Beware the Demon of Party Spirit
I know this sounds totally “school paper”, but I really like this essay about the evils of political parties. This may spark a little controversy, so comment! Oh! And just so you know, I am NOT an anarchist, I just think the idea of political parties is wrong.
As one of our most successful presidents, and certainly our most monumental, George Washington ended his term with a warning: “Beware the demon of party spirit.” Even as early as the 1780s Washington predicted how polarized politics would become, and knew that our government must stay off the dangerous divided path in order to succeed. Today, our government sees more and more party conflict everyday, and it can only get worse. There’s nothing wrong with varying political views, but parties are bad because the dominant ones have too much power, they force people to conform, and they distract people from what they need to be doing to help our country.
When answering the question, “What party are you?” most people respond by saying they’re either a Democrat or Republican. These parties have the greatest influence on politics today, and since their views are drastically different, our government becomes more polarized every day. Politics has reached a point where only a presidential candidate of one of these parties could possibly win. Since not everyone agrees with either of these parties, this doesn’t seem fair. There are hundreds of political parties in the United States, and though many are similar, the balance of power isn’t equal.
By deciding you belong to a party, you are allowing yourself to be politically stereotyped. For example, all Republicans are expected to be pro-life and anti-gun control, and Democrats visa-versa. Everyone has an opinion on controversial issues such as these, but depending on a person’s situation they may not fit into one of these molds. People shouldn’t need to worry about being loyal to a party, and should vote with their own best interest in mind.
The biggest issue with our current party situation is politicians’ decisions being based solely on what a normal member of their party would do, and not thinking about the country as a whole. Of course there are exceptions to this, but for the most part a politician will never vote in favor of another party. Because of this many great ideas thought up by members of all parties are shot down all the time. Imagine where our country could be today if political parties had never existed. Perhaps we’d be in better economic condition? Have a more effective government? Or at least a more unified one? The mere existence of parties encourages a division of government that will ultimately cause it to fail in the future. If we hope to succeed as a nation, we must first agree to disagree, but still move forward.
As we progress, our leaders make bigger decisions. We cannot afford to separate ourselves and fight red versus blue, especially when the problems get bigger and the solutions get more critical. There is no such thing as true neutral, and conflict will always exist. That being said, we need a balance of power that reflects the views of everyone, and a government made up of individuals (not stereotypes!). Politics has become a war, so it’s time we return to status quo antebellum.