Americans, Not Democrats or RepublicansIf America is to live up to its potential, we must put America first, not political party.
By: Brandon Less, Sibley Scribe
The Declaration of Independence states : “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union…” It does not state “We the Democrats or Republicans of the United States….” The United States was established as a union of thirteen colonies who did not agree on every issue. There was much struggle, but they knew that their work was for a more important purpose. Many of the Founding Fathers were opposed to the idea of a political “party” anyway, but today it seems that each political party works for itself and not for the preservation of the union. The aggressively run campaigns, and stubborn attitudes of American politicians have lead to a political and societal divide. Until America learns to work for the betterment of our country, we will never reach our potential greatness.
President James Monroe understood that our country must have unity to function to its fullest. He chose Jeffersonian Republicans and Federalists for his cabinet. Monroe also installed President Madison’s American System to establish American economic growth and protect domestic manufacturers from foreign competition. Included in the system was Federalist Alexander Hamilton’s Bank of the United States. This was a very controversial issue for Democratic Republicans like Monroe. However he had the country’s best interest in mind and acknowledged that the federal government needed to support the economy in order to prosper as a country.
This sacrifice would never be made in today’s politics. Not a single Republican representative voted for Obamacare. Even though it was passed because of the Democratic majority, five Democrats and all Republican members of Congress voted for repeal in 2011. But of course President Obama vetoed the repeal. This is a great example of the lack of compromise in our Congress. Instead of compromising and coming up with a proposed act that a majority could agree on, both parties stubbornly opposed each other’s rebuttal.
Because of these attitudes each party makes relentless pushes to get more representation in Congress. Each side does whatever they can to delegitimize their opponents. This campaign President Obama put out an ad stating that former governor Mitt Romney was “Not one of us”. You can read it however you want, but it still was an attack at Romney. Instead of delegitimizing the opposition, Obama should have been legitimizing himself. We want a president who is best for the job, not one who is not the worst. Both candidates should be running because they want to make our country better, not make it more liberal or conservative.
The divide in American politics causes a societal divide. Instead of agreeing to disagree, Americans tend to shun the idea that someone could think differently then them, especially when it comes to the push for same-sex marriage. Many of my liberal friends cannot imagine how someone could possibly have wanted to Vote Yes. I agree, I did not believe it was “American” to take away the rights of citizens. But the problem arises when an issue is turned into a call for hatred. Many liberals I know cannot stand the thought of a Republican president or most Republican ideals. They separate themselves from Republicans and look at them in disgust. How can we ever live up to our forefathers’ image of a united nation, if our own people cannot accept opposition? Underneath the completely opposite political ideals is the same goal: a better United States.
Now that the election is over, it is time to look at the future of our country. What has changed? Not much. There is still a Democrat in office, a Democrat run senate, and a Republican house. But the more troubling issue is the lack of compromise. It will require a large number of legislators of both sides to agree in order to be a productive Congress. And with the current stubborn attitude, it will be nearly impossible to accomplish anything. It is time that our country as a whole took a look in the mirror and say, “We are not Democrats and Republicans, we are Americans.”