This is an addition to my last post. If you want you can check that out here.
We hear a lot of news about how there’s a partisan gridlock in U.S. politics. As the old adage goes: When the Huffington Post has a section of their site dedicated to it, you know it’s the real deal. Well you at least know it’s a sensation. I personally think that the “gridlock” isn’t as bad as they would have you believe, but that doesn’t mean it’s nonexistent. When you hear members of the G.O.P. say that they are going to block Obama’s supreme court justice appointee no matter what, it’s obvious that cooperation amongst the parties is becoming more difficult. And before you think I’m putting a liberal bias on this, if and when the tables are turned with a Republican president and democratic congress, you know the same things are going to happen.
This gridlock seems slow or stop the process of every bill brought up and it frustrates everyone to no end. It seems like the only thing Republicans and Democrats can agree on is that they hate that nothing can get done. So why does this happen then? We live in a democracy, so if there’s something about our politicians, we can just swap them out for someone else, right? Our politicians are supposed to represent their constituents, so to find out why this is happening we have to look at the people.
I don’t hang out with many Republicans, so my only knowledge of their perspective comes from TV. That opinion comes off as pretty negative towards Democrats as I’m sure many people know. It’s at the point that everyone know how to finish the phrase “Bleeding heart____.” I originally thought this was overblown by the media, but once I started hearing the anti-conservative opinions of my Democrat acquaintances, I’m not so sure.
“Backwards idiots, racists, misogynists” are just a few of the nicer words I hear people use when describing Republicans. While I won’t argue that certain members of the party (including at least 2 running for president) fit this description, I hardly think it’s fair to paint the entire party as neo-nazis or klan members. I don’t blame people for having those thoughts though, because I have an idea of what’s causing them. And if you read the first part of this, you know what I’m going to say: binaries.
When you options are left or right, you’re naturally going to see one side as your side and the other as an “other,” and we’ve historically never been very nice to “others.” I’m not sure if this is a leftover from our prehistoric tribal-minded instincts or just a natural hurdle to our empathy, but we can’t seem to help but dehumanize people in the categories we aren’t in.
I believe this happens to be the root of a lot of the problems our world has, but it looks like catching it at the very beginning with politics. We can stop this problem in it’s tracks easily too by demanding more cooperation with our vote. But in the end it’s up to us whether we overcome this or succumb to our baser hatred of others.
Thanks for reading! I haven’t been posting as much lately because I’ve been pretty busy, but I’m going to try to make more time to write on here, if people want that.
To suggest a word for next week click here.