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The Problem with Partisanship

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There is a major problem in America today that prevents us from talking about politics objectively. Partisanship, or extreme loyalty to a political party, has stalled bills in congress that should be common sense, and created tensions and hatred between the main parties.


This issue came to my attention when researching paid maternity leave for a project. I was shocked to find that the United States was one of two countries in the world that didn't offer paid leave to new mothers. When I dug a little deeper, I found that instituting paid maternity leave nationwide has support by both democrats and republicans. However, when a bill to put this into action went into congress, no republican representative backed it.


It seems when we hear someone from the opposite party speaking, we automatically tune out. This applies to everyone, from american citizens to civil servants. Yet it seems to me some issues shouldn't have a label attached to them. Certain issues, shouldn't be democratic or republican issues.


I'm not saying party labels should be abolished completely. They can be useful to help categorize the political spectrum. But they cannot be so rigid that we start to completely ignore the positions of others. If we are ever to make any real progress, we need to work together.


A good start would be paying attention to all ideas, regardless of which party they come from. If you're a democrat, it's okay to side with a republican once in a while, and vice versa. Partisanship is breaking down our appreciation and consideration of ideas different from our own, isolating us and encouraging us to socialize only with those with similar beliefs. This should not be the case. Now more than ever, we need to be together, not divided.




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