Time to Unify
The 2016 Presidential election was unlike any election we’ve ever seen as a country. If it proved one thing, it’s that the American people are tired of the establishment; the people want political outsiders. One word resonated for me above all others: change.
The American invention of voter-based political parties started in the 1790s. that’s over 200 years ago of almost no innovation, and no change. We now find ourselves living in a fast-paced, quickly changing world, and I cannot believe we haven’t had more progress in the world of politics.
I vividly remember going to the Senate debate between Mark Udall and Cory Gardner. People in the audience were yelling and laughing the entire time, and one thing stood out to me above all else: everyone there already had their minds made up about who they were going to vote for. The Democrats were there to cheer on and vote for Mark Udall, the Republicans were there to cheer on and vote for Cory Gardner. A debate is supposed to be a formal discussion where opposing arguments are put forward, and the audience takes into consideration each point, then makes a decision on where they stand. Very few people that night had an open mind. It didn’t matter who the politicians on the stage were; the audience was loyal to their respective parties. I remember thinking, “This must have been exactly how it was 200 years ago.” It seemed incredibly outdated to me.
I have a problem with the two-party system because I believe it is crippling progress. We don’t have an educated voter base that truly understands where they stand on the issues. We have two extremely established parties, which in turn allows people to just vote their party. The actual person they’re voting for has become less of a priority, and that has led to the loss of solid principles and ideas that policy is built around. Instead, whoever yells the loudest is the one that gets heard.
This election left me feeling isolated from party politics. I have views on both sides of the aisle. I hated being told that it was pointless to vote for anyone outside of the two parties because no one else had a shot at winning. It’s important to note that according to Gallup, 57% of Americans desire a third party. Among millennials alone, I believe that number is much higher.
Millennials are going to get more politically involved because our values and what we care about as a generation will be at the forefront of politics as we get older. When we do get involved, watch out, because real change will follow. Issues like climate change and education reform transcend party lines, and offer opportunities for actual progress. Progress without a party; that’s what the millennial political movement will be based on.