Are Partisan Politics Destroying America?
America has fallen on hard times within the last decade. We now face one of the most challenging financial crises in the last hundred years. Americans are out of work and growing tired of the gridlock on Capitol Hill. The news speaks of looming government shutdown over the debt crisis while our elected officials worry about what is best for their party. The party first policies that are taking place in the House and Senate are preventing any progress towards restoring the broken economy. This is why I believe that partisan politics are destroying America.
Ever since the inception of this country there have been opposing political parties. It is one of the hallmark elements of this democracy. Political parties are necessary, they represent—in theory the ideals and beliefs of the American people. However, it is unrealistic to think that everyone shares the same values. What is important to a farmer in Nebraska may seem irrelevant to a stock broker on Wall Street. Therefore political parties were established to represent the beliefs of these different cohorts. Without the multi-party system there would be nothing to stop the agenda of one party from being implemented on the country.
Throughout this country’s history there have been disagreements on the way that it was to be run. An example would be the disagreement between America’s first two political parties and their leaders. Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Hamilton disagreed on almost everything. Hamilton, a Federalist believed that the country should have a Bank of The United States to benefit its financial needs. Whereas Jefferson, a Democratic Republican believed that the bank was unconstitutional because there was nothing in the constitution concerning a national bank. He saw it merely as a convenience. In the end Jefferson lost and the bank was chartered. At the time the Federalists were the dominant party in Washington. They had more votes, and that is what it is all about. However the banks charter expired twenty years later and the new charter was voted down. The decision was decided by a margin of one vote. At the time the banks charter expired the Democratic - Republican Party was in power. Therefor they ran the country the way that they saw fit. One of the benefits of the two party system is that for the majority of the time it can encourage a bipartisan cooperation to appeal to wide majorities of the public. Occasionally the system does not always operate as it should. This is the problem we currently have on Capitol Hill. The two party system has become stagnate. The members of one party are unhappy with the current administration and refuse to compromise while the other party does the same. Nothing gets accomplished. For the last few months there has been a debate on whether or not to raise the county’s debt ceiling and how to cut spending. Every night the news spoke of a government shutdown if the two sides could not reach an agreement. This went on for weeks and an agreement was not reached until the day of the deadline. Congress had become a three ring circus. The only thing that mattered was that they vote the way their party does.
Everyone weighed in on the subject, politicians, professors, construction workers, and even me. I received a telephone call one day from an unnamed organization asking me to answer a few questions about the debt crisis. “If you are unhappy with the way the debt crisis is being handled, press one. If you are happy with the way the debt crisis is being handled, press two.” said the automated voice. I pressed one. I thought to myself, “It’s about time they ask the public’s opinion.” Unfortunately that was the only decent question I was asked. The rest of the questions regarded who I thought was handling the crisis better, the democrats or the republicans. This infuriated me; they did not want to know what should be done to fix the problem, just which party was handling it...
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