By Hunter Mikosz
In 1789, when the constitution was ratified, the first political party was created: the Federalist Party. From there on out, political parties have been at the forefront of the American government. In 1797, George Washington gave a farewell address as a warning to the American people. One of his warnings to the people was about not allowing political parties to flourish. He did not want parties to put their interests in front of the nation’s interests. No one listened. Since then, more than fifty political parties have been created based on their own interests.
There is one major difference between how political parties and the government runs today than when America was in its earlier stages: politicians worked together to fix problems because many were moderate and listened to every side of an argument.
Today, politicians support party over people. Nothing gets done due to politicians voting for the interests of their party and not the interests of the people who voted them in and need the right decisions to be made. Within this year, there were two government shutdowns because Congress would vote in accordance with how their party tells them to.
The first time that American people saw party polarization in Congress came in the 1970s. The country wasn’t just separated by party; people also started to separate. At this time, feminist movements and the fight for gay rights started heating up with strikes in front of the White House. Worst of all of those events was the Vietnam War, when seventeen and eighteen-year-old boys were being called to service against their will, knowing they might not come back like their family, friends and neighbors.
Yes, war brings separation, but it really causes a division when the government gets many young Americans killed in a war that they had no place being in, having never even achieved their goals with the war. Today, we are in Afghanistan. According to the government, the soldiers there should not even be there right now, and whoever else is there should be leaving soon.
As voters, we need to pick people not based on their party, but who will make smart decisions for America. We see advertisements of politicians bagging on each other when they should really be showing the voters who will be putting the nation before their party. So, go vote for the person you think will be strong-willed and listen to the needs of the nation and not the party, like every politician should have been doing since the 1970s. If you are not registered to vote, go to https://www.usa.gov/register-to-voteto register.