I'm what people might call a centrist because of the fact that I am unaffiliated with the Democratic or Republican party. This is because I see the positives and the negatives of both sides and I don't want to be put into a little box labeling me as either. One is not "good" and the other is not "bad." They are both composed of human beings fighting for a better life in a country they all call home.
Sometimes they use horrible and downright evil means of attempting to achieve better lives (yes, BOTH parties are guilty of this to some degree). Failing to understand this is repulsively ignorant and myopic. Unfortunately, the so-called "party system" used in U.S. politics seems to polarize this dehumanizing idea of "us vs. them." In order to achieve peace and unity, as our founding fathers once dreamed for the United States of America, our nation must reject the party system which has slowly been dividing us since its origin.
1. George Washington Advocated Against Political PartiesGIF by VICE DOES AMERICA - Find & Share on GIPHY Giphy
Officially unaffiliated in any political party himself, our first president, George Washington, warned America of the disastrous idea of political parties in his farewell address to the country, stating: "However combinations or associations of [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."
2. Political Parties Gone CorporateFree Money GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY Giphy
It is not a secret that successful campaigning takes a lot of money. An election can turn into a "may the richest man win" scenario at the snap of some fingers. There are shady things both parties participate in so that they can have a better chance of winning the elections. A great example of this is the idea of dark money, which is a term used to describe money from an unknown source used to somehow influence voters.
Even corporations and other businesses can get in on the fun with endorsements and checks which have the power to ensure certain policies that may benefit the company rather than the majority of Americans. Because of this, both parties have access to millions of dollars (usually unfathomable amounts of money to the average middle class American). As "Cabaret," a musical about the rise of Nazi Germany, once stated, "money makes the world go round."
3. Muddled Elections And Ignorant VotersElect Me Nuclear Blast GIF by Machine Head - Find & Share on GIPHY Giphy
Policy does not seem to mean much to Americans anymore. Rarely do you see voters educate themselves about candidates before checking their ballots. Now, voters only look at the political parties that the candidates belong to. The political parties may make voting easier for some, but they also make it dangerous. Blindly checking a box based on one word cannot be allowed to determine the fate of America.
A terrifying example of how this could go wrong (and how it has gone wrong) lies within the presidential race of 2016. Before he was the last Republican standing, friends and family members of mine verbalized how horrible and repulsive Donald Trump would be as president. They would talk about how dangerous and embarrassing he would be if elected. But when he was somehow able to claw his way to becoming the only Republican candidate left, they quickly changed their tune. Suddenly he seemed like a great idea; better than that Democrat Hillary Clinton, at least.
When the topic of Trump comes up now, I still hear about Clinton being the worse alternative. That's the excuse many Republicans have for their support of Trump. In 2018, I do not care about Hillary Clinton. She hasn't even crossed my mind. All I want is Trump out of office, and I think that it is time for America to wake up and see him for the fool he is rather than being willingly blinded by his political affiliation.
4. Radicalism And Violence
Where do I begin? How about the Civil War? White supremacy? Social Justice Warriors? The Trail of Tears? Watergate? The election of Donald J. Trump? All of these conflicts can be linked to American political parties in one way or another. If certain ideas within these parties did not become so radicalized, maybe these travesties would not have happened. Obviously, conflicts would still exist. We cannot fix all of the world's problems just by dissolving political parties. But maybe we can de-radicalize the population and work together in order to finally make America the great country it has the potential to be.
5. The Divided States Of America
Division has never helped anybody. Division causes war and hostile environments unsuitable for living. Is that what we want? Another Civil War? Some might say, "Yeah, bring it on! I never liked (insert political party) anyway!" But to those people, I say that you have no idea what you are talking about. To those people, I say try imagining going to war against your brothers. Your sisters. Your friends and neighbors. Your parents. Even your children. And all for what, exactly? An even more radicalized "us vs. them"? In that case, would the war ever stop? Would peace ever be achieved?
Instead of imagining war, can we imagine a world such as the one that the late John Lennon sang about? Or maybe even just the country that our founding fathers intended for us? One where every man is created equal, even under the government? Political parties do not help achieve a world of peace and love for our fellow man. They create unnecessary conflict and have started to do more harm than good.