Breaking the Cycle

When I was a little girl, I was convinced that the Republican party had a good thing goin’. Oh yes. I fully believed that this was one nation under GOD, and that the few people I knew who were actually Liberals must have just been immoral. I even grew up believing that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were naturally the best response to 9/11. I didn’t dislike gay people, but I thought marriage should be left to same-sex couples. Abortion really did seem like murder.

And then I branched out. I got even older and met new people. I went to college, and began scouring the far corners of the internet in my thirst for knowledge. I changed my mind about religion, politics, and the world in general. I learned that a political party cannot accurately represent all of my ideas. Sadly, I also learned that many people who do align themselves with one party or another, (particularly just Conservative or Liberal) often don’t even know anything about the party itself. They just know that their mother/father/grandma/grandpa/brother/sister/cousin/friend/co-worker/whatever is also a Republican/Democrat, and so should they be! That’s not how it works, though! I know other people sometimes wonder how Conservatives can be so narrow-minded about things, but you have to realize that it’s all they know. They were raised from birth to believe that what the Bible says is the unquestionable truth, and for them there is no other choice but to be a Conservative! Obviously, the same goes for Liberals in that the majority of them believe the things they do because of how they were raised.

The trouble with this is that nothing ever stays the same. Change happens constantly, and at lightning speed these days with the abundant amount of technology we have at our disposal. This is not the same America that your grandparents–or even your parents–grew up in. In order to stay current and relevant to the rest of the world, we have to have the ability to evolve and move forward. It’s the same in nature. It’s not the strongest of the species who have a better chance of survival, but the ones who respond the best to change. Values, morals, and ideas are constantly changing as we’re presented with more and more situations in our country. If you continue to align yourself with those around you simply because you don’t know any better, you cannot make informed decisions about your country. How can you know who you really should be voting for when you don’t even know what they stand for? I was appalled when I watched street reporters walking around and asking people their reasons for voting for their preferred candidate in the 2008 elections. They had some of the most ridiculous answers. I remember one woman in particular who mentioned that she’d be voting for Obama because she belived that he’d send people checks in the mail. Just free money–no big deal.

It is for these reasons that I somtimes think the party system should be done away with altogether. People familarize themselves with the labels, but not necessarily the policies. I once talked to a girl who went to high-school with me who told me she was a Democrat simply because her grandmother was. Additionally, she also told me that Bush was an idiot because he was sending too many people overseas and leaving our country completely vulnerable to attack. (Because apparently the National Guard doesn’t do that.) At any rate, I propose that instead of instead of having ballots that list a politician’s party, maybe we should have big ballots that list the politician’s stance on relevant issues.

                                                                                    (A visual aid. Totally legitimate.)

Impractical? Maybe. Better than what we got? Definitely.

What do you think about our bipartisanship? Would you say that most people you know who choose a side are well-educated on the issues? Do you feel we get bogged down in the constant back-and-forth of it all? Let me know.

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~ by aleaderlost on May 18, 2011.

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