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The United States of America is anything but united
As elections came up, a questioning thought came about: is our country broken?
November 14, 2022
Staring at a voting ballot, the names of candidates jumble up as your pen starts to shake. Eyebrows furrowing, your jaw clenches with strain. In just a matter of seconds, you will mark a choice that would change the future for the next few years. But what is the right choice?
This is the anxiety many of us feel whilst having to pick between two sides – oftentimes only being able to choose the lesser evil. Seeing as how general elections have just passed for our Oviedian community, students who have reached the age of 18 were placed in this stressful situation. Registered under a single party, you are limited with your choices in who will hold office and create the succession of our communities. It’s a massive responsibility to uphold as our civic duty and can prove difficult, especially, for those that cannot view themselves as either Republican or Democrat.
It is commonly said that if you vote for a third party in our democracy, such as Libertarian or Green, you are throwing away your vote. Whilst being a dismal reality, it is true. No minor party can stand against the dominating two-party system that the United States holds. Due to this, their beliefs on how things should be run are turned down without batting an eye. The ideologies upheld by Libertarians are for individualistic freedoms to be guaranteed and distance from the government when it comes to decision-making. The Green party aligns itself with preserving our planet, peace, social justice, and respect for diversity. These parties fall under the left-wing, but a right-wing option would be the Constitution party. As the title would assume, this group wishes to uphold the Constitution acutely and is generally conservative and religious. With close inspection, it is evident that third parties focus on the specifics and often forgotten factors that our current government does not toss a coin to. So to undermine the hard work these parties put forward is a misdeed, as mainly they just wish for our world to be in better conditions. With the state of our political system, so much of what goes on is for the wrong reasons. Everything is to save face or to get back at the other political party to ensure that “no, we’re right – you’re wrong”. It’s an abhorrent conundrum, especially when these major decisions are carving the future for generations. This behavior is a childish, immature, and oblivious game of cat and mouse.
The ongoing battle of who is right and who is wrong
An issue in our society is that there is rarely such a thing as a polite, civil debate. No one wants to hear someone out for their political ideas. If I am a Democrat and you are a Republican, we are sworn-blood rivals. It goes vice versa. But this thinking is reprehensibly antiquated – especially for a culture that is built on prospective innovation and philosophy. Everyone is justified in their opinions and political standings, as we all come from different backgrounds, lifestyles, and experiences that shape how we think. Controversial topics such as abortion, gun control, and human rights are undoubtedly reasonable to be so controversial. It’s grounded on morality, after all. But mangling each other over it is regression. It’s nearly impossible to change anyone’s point of view, as people refuse to listen to one another and put themselves in one another’s shoes. The best solution – instead of tearing at throats and fighting like cats and dogs – is to be involved in our government system to see the change we want.
Understanding the reason why someone believes in something is the way to balance. As of 2022, the United States population is at 333 million. Each individual that makes up this gargantuan statistic has their reason behind what they do and what they think. Meaning that no matter what we or the government do, no one will be completely satisfied. Instead of disproportionately pleasing only one side of our country, politicians shoulder cater to compromises to ensure balance. There should be a clear direction for the future of our country, but that does not mean that there should be heavy bans on subjects that will eternally change an individual’s life – whether that be on their body, financial opportunities, or religious beliefs. We’re all human. We all want things to go our own way, but that will never happen. So instead of thinking so individualistically, we should unite together to get things done to make the country as a whole great. Whether the President – the face of our nation – is a Republican or Democrat, that matters not. They need to guarantee equality for all. It is up to the individual if they will be successful in life, but the bottom line is having a guaranteed opportunity just as everyone else to get their foot in the door. Many Americans have a slammed door on their foot as of now.
With the constant fluctuation of direction in our country, as blue and red take turns holding power in office, the direction of our country is lost. One term is going this way, and the next it is going that way. It’s a constant battle of zeroing out what the previous federal power holder did. In this cycle, is there truly a clear path for our country? What is the direction that we should go? Shouldn’t we all, at the very least, try to go the same way? Everyone has differing opinions on what should be the future of our country. There is nothing wrong with that – that’s great. That’s what makes everyone different. But constantly tossing a coin up in the air and only pleasing heads or tails will get us nowhere.
Every dawn of the Sun, we are to take the pledge
Every time I take the Pledge of Allegiance, I question the words coming out of my mouth. Call me a traitor, a disrespectful citizen, or an inconsiderate, ungrateful person. I can take it. I understand where you’re coming from – our country depends on the loyalty of its citizens. The armed forces sacrifice themselves for our country and my gratitude is never ending. But to understand my reasoning for my uncertainty, you have to hear me out. I am displeased, dissatisfied, and humiliated by our country’s current state. Everyone is on their high horse, preaching that we are “oh-so-great”. We’re not. Our country is just as broken as any other, but we hide behind a mask that we are the proclaimed protectors of freedom. How could we say that when freedoms are being stripped away from citizens – put in place by our courts, governors, and senators? How could we say that when we can’t even accept another’s differences? Is freedom not being able to individually have your own choices, opinions, and way of things? I cannot strongly take the pledge that feels so discarded. Until those words are genuinely upheld and great change is made in our country, the pledge that I know by heart feels weak. We are not “one nation”. We are a system of red and blue states trying to undermine one another.
As a disappointed American, I am simply asking for everyone to understand everyone. This does not mean agreeing with or owning another’s perspective. It means accepting someone’s perspective. It matters not if you are a Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, Green, Constitutional, or what. If we cannot do that, our country will forever be stuck in a metaphorical civil war of who is right and who is wrong. As of now, the United States of America is anything but united. When will we lay down our weapons and find peace? Is this war ever going to end?