The War Between Republicans and Democrats

... and why it needs to stop.

It’s hard to deny that there is a growing sense of tension between the two primary political parties. It can probably be traced back many years, but recently it has reached such a boiling point that I half expect fists to start flying at any sort of debate. A lot of this is strategic, both on the part of the politicians and the media. For politicians, you want your supporters to be pumped up and ready to take on the world, and the easiest way to do that is demonize the opposition. Make voters think that, if they lose, it will mean the end of their world and the rise of evil. For the media, controversy and conflict translate to ratings and ratings translate to funding. So what we have are two powerful sectors that both want you to engage in a battle royal with the other guy. But this mentality is poisoning the U.S.A.’s population and only results in a loss for all of us. Many politicians today would have us believe that compromise is for the weak and doing so would be equal to a betrayal of your party. But when no one compromises; nothing happens.

Despite this venomous message being sent to us from powerful outlets, the story on the ground is actually quite different. I live in a city that is very conservative. The two most common buildings are banks and churches. I, however, am extremely liberal. For the most part, this isn’t a problem, I just don’t mention my views to anyone and no arguments ensue. But, because I don’t flaunt my political views in public, I’ve witnessed some view-point changing moments from the people who I’m lead to believe are my enemy. The first was one of my former bosses. During my time working for her, she was always patient and understanding of employee concerns. She wasn’t intimidating, but she commanded respect for all of the projects she was undertaking, one of which was an extremely lengthy and stressful remodeling project for the business. She cared for her employees and it showed when she stuck her neck out to get us all a Christmas bonus, something that had never happened before, and would never happen again (at least during my time there). She did all of this while operating under a board of directors that loved to micro-manage and was extremely difficult to please. I felt bad for her when the board imposed another ridiculous procedure or when something went wrong with the building project. She was the kind of person that, despite whatever crap she was dealing with, would always make time for employees and keep good spirits throughout. This boss, whom I respected, was also a republican.

Another notable instance is when I recently got my car fixed. It was a problem I had been putting off for months and months because I knew it was going to be expensive and I just didn’t have the money to afford it. Eventually the problem became too much to ignore, so I reallocated funds and made an appointment. In the past I had been screwed over by a big name car repair place, who will remain nameless, so I decided to go with a local business. I had tried them before and they seemed to offer fair prices so I went with them again. It was clear, upon entering their building, that they didn’t have the same views as me. Dead animal heads lined the walls and pamphlets on Christianity were on display on the main counter. I was so worried about the differing political views that I removed my liberal bumper stickers, fearing that it would somehow influence their behavior towards me. I feel bad thinking that, not only because they were very nice, but because they also managed to save me $120 off the final bill. Looking out for one’s fellow man and giving fair treatment isn’t something the ‘evil’ enemy would do. But I suppose I should take a moment to clarify here; I don’t think all republicans are inherently mean or spiteful, I just worry, because of the political scene, that revealing my views will result in the same level of rage that we’re seeing among politicians and some activists.

But these are not isolated incidents; I’ve known many people in my little conservative town, ones that hold different views, who are anything but the enemy. They are people I could be friends with, people who I could and would want to compromise with if given an issue to debate. Maybe to some, this doesn’t seem like much of a revelation, but after seeing nothing but political warfare, you begin to think that the other side really is evil. We need to work together on the issue of not hating each other just because some guys in suits say we should. Maybe if we can start to eliminate the anger between the parties, they might start to compromise on capitol hill.

So, the next time you meet someone from the opposite party, try not to let the politics of the day define them. We’re all a heck of a lot more alike than we are led to believe. Real people can compromise and get passed party divides, and we need to lead by example to send our representatives that same message.

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Comments 13 comments

Borsia profile image

Borsia 5 years ago from Currently, Philippines

The biggest problems with the American system is that extremists have taken over the primaries and the media, in cahoots, has convinced the public that only the two parties matter or can possibly be elected. This combined with the fact that the majority of the public listen to the media and believe these things makes them true.

In the end we are faced with electing one extreme or the other and, at least in my lifetime, vote for the lesser perceived evil. Because of this the only ones who win are what I call the shadow people.

So who are the figures that move in the fog. They are the very wealthy elite who run such things as the Federal Reserve, the “nation builders” like Haliburton and the real arms dealers who control the world’s militaries.

They are the big money behind elections, they are the ones who wrote a tax code that is 7 times the length of the Bible and harder to translate and leaves them paying little or nothing. A few are better known like the Koch brothers, the CEOs of Standard & Poor the puppeteers running the IMF.

They have legions of underlings who are in places like military procurement and big pharmaceuticals’ with armies of lobbyists.

Can it be fixed and will it be fixed.

Can… yes it could be fixed and it isn’t really all that hard. Take all the big money out of politics.

Require all media to devote fair and equal time to every candidate who qualifies in all, or maybe 40 out of 50, states. Require that they be included in every debate. Only allow an ad that can be proven to be factual, the list goes on but it is simple logic.

What would it cost? About $2-5 per person on the federal level; less than a cup of coffee in many places.

Will it ever be done… I doubt it. The people are too gullible and too greedy, most aren’t sufficiently savvy to get it. Many more are the ones behind polarizing in the first place.

There is huge money behind the status quo from the same shadow people.

My guess, and I’ve been following it since the 60s, is that it might happen when America finally breaks down completely, much like the USSR did. Remember that they were also “too big to fail”.

The citizens of Minnesota finally got so fed up that they voted for a pro-wrestler Jesse Ventura mostly as a protest vote. He was probably the best Governor they ever had. I would love to see him and someone like Ron Paul take the cake. We would see real meaningful change that might just save the country before it is too late.


M. T. Dremer profile image

M. T. Dremer 5 years ago from United States Author

Borsia - Thank you for the thoughtful comment! I completely agree about the steps needed to fix the problem. Getting money out of politics and devoting equal time to all candidates would go a long way towards fixing what is wrong with this country. You're also right when you say that it may never change without a catastrophe striking first. We grow up thinking 'America' is untouchable and that it's always been the 'perfect' land of the free. But the truth is, we're just as vulnerable as every other country and we're slowly killing ourselves.


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

You're right that people have become so extreme that the idea of compromise and bending even a little is seen as an act of traitorous evil. And the media loves to stir the pot. The government gridlock has become sickening.

In a recent national poll, Congress had an 8% approval rating in this country. Less popular than Communism, (10%) and only slightly about Gadahfi (5%).

Rob


Cinpit8812 profile image

Cinpit8812 5 years ago from Los Angeles

First of all, great hub. It is sad that the polarization of America, mostly based on political views and encouraged by media outlets, have divided this great country. It appears being ideologically pure in one's views and opinions has prevented practically everyone from compromising on almost any issue. At a time when we need to come together, we have become more contentious and divided. The last time we, as a country, truly came together as one was after 9/11. Maybe it will take another tragedy to wake us up, but I doubt it. Again, excellent hub.


Borsia profile image

Borsia 5 years ago from Currently, Philippines

I think it is a bit of a stretch to say we came together after 9/11 to any great degree.

Many Americans were adamantly against entering the Iraq / Afghanistan wars. Many, if not most, didn't buy the whole WMD argument and we knew that none of the terrorists had any connection to Iraq.

I believe that it is more corruption than ideals that keep America divided.


Cinpit8812 profile image

Cinpit8812 5 years ago from Los Angeles

Borsia, while it was short-lived, we did come together. I agree, many Americans, myself included, were against going to war against Iraq. Afghanistan was a different story. The WMD argument did not seriously gain purchase until America had already enetered Iraq and culd not locate them. Of course, we could not locate them because they did not exist, but we, the American public, did not know that initially.

I disagree that rampant corruption is what divides America. In fact, I believe Americans from both parties agree there is rampant corruption. The crux of our division lies with our differing political views and ideals on how to reduce the deficit, create jobs, lower taxes, maintain national security, etc... and perhaps, most importantly, what the role of government should be. The size and role of our government is among to most contentious issues, not corruption.


M. T. Dremer profile image

M. T. Dremer 5 years ago from United States Author

Robwrite - While I'm upset that this gridlock exists, I am at least happy that Americans are starting to see that congress is a big part of the problem (as shown in that poll). The most talked about election is always the presidency and, while it is important, I feel that in 2012 the bigger decisions will be made in the individual states and who they decide to send back to congress. They've behaved so poorly over the last three years; we just can't let them get away with it. Thanks for the comment!

Cinpit8812 - I certainly hope that we don't need another disaster to pull us together, but I completely see what you mean. The day of, and the day after, 9/11, we did come together. There was a great deal of controversy over the wars and legislation that came out of that event, but those early days we were united against the terrorists. And, if you think about it, what was the biggest factor in taking the U.S. out of the great depression? While FDR's new deal certainly helped, it was world war II that got the economy churning again. Mass production of goods and services, women going to work while men were overseas, etc. I certainly don't want a war to take us out of this recession, but we do need something to shake some sense back into us. Thanks for the comments!

Borsia - Corruption is certainly a problem as well, though I would attribute it more to the power of corporations than the greed of individual politicians. When extremely powerful forces have you by the throat, the last thing you're going to do is incite their wrath. These companies are getting people elected and it's the equivalent of selling your soul to the trademarked devil. You HAVE to do what they ask because, not only would they pull your funding, but they could also prevent you from ever getting a nomination again. It's career suicide. And that's exactly why we need to get lobbyists out of Washington, get rid of PACs, and anything else that funnels corporate cash into candidates, and provide transparency about every politician and where they get their money. Thanks for the comment!


FitnezzJim profile image

FitnezzJim 5 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

From my perspective, the war between republicans and democrats is a contrived war whose sole purpose is to try to divide the country from within. Our elected have mastered the art of talking TO each other, but have forgotten how to talk WITH each other. We love the show though, so we let it go on. It won't stop until we stop electing career politicians, and it won't stop until the rules our elected make for themselves are the same as the rules they make for us.


M. T. Dremer profile image

M. T. Dremer 5 years ago from United States Author

FitnezzJim - I have trouble figuring out if the war is intentionally trying to divide us (they're doing it on purpose) or if they just don't care that the by-product of their political games is a divided country. Which, I suppose could be considered the same thing. The biggest problem I see is the complete lack of consequences for the career politicians. Aside from sex scandals, they can carry on all sorts of devious policies and get away with it because the USA just keeps swinging back and forth between the two parties with no regard for which one is actually getting it right. So the career politicians just wait out the years under their opponents until they get in power again. It's incredibly frustrating.


Borsia profile image

Borsia 5 years ago from Currently, Philippines

The "great divide" it mostly a way to keep the same ol shi... well you know, going.

The "leaders" in Washington are on the leashes of special interests and their own interests and egos.

It is all basically a scam. You will hear some candidate saying that they will not vote for a pay raise!!! But that raise is built in and they are going to get it no matter how they vote; 90% of what they say is pure BS.

The problem is that the media is in on the game, controlled by the same shadow people. They control who gets seen and in what light. They control who gets asked what questions in debates, who many seconds of face time and who attends.

They control what sound bites we see on the nightly news and how those sound bites are cut to say what that want the people to hear.

The media also turns a blind eye and a deaf ear to spending absurdities and policy that the people would never want.

What we need to do is flush the toilet and let the bowl refill with clean candidates. We need to tell the media what to do for a change. And we can. It is our money that they live by. And it is the number of viewers that make the ratings.

If a debate isn't being run fairly turn it off and write to the sponsors telling them that you aren't going to be watching that channel in the future for anything other than sit-coms.

If enough people do this we might possibly get better government and better sit-coms!


M. T. Dremer profile image

M. T. Dremer 5 years ago from United States Author

Borsia - A clean political slate would be nice, but before career politicians can be flushed out, we need protections in place to prevent the same powerful voices from purchasing every new candidate as they walk through the door. Lobbyists need to be out, as well as corporate cash in elections, before we can really believe the new candidates coming in aren't more of the same. Thanks for the comment!


MamaTschet profile image

MamaTschet 4 years ago from Northern Colorado

I really enjoyed this hub. I don't know if you watched any of Mr. Romney or Mr. Ryan's speeches at the RNC but they made it seem one sided. That the Democratic Party was creating the separation of classes, and why can't we all get along? They will take over and create the menial jobs for the underpaid workers and take their huge bonuses, and say, "look we fixed unemployment." I have to bite my tongue all the time as to not get into arguments about Politics, and I try to at least listen to other sides. However, when the ideologies are so different than what I believe I become defensive and put my boxing gloves on. Thanks for sharing these thoughts. In a perfect world we will all get along!


M. T. Dremer profile image

M. T. Dremer 4 years ago from United States Author

The rhetoric is definitely at an all time high. There are some speeches where it really sounds like republicans think the president is a terrorist. Every time I get into an argument with someone, they bring up legitimate points, yet these points aren't the ones being talked about on the national scale. All we get from speeches and ads are 'him bad, us good'. It's incredibly frustrating. Thanks for the comment!

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