ART BY ESTELLE ZHOU
Nowadays, there is no way to tell when unity will trump division.
In modern day American politics, division seems to be the norm, fundamentally existing between the two opposing parties. However, it is not external problems that now plague our politics. Internal fissures are the new issue in both the Democratic and Republican camps. This brings to question the state and direction of American politics.
This division is a double-edged sword. Undoubtedly, it is detrimental. Less certainly but just as plausibly, it may be a benefit. Division, if executed properly, can mean a better way for citizens to make their opinions heard.
Somehow, this division at hand can be traced back to the 2016 election. A little over a year since, American politics and the nation itself is still experiencing the ripple effects of the aforementioned.
In the Republican Party, the person of interest is none other than President Trump. Defying all expectations and winning the election last year, Trump, in all his confident yet somewhat bombastic glory, has been the target of many prominent Republicans, including the father and son duo George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush. In several interviews, H.W. Bush called Trump a “blowhard” while W. Bush directly expressed his dislike of the sitting president. Both feared that the younger Bush would be the “last Republican.” The disfavor went so far that father and son checked Democrat Hillary Clinton and “none of the above” respectively on the their ballots last year.
Moreover, Trump’s recent feuds with Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), expose severe polarity in his party alone. While it stands to reason that inner party feuding may be better than mindless conformity, the lack of unity in America’s strongest political machine at the moment is unnerving.
On the other side of the map, things are not looking up either. In the Democratic Party, the Civil War that began a few months ago still rages on with criticism of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton who ran and lost against Trump last year still holding strong. With Trump and the Republican Party’s win, the Democrat Party fights a two front war, battling back the people in control and simultaneously trying to mend the internal bleeding. Essentially, both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party are unsatisfied with their leaders and the way politics has turned out. Nevertheless, this “complication” can also be beneficial to America.
In many European countries, multi-party systems have been favored over their two-party counterparts and operated just fine. Generally, these countries, especially the smaller countries, have fared well in their politics. For the United States, adopting this tried but true structure may be a viable option. A multi-party system will represent the voices of the people more and encompass all the new perspectives the splintering that the Democrats and the Republicans have created. In an already divided America, this may provide a more efficient way of governing without such prominent partisanships.
Some may argue that the overabundance of voices in the government will not accomplish anything in the long run. Yet this is still the case for the two party system: take the issues of health care, tax reforms and and immigration laws. Circulating throughout Congress, these bills and laws are continuously swept in a circle but never passed or reformed to truly benefit American society. Rather, the current division in America now can learn to work together to reach a compromise; instead of remaining stagnant, brave bipartisanship for the benefit of America.
Ultimately, American politics needs a change. If rupture cannot heal soon enough, perhaps some permanent splitting will do the job.