Democrat. Republican. Liberal. Conservative. Left. Right. The many names for America’s two major political parties. Call them what you will, it is impossible to watch the news these days without hearing about them. It seems like that’s all we’re talking about now, the American political parties and how they are trying to best each other. But here is my little thought for the day, do we need them?
When I was a freshman at college, my English 101 professor asked this very question. Do we need political parties? My first answer was, well yes. Without defined parties we would descend into chaos. We need to have these institutions to keep our differing opinions in check. But do we really? I certainly don’t have an answer to this question but I’m sure as heck going to try and explain this little thought of mine just to get you thinking too.
On one hand, when I think about political parties, I think of the constant fighting that is currently happening. Democrats vs. Republicans – the ultimate throw down. Two enter the ring, only one will leave. I think about the division it causes not only among our political leaders but us as American citizens.
I grew up in a Republican household. I remember my dad making snide comments about certain politicians or celebrities just because they did not belong to his party. It’s insane to think about. Not liking someone just because they have a different view point than you. But that’s what our current political parties do isn’t it? We can’t work with you because you’re a Democrat or you’re a Republican. We can’t find a compromise because I refuse to work with you based on your political party.
This way of thinking is childish and dangerously naive. Refusing to find common ground because you have differing beliefs is how you run democracy to the ground. With such strong division it is nearly impossible to grow. Demolishing political parties would end this rift between us that inhibits progress.
But would it really?
If we take away the labels would the dived still exist? It is human nature to form our own opinions. And for every opinion we have there will be someone somewhere that will oppose that opinion. If one group of people think one way and another group thinks something else, they end up splitting into factions. So, even if we demolish the political parties, would they eventually reform?
Furthermore, is it too late for America to rid ourselves of the party system? Our history is so entrenched in this tradition that even if it were to one day go away, we will always have the memory looming over us. The line has been drawn in the sand. Is there anyway to erase it?
I have no answers for this, I just have questions. Can we start over and work together or are we doomed to live in a never ending cycle of Left vs. Right? Like I said, I have no answers to give but in today’s politically charged world, it certainly gives you something to think about.