The Uncompromisingly Divisive Nature Of Our Political System
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Politics and Activism

The Uncompromisingly Divisive Nature Of Our Political System

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The Uncompromisingly Divisive Nature Of Our Political System

The Untied States is one of the greatest countries in the world. One of my favorite parts about this country is the ability for everyone to share his or her opinions freely. This is something that many other counties do not have. At the same time, though, it seems like this openness often leads to political divides that impact not only Washington, but even the smallest towns across the country. Whenever people talk politics, conversations turn into disagreements from opposite sides unwilling to compromise. If we want to make more progress in our political system ,we need to find ways to understand each other's differences instead of merely attacking any point from the opposite side.

Unwillingness Among Both Parties to Even Listen to Each Other:

Both the right and the left attack the opposing side without even beginning to understand its arguments. I can think of two politicians who vividly exemplify this idea of neglecting to even slightly understand where the opposite party is coming from. On the right is President Trump. President Trump will not even begin to listen to any statement that goes against him. This is shown in his recent statements about "fake news." It's ironic that Trump particularly insults moderate, more left leaning news organizations like the New York Times and CNN. Recently, in a tweet from his personal Twitter account (which I don't understand why he's still even allowed to use), Trump said:

" FAKE NEWS media knowingly doesn't tell the truth. A great danger to our country. The failing @nytimes has become a joke. Likewise @CNN. Sad!"

Insulting two highly reputable news sources just because they are countering some of Trump's points is terrible. Even though many on the right disagree with Trump's claims about lack of integrity in the press, they too, will often vocally express their unwillingness to compromise with Democrats.

At the same time, many conservatives claim that liberals hold the "I'm right, and you're inferior for thinking anything different" mindset. This idea is shown in one of the most outspoken critics of anything the right does, Elizabeth Warren. If you listen to the confirmation hearings for Secretary of Education Betsy Duvos, you'll see that Warren aggressively attacks her statements. While I believe Duvos is clearly unqualified for this position, Warren could have at least been a little more calm and listened to what Duvos was saying instead of cutting her off mid sentence with counter arguments.

Effects of This Divided Nature on Our Country:

In politics, the unwillingness that both sides have to understand each other hinders advancement of policy that benefits the largest number of Americans possible. Pieces of legislation are voted against just because they come from the opposing side, with no attention to their substance. For example, many Republican states refused to expand Medicaid under the ACA just because the law came from a Democratic president.

This neglect for the other side's beliefs is prevalent on college campuses across the country. Many students chose colleges based on their political makeup. Campuses become safe havens for certain political beliefs, but then pay little attention to the opposite side. For example, Brown is know for being one of the most liberal colleges in the country. In my first semester here I loved this, as I lean liberal on most issues. When I went home to my majority- Republican small town for winter break ,though, I quickly realized how being at Brown made me attack the other side without actually really listening to its points.

How to Move Forward:

While this is way easier said than done, I think that both Republicans and Democrats need to strive to be more willing to listen and even compromise with each other. Having a divided political system is one thing, and is normal in many countries. At the same time, though, when this division becomes so strong that both sides are unwavering in their beliefs, it is toxic. So next time you're having a political conversation with someone who disagrees with you, be respectful and realize that while you may disagree you are both living in the same country, with fairly general similar goals and dreams.

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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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