Did you know the people who disagree with you are evil? Sure you do. And that’s why we’re at this point.
If you’re a Liberal, you know just how true this is. You’re dealing with a group of people who think Climate Change is fake, that abortion is murder, will happily ban gay people from getting married, and will pass enough laws as possible to make it impossible for black people to vote, transgender people use the restroom, and cut taxes for the Top 1% in a misguided economic policy that destroys social welfare programs.
If you’re a Conservative, you know just how true this is. You’re dealing with a group of people who think Communism is the greatest system ever, want abortions of fetuses until they’re born, wants to take God out of the classroom, raise taxes for whatever socialist program possible, and will pass as many laws as possible to ban or tax soda, plastic bags, cigarettes, junk food, and more, all while funding bloated government programs that don’t work.
Here’s the problem: What the fuck is your solution?
The biggest problem we have right now is that we’ve completely and utterly demonized the opposing side of our viewpoint in this country. Not even a little; we’re at the point where we think anyone in any way who disagrees with us must be this evil person who must be destroyed. Be honest with me: You read my take on Liberals or Conservatives and were ready to type how I was a “neo-con”, “libtard”, or “another Trump/Hillary” supporter. We all do it, myself too, and I try to catch myself when I do it.
I was talking to someone and all they could do was go on about the evils of the Republican Party. It was fine, the party has done some terrible things in the last 10+ years, and frankly the last 7 have been just what the hell. At the same time, they just kept saying how great the Democratic Party was, and while there has been some good, they also supported people who didn’t really do much to tax the Top 1%, who voted and supported wars, and people who opposed same-sex marriage until very very recently. That’s some really messed-up stuff, too.
But they never said what they WANTED from the other side, and that’s the problem with all of this.
You can’t just have a one-party system; that’s just authoritarian rule with the illusion of a democratic process to change the figure heads. Philadelphia has that system, and its led to wide-spread corruption within the political party that, sadly, isn’t much better by the minority party. But because said minority party has so many issues, it can’t offer viable solutions to help correct the problem, and because of this “the other side is pure evil” mentality, when they do its seen in a negative light.
We need at least a two-party system to help keep checks and balances in all of this. We need people who disagree with us to help us.
Think about it like this:
You write a novel. You’re really proud of it, and you spent a ton of time writing it and you sent it to a bunch of your friends who all told you it was good. You then publish it and the reviews are terrible. No one liked it and pointed out all of these flaws. You go back to your friends, and they still have nothing but positive things to say. At that point you have a choice: Do you listen to your friends and just keep churning out books, or do you start going to other people and asking how to make it better?
If you’re smart, you start asking other people to read it, and if you’re lucky you get an editor to help. They don’t have to agree with everything you do, and you’re sure going to disagree from time to time, but the end goal is to create something great that does well. So you work with them, release your next book, and the reviews are a lot better than before!
That’s what a two-party system is: Two sets of people who may not agree working together to create something that helps everyone.
So let me get this out of the way now: Yes, the problem with the Republican Party since 2009 has been that they have literally, not proverbially, literally said they would do everything possible to stop President Obama from getting anything done. That’s a serious problem. There’s also another serious problem: There has been an unwillingness for voters to call that out for the problem that it is. And, yes, the Democrats did something similar in 2006 when they decided to slow things down for Bush. This is how its been for a while, but there’s a difference here: One party didn’t just try to obstruct and slowdown, they just out-right decided not to do anything and made it clear they, frankly, didn’t give a fuck.
We still need everyone to work together and start pulling some legislation together to keep America the great country it… well, the great nation it normally is. We have serious issues right now, and if we don’t act now, they’re going to get worse. If you’re a Republican, I’m not saying don’t vote for Republicans. What I am saying, though, is make sure that the candidate you’re voting for is willing to REALLY work with the other side.
And the same is true for you, Democrats! In June of 2016, there was a sit-in by the Congressional Democrats in the House to try and get a gun control bill, ANY gun control bill, to the floor. For a day they came in, live streaming their protest, and I was all for it. Yes, a gun control would make sense! They wanted to pass “No-Fly, No Buy”, a bill that would ban anyone on the “Do Not Fly” and “Terrorist Watch List” from getting a gun. The problem, though, is that this party opposed both lists like crazy when they were created because they basically eliminated due-process and the criteria for getting on those lists were hazy at best. So 4 gun control bills eventually went to the floor. Two of them were by Democrats, and two were written by Republicans. All four bills failed.
Here’s the problem: You can’t say you want ANY gun control bill and then vote down the 2 you don’t like because they were written by the “other” party. They may not go far enough, but if your goal is to just get something, ANYTHING, then you vote for it.
I know, I wound up attacking a party for doing I don’t like at the end of a long rant piece about working together, but I did offer a solution of just passing it and then working from there. I heard the same argument about a ton of things I consider “bad bills”; you pass something in the hopes of getting something better later. That’s also part of governance, and I think that’s the thing we’re all missing.