Us and them — bipartisanship is faltering in U.S. politics
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Now we bring you (roughly accurate*) coverage of an argument on Capitol Hill:
Democrats: “Hey, stop repealing Obamacare. You are such complete morons.”
Republicans: “Are not. You’re the morons. And besides, you ignored us in ‘08 through ‘10, so it’s perfectly fine to exact revenge … excuse us, fix issues.”
Democrats: “Why, you little twerps, then we’ll just keep trying to block everything you do, because we still can’t believe Trump won.”
President Trump: “It’s true. I won. It was great! LOSERS!”
Democrats: “And now we’re not listening to either of you at all.”
Republicans: “Well, then, because you’re annoyingly stubborn, we’ll go ahead with instituting this, and that, and …”
Democrats: “Now WAIT ONE MINUTE …”
American Public: “Please, just shut up and work!”
This concludes our coverage of a session on Capitol Hill.
Uplifting, isn’t it? You can practically see the thundercloud of emotion over D.C. The real problem with politics these days is we are growing further and further apart, seemingly to the point where a Democrat and Republican won’t be in the same room together. See the issue here? We can’t have this bitter back-and-forth between our two political factions, at the risk of ruining whatever bipartisanship is still with us. When we put partisan politics in front of the best path of the country, we go nowhere.
Both parties need to be more willing to listen to the other side. Frankly, your supporters shouldn’t desert you if they see you talking to a member of the opposite party. I know, I know — who does that these days? Talking to a member of the opposite party? It’s like a faux paus. “You’re a Republican? Oh, sorry, but I made it my sole goal to never speak to one of you during my next two years of office. Ciao.” But talk across the aisle needs to happen. Desperately.
So where to begin? I think, first and foremost, the Democrats could be a little more open to Republicans and Trump. It is understandable they are still in a bit of shock. Yes, Trump won the election, and no, he is not going anywhere for at least four years. Yes, this is reality. Hopefully that clears things up. However, not talking to and completely ripping into Trump and other Republicans doesn’t help. Instead, Democrats need to be willing to extend a hand across the aisle, even if they don’t like Trump. It’s fine not to like someone, but overcoming that is the mark of maturity. An example: the Affordable Care Act, no matter how highly regarded by Democrats, is not perfect. Not even close. So, Democrats, instead of sticking up your noses to any changes on your highly valued Healthcare Law, why not work with Republicans to actually figure out what would work best for the American public? I swear it looks better than being the one person standing self-assuredly on the bow of a sinking ship.
Republicans need to be willing to approach Democrats as well. They also need to stick their hand across the aisle and be open to working with the opposing party. Above all, they can’t gloat much about Trump’s election and force their legislation through, because then the cycle keeps repeating. Republicans gloat and don’t work with Democrats, Democrats win an election, and they gloat, and don’t work with Republicans, and on and on and on. It would completely stop this county from functioning, and we’d be driven into such an extreme swing of views it would be gridlock. Going back to the example above: yes, the Democrats should have worked closer with Republicans on Obamacare. So, Republicans, now you need to take the step of being open to Democrats about fixing healthcare, so you don’t expose yourselves up to the same charge of bypassing the other party.
Addressing both parties now: if you worked together, think of how you could help shape the future of the country by making healthcare the best it can be, not just for your party, but for the country. Surely you could reach some sort of compromise. (For some of those in D.C., a “compromise” is “an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.” — just wanted to make that clear.)
I think I speak for a lot of people when I voice frustration about how convoluted things have become in D.C. It seems that petty arguing and bickering, a view of “us and them” and complete irrational stubbornness has pervaded politics in this country. It’s a new presidential term, and I’d be happy to say that maybe we could all open up a new chapter in bipartisan relationships. However, both Democrats and Republicans need to step up to the plate. And both need to graduate from being bickering middle-schoolers to the adults they are. After all, we must function to continue moving forward.
*This argument is entirely fictitious. Any resemblance to a real argument is highly likely, however.