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Opinion & Editorial

Questioning the “Why” of Being So Extreme

As party lines grow deeper, the gap between them continues to stretch. On the Republican side, candidates who don’t take the most conservative stance are considered the black sheep of their party while the second most prominent Democratic candidate calls himself a socialist.

Instead of asking which candidate will most closely follow party lines, we need to determine who will negotiate best with both sides of the aisle.

The gridlocks and stalemates that characterized President Obama’s relationship with the legislative branch cannot become the new normal. As voters, we, too, must consider these candidates as compromises. No support is due  for a presidential nominee who alienates half the population, yet the polarization of our candidates makes it hard to choose diplomatically.

As of now, neither party offers a candidate with the potential to heal America’s worsening partisanship. For example, the ten leading Republicans are all pro-life. Furthermore, Marco Rubio strongly denied claims that he supported exceptions for rape, incest, and the threat to a mother’s life at the first debate as if they were slanderous accusations.

Many of these ten advocate the construction of a wall between Mexico and the United States to solve our immigration problems, and some, as Walker and Trump, even question the 14th Amendment. The Democratic Party has proved just as unbalanced.

This problem goes beyond the candidates because it reflects the divided electorate.  The good guy-bad guy categorization of parties appeals to many and blinds them in the process. The blame game is now the most utilized and convenient campaigning strategy.

While fierce party opposition has been prominent since John Adams and Thomas Jefferson in the election of 1800, these levels have surged within the past two decades.

Pew Research Center reports that such a gap hasn’t been so extreme since the Civil War. According to Pew, 36% of Republicans see the Democratic as a, “threat to the nation’s well-being” while 27% of Democrats view Republicans the same way.

No wonder our Founding Fathers were so hesitant to establish a Party System.

by Maddie Vaziri ’16

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