognize that I am among a very privileged population. Once again, chances are that if you're reading this, you are too.

However, as stated previously, 60% of the US population does not receive higher education in a formal setting.

In this day and age, that does not mean that the group is not receiving a higher education. We are given the power to educate ourselves, using the literally thousands of resources located at our fingertips. Libraries, internet sources, and newspapers can all provide us with valuable information. By maintaining consistent access to all three, we are more likely to receive an unbiased, balanced view.

As the adage goes, "knowledge is power." Anyone who has educated themselves in an open-minded, unbiased manner has the power to influence society as a whole in whatever manner they choose. An intimate understanding of American government and politics can allow us to effect real change in our nation, in a manner that crosses party lines.

I am endowed with a sense of moral right.

We know what we believe to be right and wrong. A new president does not have the power to change our beliefs in what is right and wrong. Both candidates had their flaws, and, at least for me, neither one presented a platform with which I really agreed. As a result, my moral beliefs really did not and do not align with either one.

Nevertheless, we are granted both the right and the responsibility to act according to our moral beliefs. No president can change those beliefs without our permission. We can act according to the beliefs that we hold, and we can continue to use our education and our upbringing to influence the way we treat others and the way we treat ourselves, regardless of who our president may be.

There is no reason that anyone must agree with 100 percent of what I'm saying. In fact, I'm quite certain that most people won't. That's the beauty of our country: we're allowed to have a diversity of thought and opinion. To move forward in the next four years, that diversity of thought and opinion must be accepted, regardless of party lines. Because whether you identify as a Democrat, Independent, or Republican, you are an American first, and, more importantly, a human, who deserves the respect and right of being peacefully and responsibly heard.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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