Political parties prove problematic

Presidential candidates aren’t bulk of problem

Julianna Poe, Trending Editor

As a citizen of the United States, when I turn 18 years old, I will have the right to vote. If I were two years older, I’d be considering whether to vote for current President Donald Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden. I’ll be honest, neither are appealing. However, our problem isn’t our candidates, our problem is our political parties.

At the first presidential debate last Tuesday, I watched as our candidates fought like siblings and used that negative behavior to capture the attention of their parents — the people of the United States. After the debate, I watched both Republicans and Democrats alike weigh the maturity of both our candidates. I watched conservatives bully liberals and liberals bully conservatives for their beliefs. I came to find that we weren’t arguing over which candidate is better, we were arguing over which candidate is a nicer bully. When we threw insults at the candidate of the opposite party, we weren’t attacking the candidate, we were attacking the other party.

When we vote, we’re voting for someone we want to see in office. We’re voting for someone we believe in. We’re voting to be represented. We should be voting for a person who represents all of us, not a person who represents one particular party. The way our two candidates presented themselves in the debate is a perfect representation of what the U.S. looks today. Family, friends, coworkers, you name it, all divide themselves up by party and can’t stand those with different beliefs. Both sides call each other liars. Both sides create conspiracies about the other party. 

Consequently, whoever steps into office will be hated by half the nation. This happened in 2016 when Trump won the electoral college. The war that followed between Democrats and Republicans has not yet ended, and neither turnout of this election will bring peace.

As high school students, we’ve seen our own version of this political war on a daily basis. You have the popular kids, the jocks, the nerds, etc. If we can have movies about getting to know a person regardless of their stereotypes, how come there aren’t any geared toward Republicans and Democrats? We are constantly told to treat each other equally and be friends with everyone as kids, while adults don’t practice such when it comes to politics.

For example, in many of my own classes, my teachers — regardless of what subject they teach — will mention politics at some point in the school year. Not just that, but they will make it clear which side they are on and won’t condemn bullying of their opposite parties’ candidate when the classroom erupts into a political discussion. If we’re going to complain about our presidential candidates bullying each other, why don’t we complain about the bullying our educators allow us to partake in?

Controversy over political parties goes farther back than 2016. In 1796, first and former President George Washington warned us of the negative consequences two opposing political parties could have on our democracy, saying “However, [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely … to become potent engines, by which … men will … subvert the power of the people and [seize] the reins of government…” 

I believe the events of 2020 have illustrated his warning well.