The political season is over but the deep polarization of political ideology continues on. So we as a society continue to argue with one another because of it. I have done it, you have done it, we have all done it at some point. We argue on Facebook, Twitter, on our campuses, and especially at the Thanksgiving dinner table every year.
At what point, however, will we stop using the phrase “let’s just agree to disagree” and come up with potential solutions, find a common ground, and build a sense of unity again?
The American political divide isn’t just amongst peers, family, and friends. Both Democratic and Republican leaders of Congress are showing a gradual distancing from the moderate party line. This is known as a “Political Mitosis,” a phenomenon that hasn’t been seen since the 1800’s.
So the questions are: why are we repeating a similar political divide from the nineteenth century? Can we eventually reunite the people and introduce compatibility in Congress?
According to the Brookings Institute, the divide stems from a rise in supermajority districts, a widening gap of activist ideology, and biased media. The media, which includes social media platforms, is an American delicacy. While partaking in social media and television networks, we see a discord amongst news stations. We read headlines providing the same information but worded in a way that presents a bias; and that bias nurtures a political seed within us that either grows one way or another.
As for Congress, division can be treated by the quest for bipartisan projects by the President and congressmen and women, Democratic and Republican alike. Projects involving infrastructure, education, and international affairs require input from both the red and the blue. This could begin building a purple, bipartisan relationship.
As for the people and the parties, communication is key. Does fixing our political dissonance require suppressing our first amendment rights? Never. Conservative and liberal activists should always fight for what they believe to be right. But it is important to discuss common ground and research the subject presented, not just what the news is reporting.
Conservative or not, Republican or not, one thing we can all agree on is that changes must take place. Let’s not “agree to disagree” anymore. Let’s just get to work.