Time to be a party pooper: the dangers of political parties


Hanna Dupre

Photo Illustration.

Jake Hamilton, Opinion Editor

We’ve spent the past five months avoiding the subject. We’ve even shared our lack of religious beliefs, our spiritual principles, our most ridiculous ideas, but we always stayed at a safe distance from this mysterious box of primordial warfare–this invisible hurricane we inherit. Despite our best efforts, it came out in the open, sitting there like a demon child in a mob of Puritans. Plain and simple. Unavoidable.

My girlfriend is a Republican. I’m a Democrat.

And I could have stuck one finger in the air, donned a polite smile, and quoted George Washington’s Farewell Address–“[Political parties] tend to render Alien to each other those who ought to be bound together by fraternal Affection.” But instead I argued over trivialities. Then I guess we could have sat down with two cups of coffee and took a dive into our own political ideas. But instead we sat in stagnant water of plans and principles cemented years ago. We could have talked. But instead we fought.

And fought. And fought…

It wasn’t until I talked with her dad that I realized the problem: everything we fought about was crowded and blurred by labels. Socialist, capitalist; greed, ignorance; republican, democrat. With these labels cast aside, we were almost entirely in agreement, instantly composing plans beyond party platforms.

By taking issues out of their black-and-white context, we find better answers. We can debate for decades over whether we should have higher taxation or lower taxation, but maybe a more encompassing and agreeable solution would be to restructure the spending of tax dollars, shutting down certain dated and unused government organizations that haven’t been effective since the Great Depression. If we could stop arguing over black and white all the time, we might find that we all preferred purple anyway.

In fact, our supposed allegiance to political parties may not be something we chose in the first place. From a psychological standpoint, researchers find that people’s personalities and emotional instability have zero correlation to those of their parents; however, people and their parents do often have similar political and religious views (Myers, David G. Psychology in Modules, Ninth Edition). Somehow we are able to form our own personalities out of some core sense of self, but we often inherit our political party. This breeds the question: Am I a republican/democrat? Or was I raised to believe that?

Obviously politics have the inevitable arguments and disagreements, and for many issues, that is necessary. I’m just sick of the petty bickering brought on simply by labeling. This coming presidential election will be my first time voting and I’m glad I was able to clear this up. I’m not a democrat or republican, and I’ll vote for whoever’s ideas I agree with most. If I had to call myself anything, I guess I would be a party pooper.

But then again, that would be another label.