Our country’s political arena is broken.
Admittedly, this is fresh off of last Tuesday’s election in which “my guy” lost. At best, I’ll try to remove any bias from one party or the other. At worst, I’ll try to criticize both parties equally.
Elections are no longer about what’s best for the country, the issues, or the people. The first Tuesday of each November has transformed into merely being about bragging rights. In my lifetime, the entire country’s population has never been more divided.
That’s a huge problem.
Finding one election, year, or event that began creating the divide is difficult. Was it the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton? Republicans were upset a sitting president lied to the people and Democrats were tasked with defending him. Did the 2000 election between George Bush and Al Gore create the issue? Both parties fanned the flames by stockpiling attorneys to settle voting issues in court. The legitimacy of the American people was called in to question: Can you be trusted to know how to properly vote? Can you correctly tally votes? 9/11 successfully brought the country together. But was it all for naught with the war in Iraq being polarizing enough to force voters to take a side? In 2008, with the two options being an out-of-touch timid moderate with a polarizing, in-over-her-head VP candidate and an inexperienced dreamer who played the blame game and had a catchy slogan, were voters more likely to be defensive due to both candidates’ flaws?
Even grimmer than the current situation is the lack of effort either side is willing to give to bridge the gap. Obama and a Democrat-controlled Congress pushed through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare, if you will) overnight without giving the American people a chance to voice opinions or Republicans in office a chance to offer alternative solutions. The Republicans, in control of the House of Representatives, block anything remotely favored by Democrats and have bills killed before they even reach a vote. Then the Democrat-controlled Senate kills anything that makes it out of the House. It’s childish and ridiculous how extreme the game of partisan politics has become.
The 2012 election saw spending reach $6 billion. For what? Obama is still the President. The Democrats still control the Senate. The Republicans still control the House of Representatives.
$6 billion did absolutely nothing but maintain the status quo.
Such a waste.
So how do you fix a problem no one is willing to attempt at solving? That’s where one of the parties has to take the risk by being the first to step forward and make a change. The problem is that no politician will take a risk anymore. If there isn’t significant polling done to justify an action, all of Washington sits on its hands, too afraid to make a move. All the proof needed is the inexcusable notion that a budget hasn’t been passed since 2009.
Since I identify more with the Republican party and the Democrat party has no motivation to change their platform if they keep winning, here’s my modest proposal for the “right” side of the aisle:
Completely ditch the social conservative platform.
The reason middle aged, white, Christian male Republicans used to win fairly consistently is because middle aged, white, Christian males made up the majority of the voting bloc. When one demographic is in charge of the churches, businesses, and government, it’s fairly easy to shape legislation around your beliefs. The problem lies in the Republican party continuing to hold on to those ideologies, which are no longer held by the majority.
I’d argue a socially moderate (indifferent, even) party with strong conservative fiscal principles that favors a younger age bracket would not only win over more votes but be better for the country in its current situation.
The future of the country lies in being financially sound and providing a positive outlook for younger generations. That means ditch the hard anti-gay marriage stance. States are proving each election cycle that this issue means less and less to the American people. I’d argue this is more of a scare tactic painted by Democrats but ditch the anti-abortion opinion. Abortion’s legal. Roe vs Wade will never be overturned. At this point in time, it’s not and shouldn’t be an issue. Lose the immigration issue, the “socialized” healthcare issue, and lose the “47%” minority mindset.
Just base every single decision ever made on being fiscally conservative. Having to pinch pennies is something nearly every voter in the country sympathizes with after the last 4 years. When you save the country money, you save the voters money. When you save the voters money, you win more elections.
Or just keep pretending to be shocked and disappointed each November when your Bob Doles, John McCains, Rick Santorums, Rick Perrys, and Newt Gingrinchs continue to chase off anyone too progressive for the white Christian male power brokers in charge. That’s worked so well for you lately.