Over the last several months, Americans have been bombarded by an onslaught of negative propaganda from candidates, political parties, and the media, all with the intention of swaying our vote in the Nov. 6 general election.
We have become our own worst enemies. We hyperfocus on issues that are sensationalized in the media, which in turn distracts our attention away from achieving goals for the greater good.
We have witnessed a presidential race characterized by hyper-partisanship and distrust, and while millions of Americans continue to languish under the worst recession in several decades, our leaders continue to focus on placing blame on their opponents rather than working for solutions.
What effect has this hyper-partisanship had on the American people?
Only 21 percent of Americans approve of the job congress is doing, and 57 percent believe the country is heading in the wrong direction, according to Gallup polls and Rasmussen reports, respectively.
And with the Nov. 6 general election less than a week away, we are more politically divided than we have been in 25 years, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.
Yet, regardless of any justification for Americans’ dissolution with our democratically elected leaders, it is important to acknowledge that we are the ones who put them in office, and if we the people are divided, so shall our government.
We are facing a serious choice in this election about which direction to take the country. This monumental choice is not over who will become President.
This is a choice of whether to continue to fight amongst ourselves while our country withers away, or to come together in the spirit of mutual compromise so that we can attack our troubles head on, together, as one country united.
The editors at The Pioneer call on all citizens – Republicans, Democrats and everyone in between – to personally end the cycle of partisanship by recognizing the other political party is not the enemy.
We must all recognize a strong democracy depends on a healthy marketplace of ideas, where each side fights for the issues they believe in while still respecting the other as the fellow Americans they are.
While the president is an important figure in our government, the U.S. Constitution gives the ultimate power to Congress, the representatives of the people. Embracing our differences and respecting opposing viewpoints could lead to a more cooperative Congress that would allow for pragmatic changes necessary for our country to move forward.
The divide in our nation is not temporary, and has increased to the point where the federal government comes to a standstill on important issues. This less active government is impart halted from making decisions because of our partisan divide.
Thus more educated and cooperative citizens are important for democracy to take place in a comprehensive way.
Furthermore, we must recognize that whomever occupies the office of the Presidency for the next four years will be charged with the monumental task of guiding us out of a recession, while simultaneously working to ensure that America remains vibrant and prosperous going forward.
Our democratically elected leader – be it Barack Obama or Mitt Romney – deserves an honest and respectful welcome into the White House.