This year 2020, marks a significant time in the United States. With the election having been only last week, the people have spoken and at the beginning of next year Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will assume the positions of president and vice-president respectively. Upon the announcement of our new president many around the country erupted in a frenzy; some reacting positively to the news, others negatively. Reports of clashes between fervent supporters of both candidates were expected and reported on announcement day, as many voiced their opinion on the election. While it is not my pace (or wish) to take sides on the ongoing events in our country; I will say that these examples of differing opinions-while beautiful examples of an american freedom of speech-are scary to say the least, as we see examples of Red-Blue politics at it’s finest. For those who do not know what Red-Blue politics is, I will briefly explain. Red-Blue politics is simply the separation of political opinion into Republican (red) and Democrat (blue) sects, with supporters of either side only accepting their argument, essentially refusing to hear-let alone accept-the opposing sides argument. This effectively creates a rift in the United State’s political and social circles as many make contact with only those who agree with their political ideologies. This form of partisan separation is grievously detrimental to any government and as you, dear reader, we must ask ourselves these two questions: How badly has Red-Blue Politics separated our country so far, and what can we do to get back on track to a bipartisan democracy?
Abraham Lincon, as we all know one told the Illinois state capitol “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”, and this quote still holds true to this day, as we see the divide between the two parties that dominate our congress, the Republicans and the Democrats. From these two parties stem the issue of Red-Blue politics. As Scott Keter-Director of Survey Research at Pew Research Center in Washington-interprets it: “This latest American Values survey finds deepening differences in the values of Republicans and Democrats. “Republicans are most distinguished by their increasingly minimalist views about the role of government and lack of support for environmentalism, Democrats have become more socially liberal and secular. The two groups are furthest apart in their attitudes about the social safety net – their opinions about the government’s responsibility to care for the poor, whether the government should help more needy people if it means adding to the debt, and whether the government should guarantee all citizens enough to eat and a place to sleep being several topics of debate.” He continues by explaining that the issues are not the only ones that have been separated into Red and Blue categories, with religion and subsequent policies being affected. “It’s probably a fool’s errand to attempt a grand theory of when we started to become partisan.” says Mr. Keter says. “But Democrats will likely say George W. Bush started it by taking a no-compromise approach to government. And Republicans will probably point to the positions taken by Barack Obama or Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid.” Further study by the pew research center shows us that since 2016, our country has never been more divided on aforementioned political issues. I have enclosed these findings in my evidence section below, and as seen in several polls taken by the organisation, there is a massive shift in opinion and support of subjects as you shift from either side of the political spectrum. Continuously in this country, we separate ideas and opinion almost immediately into democratic or republican sects depending on which groups ideology makes itself more known, and it up to the future leaders of our country to try and find a way out of such division.
So how do we do that? Well in reality it is quite simple. We must listen. As I have said, Red-Blue politics at its core is the inability to hear an opposing argument due to the belief that since it is supported by an opposed party it is inherently bad, thusly it stands to reason that we must first restore the ability to listen, before we restore bipartisanship in our congress and in our society. For those of you who still doubt the opinion I have expressed, let me attempt to sway you with a short story: This year even with the epidemic, I have been fortunate enough to return to school on a modified schedule. On mondays and tuesdays, I am at school; thursdays and fridays I am not and wednesdays are asynchronous. During lunch, I have had the pleasure of sitting with a boy around my age who has differing ideologies when it comes to politics, social issues, and religion (three things that are continuously hot button topics between both sides). Since we occupy different sides of the political spectrum (I will not say which we occupy respectively), we have frequently entered into several debates, each of us fiercely arguing our viewpoints of the topic of debate. Now, if I wanted to, I could ignore him, refusing to even consider his side of the argument; however, I have not done so. Instead of shutting eachother out, resorting to a screaming match-an occurrence we are all too familiar with in our current political climate- every debate we have had has been one of civility and understanding, both of us beginning several ideas to the table that have been heard, understood and sometimes even accepted. We have been able to note our differences in politics, yet we have remained civil in our discussion. If we, as the future of our democracy, were able to commit to similar debates of intelligence rather than passion, we can begin to resolve the issues that are faced by the current political system.
Red, Blue, Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative; these words have become cemented into our political system, poisoning the idea of threatening ideals offered by the opposing side, subsequently drawing us into a crippling Red-Blue political society. If we as the future of our country wish to resolve the issue that currently divides us, we must begin to listen to each other, opening the floor to intelligent conversation rather than stubborn rejection. Remember: There is always the possibility of a better tomorrow. What can you do to make it a reality?