Every citizen of the United States (and any person that lives here, I suppose) can breathe a sigh of relief. No, not because Obama was re-elected. You can breathe a sigh of relief because you will no longer have to see or hear those ridiculous campaign ads. (The ads I refer to in the title of this post were the “vote yes” ads about the marriage amendment that were full of lies.)
The election is over, and I’ve been waiting so long for the few months of relief we will have. Okay, it might be a bit longer than that. Regardless, I’m happy it’s done.
I can’t say I’m all that pleased by the results. Michelle Bachmann, for example, was re-elected despite proving herself to be as plastic and horrible as every other incumbent politician in her debate against her opponent, Jim Graves. Jim Graves is my ideal candidate – fiscally conservative, willing to make changes, but socially at the very least he is live-and-let-live (he’s a Dem, in case you have no clue what I’m talking about).
Believe it or not, my ballot was purple. I am one of those independents that often splits my ticket. Never have I voted for all Dems or all GOP candidates. If we’re all being honest with ourselves, I highly doubt anyone who has actually educated themselves about each and every candidate individually could say all the candidates of one party or the other are best qualified.
I have got to thinking after reading a few post-election articles here and there: the rigidity of our parties at this point in time is horrifying. I doubt if Jefferson or Adams, for example, would mind so much that we have two major parties. I do think they’d be appalled by how divided the parties are and how unwilling to compromise.
It’s not exactly a bright part of our history, but representatives from the developing nation were actually willing to compromise on slavery in order to come to an agreement. Obviously that’s terrible, but at the same time what happened to our willingness to compromise?
Occasionally I say something along the lines of, “I like that our government is inefficient and has a hard time getting things done.” On the surface, that’s true, but it’s not quite reflective of what I really mean.
I like having two parties that disagree sharing power because I like that there are at least two perspectives being brought to the table. It should be hard to get things done, not because no one ever compromises or changes their minds, but because it takes time to hammer out solutions that everyone agrees on.
I’m not talking about the toothless legislation that is so often passed that’s full of weird compromises and pork spending. What I mean is really getting down to the bottom of things. Sometimes the Democrats are right. Sometimes the Republicans are. In a functioning democratic republic, time should be spent convincing one another using evidence to show which policy ideas are good ideas. Those ideas should then be pursued.
Back to the rigidity of parties – people like to talk about China’s political system, often saying it’s a bad system. I don’t ever want to have their system, but the United States is coming frighteningly close. In China, it’s my understanding that dissent is not well-liked. More and more that is true about both parties in the United States of America. Parties practically disown you if you run with them, but act individually when elected. It’s a terrible trend and we need to stop it.
On another note, I read somewhere that Puerto Rico’s non-binding referendum may have come out in favor of statehood. Why the hell would they want to become part of this country now of all times?