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Partisanship killing productivity

March 29, 2018

 

BRYN YOUNG
News Editor | bjy001@latech.edu

 

YOUNG

 

The first political parties in the United States came into being with the nation itself. As long as there have been issues to fight over, we have fought with each other tooth and nail.

 

According to Pew Research Center, the divide does seem to be growing. In 1994, the left and right varied only 15 percent on 10 key values.

 

As of 2017, Democrats and Republicans vary 36 percent on the same 10 issues.

 

This divide can be seen in the turmoil that riddles social media and news outlets (looking at you, Fox News). This divide is more importantly making its way into how politics are handled on Capitol Hill.

 

How many times have there been genuine bipartisan efforts made to fix various problems in this past year? The answer is not many. With a Republican-dominated government, we have seen less and less olive branches and far more arrows flung across the aisle.

 

On healthcare reform, Republicans intentionally did not hear any proposals from their Democratic counterparts. As we see these fights of partisanship playing out it leads me to wonder: how is it harming us as a nation?

 

A civil discord is what makes America so great. We are able to discuss the problems that plague us through compromise. If each issue becomes an us versus them argument, it makes America weaker as a whole. As it says in Federalist paper No. 70, “Men often oppose a thing, merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike.”

 

Often times, we oppose the other side because they are the other side. Maybe we should start listening more and discussing our differences rather than being angry.

 

You should not dislike an idea merely because it comes from the mouth of someone with a different political label. Remember, ideas should be measured on their value and content.

 

So, next time you are in a debate with someone across the political spectrum, listen. The ideas they have come from an experience different than yours, and you will never begin to understand what you have in common if you focus on the differences.

 

Bryn Young is a sophomore communication major from Mountain View, Arkansas, who serves as news editor for The Tech Talk.

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