Is it fair that the majority of Americans get caught up in a political system they don’t understand? Is it fair that politicians routinely employ tactics that will insight anger and resentment in people that may feel differently had they been informed in a different way? These are the questions I ask myself when I watch political debates on television. As adults we should be in control of our own thoughts. When I talk to my friends about it, they all say it is the individuals fault for being fooled into believing in a false cause. They talk as if society as a whole is smart enough to see right through the crafty word play used by politicians and public figures. But part of me feels like the politicians should be punished for taking advantage of most people’s lack of awareness and the overall ignorance in regards to the political system.
The masses are never fully informed. We are always the last to hear about what’s going on and where. When it comes to government, we are at the mercy of our news outlets and they are becoming increasingly polarizing each year. Conservatives watch Fox News, liberals watch MSNBC, that’s just the way it is. We are locked in on what we believe and we watch these stations because they tell us exactly what we want to hear. But what about what we need to hear? Conservatives get their information about the liberal agenda from conservative outlets, so it is often misconstrued. It is nearly impossible to tell the casual conservative about what is relevant to liberals in America and vice versa. Don’t even think about approaching hardliners with the viewpoint of the opposition, the state of political allegiance in this country is approaching street gang status. Politicians are exploiting this growing divide to meet their own ends and we are not benefiting from it.
Too often on television we see politicians resort to slander and allegation when put under pressure. When asked what their viewpoints are on certain issues they start spewing random comments about how this person didn’t do what they said they would do. Or how they suggested a better plan and it was ignored by the party in power. It seems like common strategy is to make people angry so that they lose sight of what the debate was about in the first place. We step further and further away from actual progress when we allow the political parties to turn government into a head butting contest. Regardless of allegiance, at the end of the day their job mandates that they effectively manage the country. Sometimes it seems like they aren’t even thinking about America, more interested in their own devices and to hell with the people who get caught up in their grand schemes.
Am I asking too much from our elected officials? I understand that the name of the game is to get people to follow your cause but there must be some integrity left in government somewhere. I have seen crowds moved into action by unfair means and it benefits no one in the long run. Three years into his presidency, Barack Obama still fields questions about his citizenship, some people may see it as a legitimate political ploy but it only serves as a distraction. The time would have been better spent analyzing his effectiveness in office in Illinois.
I may be wishing on a star, but I would love to see a political system were the politicians were obligated to present their arguments in a way that triggers a rational thought process. Watching these politicians take turns throwing dirt on each other gets depressing. It is so easy to bring up a polarizing issue such as religion and watch the hardliners scatter to the left and right. Then the battle starts over the people left standing in the middle and it is often a competition to see who can make his competitor look the worst.
I think there is a better, more legitimate way to move people. I propose one five year term for congressman and senators across the board, no exceptions. On top of that, disband the democratic and republican parties and make people run for themselves and what they believe in. no more hiding behind the party line. They get elected to office and do what they want to do anyway, so let’s do away with the parties which only serve to divide the nation down the middle. Minimize the polarizing effect and bring the country closer together instead of pushing people further apart. There shouldn’t be a huge gap between people with conservative and liberal ideas; it shouldn’t be so easy for elected officials to play one side against the other. It should actually require hard work and solid reasoning to convince people that you have something relevant to say. Enough with standing behind the podium shouting the republicans are wrong and watching everyone clap. Try explaining why.
What we need is a little maturity across the board. People should know better than to allow themselves to be goaded into action, and politicians should have more class and tact. It sounds utopian, but it is possible, one day, someone powerful will realize that we are extremely vulnerable to collapse because of how our system works in this country and his initial thought will not be to exploit it as so many others have before. Instead he or she will work towards changing it; they will use their resources to help change the old way of thinking. Could it really happen? Or is it my silly little fantasy? Time will soon tell.