To begin, and for complete transparency, this is a political article. Not necessarily political in the way you may think, but does fall within the political realm. I am not going to put one “party” over the other “party”, but merely demonstrate problems that I saw that came out of the, very limited, coverage of the State of The Union Address. Frankly, I preferred to watch the Curse of Oak Island on the History Channel and when that ended at 10PM, the remaining time of the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game on Sun.
However, sadly enough, I admit that during commercial breaks in both, I would change the channel to one of many that were broadcasting the State of the Union Address. The following is what I noticed, and what is becoming increasingly clear is wrong with American politics.
In the, very little, watching that I did of the State of the Union Address, I did see that 80% of the time when there was applause, it came from the “Republic Caucus.” Only about 20% of that time did it come from the “Democratic Caucus.” That applause came primarily around Veterans, the Military, and other items like that. Obviously, items about immigration reform, and even when the story was told of two American sixteen year-old girls that were murdered by a gang of illegal immigrants, the representatives of the “Democratic Caucus” remained seated, and did not applaud the parents that were present.
But even that is not why I am writing this opinion piece.
Watching the (very limited that I did) State of the Union Address, it was, in all honesty, quite sad that when there was applause, you could tell what part of the Gallery was the “Republican Party” and which part were the “Democratic Party.” Much the same, I would imagine, was the case when the previous Administration gave State of the Union Addresses. In fairness, I did not watch those either. But no, it was startling to see that a perfect split line was the distinction in the Gallery.
Not only was it startling witnessing, it was startling to know that our Political “Leaders”, those that we expect and demand pass “Just” laws, and do what is best for all Americans, not just half here, or half there, were so deeply divided. So divided that, regardless of personal belief of who was giving the speech, that the Office did not receive even a respect of acknowledgement. There was even the background heckling.
But what was more startling was the realization of what the actual problem with the current American Political system is. Is it the Democratic Caucus and the Republican Caucus. It is the American mentality that you are either a Democrat, an Independent, or a Republican. The distinction of political “parties” has led to the destruction of the Government that we as Americans once knew.
It was obvious when seeing the divide that it is greatly taboo that if you were a Republican that you agree with someone from the “Democratic Party.” On anything. The exact same taboo is obvious if you are a Democrat and agree with a view from the “Republican Party.” The American political system, and in reality, Americans themselves, have divided us as a Country. Our political system no longer rules on the majority, but solely on party lines. If someone from the Democratic Party has an idea, it is immediately deemed leftist, liberal, et al. and is disregarded by all members of the Republican Party due solely because a Democrat raised the idea, not because the idea is unsound, or sound. There is no debate. JUST as it is the same if a Republican brings an idea, the Democratic Party immediately comes out against it, and deems it racist, xenophobic, anti-immigrant, et al. and is disregarded by all members of the Democratic Party due solely because a Republican raised the idea, not because the idea is unsound, or sound.
A brief example, and empirical evidence of this, is immigration. Both Democratic administrations of the last two to three decades were all for “securing the border”, “building a wall”, et al (see 1995 State of the Union Address, 1996 State of the Union Address,, Immigration Reform Speech 2010, 2011 Border Fence Complete, 2006 immigration speech, Foreign Relations Speech and there are far too many to list, this is just a few.) Now, because a Republican (former Democrat) wants to hold them to it, it is taboo to be for it if you are in the “Democratic Caucus” and pretty much taboo to be against it if you are in the “Republican Caucus.”
Politicians are too hell bent on being elected on the next election by their “party.” Yes, passing legislation for term limits will help, but, by the same token, Americans will still be voting “party lines.” They are either registered Democrats, or they are registered Republicans. Voters vote party lines so that their “candidate” will vote party lines as well, in the hopes that they have enough of their Party come out and vote in the next election to get elected. Most of the “ruling” party go uncontested in their local (state) elections because the ruling “party” does not want to risk losing the seat. So, the voter votes them in again, because they solely vote on party lines.
In reality, politicians are putting their political careers above the American people and America herself.
This is why we need to dissolve the current political “party” structure. It is time that American’s realize that you can have a liberal thought, and still be a conservative person. Americans need to realize that you can have a conservative thought, and still be a liberal. Americans need to realize that we are all just that . . . Americans, first and foremost. Yes, you may have different opinions on Immigration (just for instance), but, it does not mean that you have to change that stance depending on what Administration is in office. You are your own person. That is what is great about America.
The political party affiliation must go in American politics. It does the American people no good, and the Government is indeed employee’s of the American People. The State of the Union Address showed me that we should not vote on a party line. Not as American voters, and not as the politicians that we have elected to do what is best for the majority and best for America as a whole. As Americans, we should not vote for people based on the colors they “wear”, but on the topics that they share the same ideas.
That is what this State of the Union Address showed me. We should vote our conscience not a political caucus or party line.