A lack of bipartisanship in the United States is leading to political gridlock and the need for a stronger Congress- free from influencing political affiliation and polarization.
Reading and watching the news lately has felt even more depressing and morbid than usual, but in a way, I almost find myself desensitized to the violence and accustomed to the stereotypical name calling and finger pointing that comes thereafter.
Upon hearing about the shooting in California, my initial reaction was not one of expected fear or one of sadness but one of apathy, as I knew that the immediate reaction to this type of horrific situation by our leaders would involve the programed partisanship behavior that has become the new, disappointing norm.
When listening to our Nation’s senators, I often times feel as though I am watching two siblings arguing to their mom about the need to share each other’s toys. Since the Reagan administration, partisanship has only continued to worsen and as a result, our country is in a state of political gridlock.
The Senate historically was regarded as one of our country’s most noble and praiseworthy establishments but as time has progressed, the reputation of the Senate and Senators has only continued to deteriorate. The uses of filibusters, cloture and filing the amendment tree in the Senate have only continued to exacerbate this problem.
The biggest issue is not as clear-cut as both sides seem to make it out to be and stems from the simple fact that both sides have lost any and all ability to listen or negotiate. According to an article written by Senator Snowe for the Harvard Journal on Legislation in 2013, much of what occurs today is not meaningful debate but rather “political messaging” which has the sole purpose of making a political statement as a way to make the opposing party look bad.
Our country is becoming increasingly polarized because of a lack of any ability to communicate, the influence of money in politics (Super Pacs) and a reliance on information from the biased, mainstream media (Fox News and MSNBC). It is my hope that we will continue to work towards advocating for a country that never loses its ability to negotiate while consistently and relentlessly, stands firm in our convictions.
To read more about this, please read the following article:
Snowe, S. J. (2013). The effect of modern partisanship on legislative effectiveness in the 12th congress. Harvard Journal on Legislation. 50(1), 21-40.