Political Party Division in Our Government
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, fellow workers and our visitors. Fellow citizens, we are here to talk about the issues faced by our country, America. In my opinion, one of them deserves attention more than any others: the political party division and extreme partisanship in our governance structure. The issue of political party division in our government is a problem because it has led to the deadlock over some branches of the government that has become unable to perform its work in a harmonious manner, as in the case of the Congress.
However, the question is: how does partisanship become a problem in a democracy since the democracies’ aim is to encourage plurality of thought? We can envision the problem of partisanship as an extreme and negative division in the arms of our government. The dimension of the issue of political party division in America is apparent in the inability of the Congress to pass laws that would benefit the common person, as well as in the politicization of the American courts and the end of the civil discourse in the political arena in America. We know that the issue of political party division is a problem in America because we can observe the deterioration of governance when people in both sides of the political aisle are unable to agree on even the most basic issues.
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We need to come to terms with the fact that unless we deal with the problem of extreme partisanship in America, corruption in the political process rises. Consequently, it will drive the best brains out of politics, leaving the party adherents who serve only their narrow partisan interests. In the long run, the country will suffer from the effects of constant political divisions. In the extreme of circumstances, we have to come to terms with the dysfunctional government and judiciary because everyone takes to such partisan cocoons. Consequently, the problem concerns us because we deserve the adoption of high standards of governance, a government that will work appropriately, a judiciary that will become a neutral arbiter to our disputes, and most of all, we need to live as citizens of the great nation, instead of being the aliens, unable to come to the understanding of basic issues.
Analysis of the Problem
There are several root causes of the issue that bedevils our politics and government. The first one is the emergence of the identity politics with its group-based ideology. In politics, the move from the unifying values to the identity of groups has led to the appearance of the highly partisan political field. For instance, the political right has attempted to use dog-whistle politics to appeal to some voters, as Hershey (2017) has noted. On the left, some politicians have also abused identity politics to win favor with some voters, as Noel claims (2014). Moreover, the growing racial and ethnic diversity has also led to the decline of the communal aspect of social trust, as Noel (2014) explains. For instance, it has led to a situation when the majority of white people coalesce around the Republican Party, while the minority votes Democrats, according to Noel (2014). Another issue that has contributed to the partisanship in American politics is geographical sorting. A majority of people, supporting either of the major parties, stays in certain areas. For instance, the Democratic voters are mainly the residents of coastal regions, whereas the Republican voters are primarily from rural areas. The seclusion has also contributed to the growing political partisanship in the government. Brewer, Lambe, and Jones (2017) claim that the decision presented by the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission has also impacted the problem because it allows dark money operations in our politics. We know that it is true because before the factors mentioned above began to manifest themselves, America had more centrist politicians who could get the business when working for the government.
Although, there are other problems interconnected with political party division. The first one is the issue of racism that provokes the rise of white identitarianism. Such movements have risen because, among other issues, the identitarians perceive the growth in minority politicians as a threat to their existence. Moreover, the problem of the lack of discourse on American political issues has also contributed to the issue of the lack of respect for the rights of others. As a result, we have observed American police shoot black people without any legal recourse for it.
Like all problems, the issue of political party division in the country has a history. The extreme partisanship is traceable back to the end of centrists on both sides of the political debate. With the achievement of talk radio shows and twenty-four-hour television with extreme partisan bias, the American public began to differ on the ways the people received the news. Consequently, with a media that was pandering to the public, the number of the people on the extremes increased. Politicians on the extremes, more than centrists, won elections. Hence, the political extremists in Congress or elsewhere in the government made the consensus impossible. In the past, many politics attempted to moderate the political debate through reaching consensus among various parties in the governance; however, it was impossible.
Criteria for Solution
There will be several measures to evaluate the progress of the solution implementation in reducing extreme partisanship in the government and Congress. Firstly, the political discourse should become more civil. Secondly, the common sense legislation and the confirmation of judicial and executive officers should be less contentious. Thus, the solution is a long-term process. It requires funding for more than three elected positions to the solution by political donors. There are many individuals who are willing to spend money to overturn the decision due to its disproportionate impact on American politics.
At the national level, nothing much has been done other than a discussion of the issues. However, the people proposed various solutions in their attempts to deal with the conundrum. For instance, Russell A. Berman, a Hoover Institute fellow, has proposed using a system that empowers centrist voters. As such, he has proposed non-partisan elections with the absence of primaries and candidates who would run against each other, regardless of the party (Berman, 2016). Such events have already occurred in California. Seth Masket, an associate professor of Political Science at the University of Denver has proposed a ban on gerrymandering (Masket, 2014). Masket (2014) presents the idea that the cause of extreme partisanship was the reduction of the competitive districts from more than one hundred in 1992 to less than forty in 2004. In Masket’s (2014) opinion, the lack of competitive districts has reduced the incentive to be centrist because many are more afraid of challenges from the right or left than of the candidate of the opposite party beating them. Both solutions require the candidates to work on getting rid of the need for extreme partisanship. The Congress elected after that will enact the law that will reform finance campaign by doing away with Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission’s decision.
Fellow Americans! In the presented case, the best solution is to combine the solutions available to us and thus form a more comprehensive and appropriate solution. Therefore, I propose to implement such ideas through the prevention from partisanship in primaries and elections, eliminating closed primaries and opening up elections from multiple candidates from the same party to ensure centrism. Secondly, in order to exclude partisan gerrymandering, the achievement of a federal commission to monitor the creation of elective districts will also assist.
I believe that two proposed solutions will boost Congress to overturn the decision by Citizen United v. Federal Election Commission and thus ensure that no party will stand to gain from the infusion of dark money into politics.