The Republican Party is dividing the United States
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I have always been a Democrat. I remember how excited my parents were about Obama winning in ’08, and from then on, I just counted myself as one without really paying attention to national politics. That only really started to change during the 2016 Presidential Election. I had wondered how this country could ever go back to a conservative president when the United States’ demographics had shown a steady increase in the percentage of liberals in the country; however, over the last few years, I have begun to understand why: the Republican Party is indoctrinating much of the population.
This isn’t by any means new; both liberal and conservative political analysts such as Norman Ornstein have written about the polarization of the party for the last twenty years. Conservative news outlets such as Fox News have forced Republican politicians to succumb to their views, even when some don’t agree with them. This is a result of viewers sticking to one source for news and voting for whichever candidate the network portrays as better. Republicans like Mitch McConnell have turned politics into a game of using power to gain power, whereas the Democrats actually have tried to pass legislation, to the detriment of their party’s power. The Democrats in the House of Representatives keep passing meaningful legislation, yet the Republican Senate won’t let any of it, nor any compromises or real legislation at all come to fruition. In addition, the words Republicans use keep dividing the nation further by spewing misinformation so that voters can’t even agree on the same news anymore.
By no means is this a call to end challenges to traditional liberal viewpoints. In fact, I actually think traditional party divides on the economy, the military and government intervention benefit the country’s position as a world leader. However, this is a call to younger conservatives to stop blindly following the Republican party. Look at the Democratic Party. We are filled with different generations, sexualities, races and genders of people who all share different liberal positions. Some of us are socialists, some of us are democratic-socialists, some of us are democratic-capitalists and so on and so forth. The Republican Party has become the Trump show. Seriously, the president keeps insulting John McCain, a man his own party valued enough to nominate for the presidency in ’08, yet the majority of Republican voters seem to be totally fine with Trump’s jabs at the deceased war hero. That is indoctrination. And the argument that excuses his words or behaviors in favor of his policies is hypocritical. Remember Bill Clinton’s impeachment?
The amount of hate groups, speech and attacks have all increased in the U.S. since President Trump was elected. Yes, the trend has been growing for years, but political polarization, caused mainly by the Republican Party’s actions in the past 25 years, opened the door for this growth to happen.
I could continue on with millions of arguments that most conservative voters are used to hearing; however, the problem is just that. Conservative voters are “hearing” them, not listening. Although I can’t speak for all liberals, and yes there is a problem with far-left voters too (yet less so than the far-right), I know that I have listened to Republican arguments and thought critically for myself on many issues and candidates to form my own opinions. Many conservatives flat out refuse to question their beliefs anymore. As humans, we generally dislike admitting we are wrong, but from personal experience, I have been able to change a few Trump voters’ opinions on many issues simply by approaching them in a non-judgmental environment. There’s no clear cut solution to all of this, but a definite start is a grassroots movement to reach out to and educate voters on all issues, and an engagement in healthy debate with conservatives when appropriate.