Opinion: How to fix the partisan rift in politics today

Posted on Apr 18 2017 - 7:59am by Jonathan Lovelady

On campus, I have been called a “liberal” countless times, but I feel that words like that should not mold a person into a certain grouping based on someone’s actions or beliefs.

The increased polarization between two principal groups has caused disruptions in this country since the euphemisms “North” and “South” were used in the 1800s.

These classifications are social constructs that separate groups of people based on the opinions of a political party. Within these parties and their ideas, you are seen as an outsider if you do not mold yourself to believe every value.

But there is no logical way a person can agree with everything a party values for the country. Personally, I appreciate both progressive and conservative ideas, but because of my race and social justice actions, I am labeled a “liberal.”

In due respect to conservatives, you can still believe and support social justice initiatives and be a “conservative.”

The United States congressional approval rating is at a dismal 24 percent, according to the most recent Gallup poll. This effectively shows what this polarization is doing this country.

It is not about “Make America Great Again” or total support for Bernie Sanders’ platform, but determining what we need to do to come together, acknowledging our differences and realizing this country is for all of us.

The continuing division between individuals of this nation allows us to view the current state of the country with historical déjà vu. Abraham Lincoln once said: “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” and the implications of not relying on history are disastrous.

Frederick Douglass said, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” This quote always rings in my head on a variety of issues this country faces.

How are we supposed to be the “land of the free and home of the brave” if we are not brave enough to stand together and push through the struggles we face as a nation?

It will not be easy whatsoever, but if the continuing division we see in our country does not cease, it will have dramatically adverse effects.

This world would be melancholy without the variations of race, ethnicity, culture and, most importantly, ideas. If we continue to bash others for their political views, there will be no progress for anyone.

No country can be “great,” but it can continually improve itself for all who live there and those who want to live there.

If someone does not like your perspective on an individual issue, do not walk away or bicker. Challenge his or her opinions in a logical and emotional way.

Just tolerating someone else’s ideas or opinions will not do us any good unless we acknowledge and embrace our differences and ideas for the better of this nation and its people.

Jonathan Lovelady is a sophomore business management major from Los Angeles.

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