Partisan Politics: Division Along Party Lines
March 23, 2017
In American politics today there seems to be a stagnant tug-of-war between the two power parties of government. Socially and culturally the divide between Democrat and Republican, Liberal and Conservative has never been deeper. With such considerable party isolation and unbalanced power in the government branches, many constituents are left wondering how they will be represented accurately in the coming years. There is an ‘us versus them’ mentality on many issues where the party lines are most visible. In order to maintain an image or party unity, Republicans and Democrats alike feel obligated to sacrifice their own ideas or values.
Democrats support issues such as a women’s right to choose, ending systematic racism, raising the minimum wage, healthcare reform, and establishing the United State’s role as a global powerhouse. Republicans champion a strong economy and bringing jobs back to the states, traditional marriage, religious liberty, and defending the second amendment. These issues are among the most politicized. Immigration and healthcare reform are two of the most prominent in the current political atmosphere.
On February 28, President Donald Trump gave his first address to a joint session of congress. With Republicans on one side and Democrats on the other. Throughout the course of his speech, Republicans stood as a united block, cheering the many reforms and policies he proposed. Raucous applause broke out when he threw his support behind the ‘Repeal and Replace’ plan for the Affordable Care Act. Republicans have their own divide on this issue, but put aside the differences during the speech to display an image of party unity. Democrats also stood as a united front in opposition to almost the entirety of the speech. Many female senators and congresswomen wore white suits in solidarity with the women’s suffrage movement. Florida Representative Lois Frankel said in a statement, “We wear white to unite against any attempts by the Trump administration to roll back the incredible progress women have made in the last century, and we will continue to support the advancement of all women. We will not go back.”
This show of complete division is just a small display of the growing divide. During the many nominations for Donald Trump’s cabinet picks, the votes were almost entirely along party lines. Democrats have vowed to filibuster the nomination of supreme court nominee Neil Gorsuch and block any attempt by the republicans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The depth of this divide in our political climate is not yet clear. The country and people around the globe will be watching to see the effect of the toxic party lines and how these lines will deepen as the Trump Administration continues.