Bridging the political divide

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When college students introduce themselves, they might say where they are from, what their major is and maybe their political affiliation.

As if identifying as a Republican or Democrat defines us as people.

Can I just say on a spectrum of love and loathe, I entirely loathe this election season.

The reason is not as simple as the candidates running are both on my not-favorite-person list.

The reason is not even that this election is an embarrassment, although that is a factor.

The reason is this whole idea of a nation dividing into political groups when it is trying to pick a leader to bring a nation together.

It seems counterproductive.

I do not understand why voters have to claim liberalism or conservatism, why we have to call other political groups names, or why we have stigmas regarding people who claim certain political affiliations.

Like if you are a Republican, you are a racist homophobe who wants to shoot all the Mexicans with your AK47.

Or if you are a Democrat, you are a pretentious snob that claims to care about all people, but really just sit in your multi-million dollar home sharing Facebook posts about social issues “no one is doing anything about.”

The founding fathers who created our government system knew the forming of political parties would bring division instead of unity to a nation.

They might have been onto something.

When citizens are forced to choose between one side or another, division is inevitable.

I find it bitterly humorous that our country is worried about persons beyond our borders, when in reality, the only thing that will destroy our nation is us.

We will destroy our nation from the inside.

We will break apart unity.

We will create lines of division called conservatism and liberalism.

These are the lines that will divide us, that will continue to breed hate and intolerance, and that will keep us from uniting as a strong nation.

The ironic point to mention is most people do not 100 percent fall into one political ideology.

Most people fall somewhere in the middle, and yet, they are still forced to choose.

Wouldn’t we have much better candidate options if we did away with political groups, and simply nominated people based on them as a person and not how much they can talk bad about “those Democrats” or “those Republicans.”

There is no such thing as “those Democrats”, and there is no such thing as “those Republicans.”

Time and again we see in American culture that when we label people as a group, instead of individuals, they stop being people.

They become this abstract “otherness.”

We saw it with Jewish people, we saw it with African Americans, we saw it with Japanese people, and we are watching it now with Muslims.

Maybe I sound like a lunatic writing about doing away with political parties. And maybe I don’t understand all the, politics, for lack of a better word, that go into political parties—the immense money needed, the immense support, etc.

But I have to believe there is a better answer than turning everybody against each other when we have to elect a president.

We have to learn how to stand together, or we will never succeed as a nation.