George Washington was not only the first President of the United States; he was also a fortune teller. During his farewell address in 1796, George Washington warned the American people that the greatest threat to democracy was partisanship. Within the past four years, the long existing problem of political partisanship has been brought to the spotlight and has proven that the disastrous political climate has accelerated the division in America. Political partisanship is dividing the country and stripping individuals of their individuality.
American history is filled with the important details of different races pushing for their rights. Political partisanship deepens the gash in the already existing wound of division in America. For over a century, African Americans have been treated unfairly by the government. George Floyd’s death highlighted the pre-existing racial division in America. The subsequent division over the resulting protests around the country has left many Americans to wonder when the country will ever unite. Furthermore, political partisanship forces the idea of union further into the far future.
The election was a symbol of the divide between Republicans and Democrats, the existing two parties. The election has resulted in riots and other acts of violence which have become more prevalent because of the possible Republican or Democratic victory.
Furthermore, the government has become much less effective and efficient as it fails to provide “real” legislation. The goal of Congress is to best represent its constituents by making sure beneficial legislation is produced. However, Congress seems to have lost sight of that goal.
Sophomore Zac Larrick noticed, “Given the current political climate, it is evident that the political partisanship slows down the government because the Senate and the House, instead of focusing on legislation and developing important legislation especially during these times in the pandemic, are more focused on flipping the House and Senate majority.”
Helping the constituents is no longer a priority in Congress’s agenda; instead, Congress now focuses on beating the opposing side.”
Larrick added, “People always try to attack the other party rather than attack the policy.”
Loyola students are also affected by the political partisanship which is evident from the political clubs on campus.
President of the Young Conservatives Club Senior John Soza said, “The pervading cancel culture and insistence that conservatives or Trump supporters are morally reprehensible simply for expressing a belief has been a factor in how the club operates and functions.”
Member of the Young Democrats Club Senior Marco Gacina stated, “The Young Democrats Club is new this year, but it’s gradually seen a rise in membership as time has passed. There was a big spike in membership around election time as people became more passionate about not only electing Joe Biden but also defeating Donald Trump.”
Loyola High School students are beginning to identify themselves as either Democrat or Republican rather than a supporter of a certain policy. Membership in certain clubs has been determined more by the desire to oppose the opposite party rather than to support a certain policy. As a result, Loyola students begin to lose their individuality.
Political partisanship has supporters of Democrats and Republicans rooting against each other as though our political climate is equivalent to an MMA fight. Both parties take jabs at each other in the form of vetoing beneficial legislation and actively speaking against the opposite party. These acts have encouraged the country to divide into two different teams: the Democrats and Republicans. Party association is a blinding force to the real issues at play
Sophomore Jared Gonzalez said, “We shouldn’t have sides; we should try to be one united country. The Democrat versus Republican government frustrates me because one side can’t just be mad at the other side because the definition of the parties contrast. Why can’t the government focus on issues they agree on and meet in the middle? Political partisanship tampers the whole idea of our diversity and democracy.”
This year was the first opportunity for many Loyola seniors to vote. We will be following in their footsteps and must recognize the flaws of political partisanship. Voting for the policy not the party ensures that we do not lose our individuality. The moment we stop blindly voting for the party we believe is superior is the moment we make sure that we are truly represented.