Updated: Apr 11, 2021
Written by Venus Aradhya, 15, Washington
Nowadays, most of our political decisions in life are guided by the choice of being a democrat, or a republican. While some individuals choose to go independent, many can not resist the bias of agreeing with those and decisions who are a part of your party, and automatically disagreeing with those who are against. This mindset has obviously caused harm to our country and continues to hinder our growth as a nation since we spend most of our time arguing over who is wrong and who is right rather than putting that effort into trying to make a beneficial change together.
One great instance is during the Trump administration. While many republicans may have disagreed with his stances, they went along with him due to the fact that he is a republican. Republican senators who took a stance against him while voting on bills were ridiculed by the republican party for not staying ‘true to their house’ although they did not agree with what he was saying necessarily. This can happen in both sides when democrats also tend to favor laws that are placed by democratic officials due to them being in the same party. Democrats also tend to favor democratically biased news channels such as CNN, while republican favor republican biased news channels like Fox News. This bias leads to each part refusing to watch the other, and our brains are tinted with heavily biased stories which don’t necessarily spell out the truth.
This bias is extremely harmful to our country. Imagine a bill was proposed by a republican official and it is not beneficial to our country, so the Democrats vote against it, and the republicans continue to vote for it. If this continues to go on, there will never be a victory for our country since all we can do is fight for our part rather than fighting for our country. When we vote, although there may be a candidate who aligns with our views better or will be more beneficial for our country, we continue to vote for our side because even the thought of voting for the other is like betrayal. How many times have you voted for a government official without knowing them, so you just pick the one who shares the same part as you? How many times have you agreed with an official's views on television, but notice their party and suddenly change your mind? To us, parties aren’t political alignments anymore, they are like characteristics that define us, and betraying them is now like betraying ourselves.
Bipartisan voting leads to our country being divided as democrats and republicans. The parties the candidates represent are supposed to help us get to know their views by showing their alignment, but nowadays, we let it define them and us refusing to actually look at the whole picture. While we continue to be divided as a country, half democrat, half republican, how can we ever agree on laws that will benefit our country if it will always be split due to our parties? Even though we may like a law, if it doesn’t align with our party, many refuse to vote for it. As we continue to stay divided, our country continues to lag in growth as a nation, and inequalities are still heavily evident.
How would nonpartisan voting work better? If we stopped aligning every candidate with a party, because now it has gotten to the point where people look more at the party rather than the actual views and we are connecting current officials from a party to other officials: not all republicans are necessarily as extreme as Trump, not all democrats are necessarily as extreme as Bernie, just because some republicans are racist doesn’t mean all are, just because some democrats want to get rid of billionaires doesn’t mean all of them do, and so on. Without this partisan alignment, people will actually look into the candidate they decide to vote for, and they will see who’s views match theirs best. This will lead to a better representative for our country as we’re not just defining them by red or blue, we’re defining them for their views.