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Why I Hope That Democrats and Republicans Do Well in November

Updated on September 16, 2012
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This Post Is Not Going to Be All About Peace, Unity and Singing 'Kumbaya'

Let me start off by saying that I’m not a policy wonk. In fact, I don’t even follow politics as much as I used to.

However, there was a time when following politics was somewhat of a hobby. During that time, one of my favorite shows was “Crossfire” on CNN.

As described on Wikipedia, “Crossfire is a current events debate television program that aired from 1982 to 2005 on CNN. Its format was designed to present and challenge the opinions of a politically liberal pundit and a conservative pundit.”

Believe it or not, I am a fan of the pundits on both sides of the aisle (i.e., Robert Novak and Tucker Carlson on the right and Paul Begala and James Carville on the left.)

The way that I see it, people on either side of the aisle aren’t right 100 percent of the time. In fact, the best solution is often found somewhere in the middle.

The problem is that people who hold certain beliefs often surround themselves with like-minded individuals and, therefore, don’t have their thoughts or beliefs challenged very often.

As Dr. Nicholas DiFonzo points out in a New York Times article, “Among like-minded people, it’s hard to come up with arguments that challenge the group consensus, which means group members keep hearing arguments only in one direction. When we hear a rumor denigrating someone in the opposing political party, we are far more likely to send it to friends — typically members of our own party -- whom we think would enjoy hearing that rumor. Yet most people are far less likely to challenge false rumors about the opposing party, because that might be considered a social faux pas among their friends.”

That is why it is so important for people to watch or participate in civil debates with people from the other side of the aisle. Only with vigorous debate will people be exposed to ideas and alternative solutions to the problems that face our nation. While some people might not change their mind no matter what other people tell them, by being at least exposed to an alternative viewpoint offers the opportunity for people to learn and possibly incorporate part of the opposition’s argument into their own ideology.

It’s the Way That Our Founding Fathers Wanted It

The Founding Fathers of the United States of America made sure that there was a separation of powers and checks and balances built into our system of government by creating the three branches of government: Legislative, Executive and Judicial.

They also gave the people the power to vote to determine who presides over the Executive Branch (President) and Legislative Branch (House of Representatives and Senate.)

In the spirit of having the checks and balances that the Founding Fathers intended, I believe that it is in the best interest of the country when the Executive Branch and both chambers of the Legislative Branch aren’t controlled by one party. In other words, I feel that it is best when the Democrats control either the Executive Branch or at least one of the two chambers of the Legislative Branch, but don’t have control over all three (President, House of Representatives and Senate.)

When one party controls the Executive Branch and both chambers of the Legislative Branch, it’s like giving a teenager the keys to a sports car, but disabling the brakes. Only bad things can happen.

When both parties control at least one of the chambers of the Legislative Branch or the Executive Branch, it gives the government the checks and balances that Founding Fathers intended and it encourages debate and compromise.

I am aware that even if a party doesn’t control the Executive Branch or either chamber of the Legislative Branch, they still have the ability to put the brakes on any legislation that they choose via the power of the filibuster in the Senate if the opposition doesn’t have the 60 votes required to invoke cloture.

Furthermore, the opposition party might not want to make compromises in an effort to show that they are representing the people who elected them. If the current party that is in control doesn’t get much accomplished, it also helps the other party gain control during the next election.

In my opinion, though, gridlock isn't such a bad thing if the legislation that is being considered is too far to the left or the right.

Okay, This Post Does Call for Peace, Unity and Some Singing of 'Kumbaya'

I believe that most Americans, whether they are Democrats, Republicans, Independents, or have some other political affiliation, basically all want the same things. We just disagree about how to get there.

In many cases, the fact that we can disagree and debate the issues often leads to the best solution.

We also need to remember that what makes America great is the fact that we are a melting pot of cultures from all over the world and that being an American means that we have the right to peacefully disagree.

In the end, we are all Americans who deserve respect, no matter what political beliefs we hold.

Therefore, I urge everyone to remain civil this election season. Remember, we are more alike than either side of the aisle likes to think. I just hope that it doesn’t take another event similar to 9/11 for us to remember that.

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    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

      I disagree, the two parties are split by their ideology so that they cannot compromise for the good of the country. It has become an adversary system, and the loser is the people and the country.

      The root cause of these problems are the blind loyal Vote Row A or Row B voter.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

      Great Hub and definitely good advice -- BUT -- afraid at this point in time I'm going to have to agree with ib radmasters -- this country has been torn apart by an inept administration and in 75 years on this planet I've never, ever seen such division among the populace (I also think this is triggered by fear of what happens next!) Being an Independent I can see both sides -- and not very impressed with either. Best/Sis

    • Chad Thiele profile image
      Author

      Chad Thiele 4 years ago from Hudson, Wisconsin

      ib radmasters:

      We are a country with people with many different views. As I pointed out in the post, I think that we all want the same thing (a strong and prosperous America.) We just disagree about how to get there. The way the country was set up, everyone’s point of view should be heard.

      Unfortunately, we really are only given two choices. Maybe a strong third party would change things. However, in recent history, Ross Perot was the only person to get enough support to make a third party candidate a factor in the Presidential elections. We do have a few Independents who win in the House of Representatives and Senate, but mostly, we are given just two options.

      As I also mentioned, gridlock can be good if the legislation is too far to the right or the left.

      Also, I think that some of the problems are better left to the private sector to fix.

      Thank you for the comment.

    • Chad Thiele profile image
      Author

      Chad Thiele 4 years ago from Hudson, Wisconsin

      Angela Blair:

      I don’t know how to fix all the problems with America. However, I don’t think anyone does. There are a lot of different types of people with a lot of different views in America and everyone needs to be heard.

      My Republican friends agree with you that the current administration is the worst administration in many years. On the other hand, my Democrat friends would say the same about the Bush administration.

      Whenever I hear arguments like this, I smile. Why? Because we living in one of the greatest countries in the world and we are free to debate and voice our opinions without persecution or penalty.

      As I said to ib radmasters, everyone should have a voice, and maybe a strong third party would help fix things.

      Furthermore, there are checks and balances built in to help bring things to the middle.

      What I find disturbing is the fact that people are willing to give up friendships (I read a hub about this recently) and even stop talking to family members because they disagree about politics.

      To me this is outrageous. There are things in life that are much more important than politics. And, really, the way one person thinks about politics is not going to change anything.

      Debating the issues is good. However, hating someone because they disagree is ridiculous.

      Thank you again for your comment.

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 4 years ago from Central Texas

      For the record, I don't "hate" anyone for anything -- just have an opinion like everyone else. As to giving up friends because of political differences -- I can't even begin to imagine that. Indeed, there are many things in life far more important than politics but politics have such a bottom-line impact on all our lives it seems prudent to me to pay attention and make my own decisions. Again, great Hub! Best/Sis

    • Chad Thiele profile image
      Author

      Chad Thiele 4 years ago from Hudson, Wisconsin

      Angela Blair:

      I wasn't implying that you hated people because of their opinion about politics. You sound more level-headed than that. However, there are people who do.

      It is a good thing to pay attention and make your own decisions and vote accordingly.

      Thanks again for the comment.

    • SommerDalton profile image

      Sommer Dalton 4 years ago

      Voted up plus 2! I think you are spot on with this whole article. I couldn't have said it better myself. Great hub.

    • Chad Thiele profile image
      Author

      Chad Thiele 4 years ago from Hudson, Wisconsin

      SommerDalton:

      Thank you ma'am. I think it's important to be reminded that Americans all basically want the same thing, we just disagree how to get there. The fact that we can peacefully disagree is what makes America great.

      I appreciate the comment.

    • SommerDalton profile image

      Sommer Dalton 4 years ago

      Chad, I love how you worded this hub. You might be one of five that I know that can talk so educated and mature about politics! Serious lol, thats why I do not discuss with many people, and you couldn't be more right about everyone wanting the same thing just different opinions:). I love the idea of peacefully disagreeing and I believe articles like this just make it easier to do so!

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