Alright. I’ve read one too many articles where comments are aimed at both parties such as “both parties can’t work together. I can’t vote for anyone next November since nothing will get done anyway.” or the classic “both political parties in the United States are unaware of the American peoples’ needs.” This is what I have to say about the matter:
Every American citizen has the right to vote in every election for which candidates and parties they agree with most. And unfortunately the party most Americans agree with most changes every 2-4 years, disallowing any real progress to be made on the any agenda, democratic or republican. To all Americans: if you vote for either party, odds are that they are trying to do their best to help you because if they don’t, they may lose their job. There are two main parties in the American political system, the republicans and democrats. They have two completely different ideologies, and naturally, they don’t believe that each other’s ideology would work and create the country they wish to see. If both parties were in agreement, then the United States would have no problem passing legislation. Every politician enters the Capitol every morning to set out to do the job you gave them. Now here’s whats tricky: the founding fathers purposely created this system to implement change slowly (for example: you need a 60 senator coalition to have a filibuster-proof majority in the senate or else the legislation can be easily filibustered with no end in sight). Each senator or representative will do their best to make sure you are not harmed by legislation they see as dangerous for the American people, even if it means to use the frustrating filibuster to their advantage.
Now back to the American people, if Americans see that one party isn’t doing enough for them, they will go ahead and elect the other party. This is one of the greatest paradox’s in the American political system. When Americans are frustrated and elect the other party, the first party has no more chance of accomplishing their agenda and therefore making the country the way they think it would work best. Now how do the American people not realize this? The rules of the political game are hard enough to play with a clear majority such as the one that President Obama had during the first two years of his term. Unfortunately, it is because people (not just Americans) are impatient and tend to look at the big picture rather than the tiny details. Before the mid-term elections, President Obama did not have a filibuster-proof majority in the senate, and with the help of some blue dogs the republicans were able to hold their ground and filibuster Obama out of a lot of his campaign promises. Of the healthcare legislation that the President was barely able to pass, the public option was removed from the bill (a crucial part of the legislation) and it is still being picked away piece by piece by republican federal judges. Because Obama was not able to do what he promised that he would do while in office, the American people contradicted their interests in 2008 and made it more difficult by reducing the democratic majority in the Senate while making the democrats the minority in the House. Now from January 2011 onward, the President’s agenda is futile because it most likely cannot get passed in the House while the Senate would need seven senators to defect from the republican camp (if all democrats were even to approve of a given bill), a very difficult situation for the president.
By electing a split government, the American people have been the cause of their own outcry about how both parties cannot work together. The American people have elected politicians as their representatives, and if the president cannot work his agenda through congress, it is because he needs a bigger majority. Reducing the majority only made the president’s (and the American peoples’) problems worse. So next time, look at who holds power both in congress and in the White House before you declare that both parties are ineffective, because in the end it is you and every other American who made them ineffective and incapable of helping the country.