We have come to see how hyper-partisan politics is destroying our social structure, economy, and the basic freedoms we once enjoyed. As the rhetoric builds higher and higher, leaders feel emboldened to implement more and more rules to tightly regulate not only our public lives, but our private affairs as well. In this highly charged political climate, there is no more thought regarding how decisions are affecting the people. The only concern is advancing an ideology. This is true regardless of which side of the spectrum we’re talking about.
The problem with grouping ourselves together into political parties is that, for the most part, most people don’t actually agree with every single policy that a party stands for. They might agree with some, or even most, but rarely does a person truly agree with every single stance of a political party. For the vast majority of people, we have maybe one or two issues that we feel strongly about, and the rest are mostly just noise. Because we are part of a political party, though, we are forced to stand up for ideas that don’t really matter to us so we have a chance for the one or two that we do care about to get some attention.
It’s interesting to note that political parties end up causing a lot more problems than they solve. Because there is a line in the sand on every one of the party’s positions, they find ways to prevent an opposing ideology from having any voice at all. If you look at the way laws are packaged today, you start to get a clear understanding of how this works. Rather than passing bills on single issues, we get packages of various things that have absolutely nothing to do with one another and it becomes an all or nothing proposition. Rather than voting on each individual issue, they are grouped together to be used as leverage against the other side.
For example, you might have a bill that contains a provision for additional military funding, further restrictions on firearms, and a new program to better fund our national park system. Obviously, the first two issues are extremely polarizing, and this the bill never gets anywhere because neither side can give any ground at all, even though both sides would probably vote for the national park portion of the bill. By grouping these bills into packages rather than voting on the issues individually, nothing really gets done because even the things we agree on become lost in the fighting.
This is the problem with joining a political party. It is absolutely true that there is strength in numbers, and I’m not saying you should just go solo in the world. However, it has been clearly demonstrated that when you completely align yourself with a group and allow them to fully speak for you, many of the things that might actually be important to you get left by the wayside. The fight becomes more about making sure our party has the power rather than focusing on what the party was formed for in the first place: getting things done that matter to us.
For myself, I have stopped identifying myself with any political party. My values most closely align with Libertarianism, but in truth I prefer to remain completely independent because I disagree with a few of the things they see as deal breakers. As soon as you start incorporating yourself into someone else’s value system, you give up what’s important to you in favor of what’s important to them. What happens if they change their mind, or become corrupted, or refuse to make any compromises at all regardless of the cost? In the end, you have to make up your own mind, because only you can look at the evidence and figure out what you think.
So what do you think about political parties? Is it time to start casting them aside? Do they really get anything done, or do they cause more harm than good? Are you willing to go against the group of people you traditionally followed if they aren’t doing what you voted them into office to do? Independence of thought is critically important to advancing society in a way that is healthy for everyone. When every idea has a fair chance to be heard and truly considered, we are all better off. This doesn’t mean we have to do everything that everyone brings to the table, but the truth is that we tend to agree on far more issues than we disagree.
Imagine what we could get done if we stop fixating on the handful of issues we can’t seem to resolve.
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