Why Extremist Politics Will Never “Work” in the U.S.

Before I get started, it would be beneficial to define exactly what I mean by “work.” A working government is one where the different branches are able to work together as a cohesive unit, welcoming conversation from those with varying political views, and compromising in order to keep the government productive. It’s not one where everyone gets their way, or only one party is consistently represented. It’s one that gets the job done for the good of the majority, not just one special interest group, or one opinion.

As we quickly approach the 2020 Presidential election, it’s fair to say that the state of U.S. politics at the moment is extremely embarrassing on all sides. The best way to define it is with one word — polarizing. The campaign trail has been turned into a reality TV show, politicians have taken to Twitter to insult and mock their fellow politicians, and everyone has seemed to adopt the mindset of “my way or the highway.”

Two popular presidential candidates, the incumbent Donald Trump (R) and Bernie Sanders (D), are perfect examples of the polarization in politics. Their opinions couldn’t be more different, and neither of them seems to have plans to make any compromises if they took office. Although each of them may have good points, such as more accessible and affordable education or secure borders, extreme candidates will consistently spell trouble for the U.S. government.

As we can see in the current government, both dominant parties seem to be trying to advocate for the furthest right or furthest left agenda. Cue the chaos. Radical viewpoints tend to appeal to a fringe population, whereas the majority of a country’s population will find a greater benefit from a more moderate candidate that will adopt policies intended for the country as a whole, not just a specific section.

President Trump’s extremely conservative viewpoints have not only impacted the fringe population but the every day citizen due to the continuous conflict. The chaos at the border has citizens fearing for their safety, and the interests of human rights organizations at high alert. The media continues to contribute to this disaster with warped news accounts tailored to their left or right audience. Healthcare is another hot topic of debate with significant differences in opinions from politicians such as Sanders and Trump — one advocating for a fully government-subsidized healthcare system, the other advocating for complete removal of the U.S. government from healthcare funding.

The civil unrest that comes with electing extreme candidates is the most obvious and disturbing result. In 2019, with the media and internet forcing the population into sensory overload, it seems that the country has never been angrier. Reports and statements have surfaced from people such as former U.S. attorney Joseph DiGenova, stating that the country has regressed into a “civil war.” Although the current situation may not be as extreme as an all-out war, U.S. citizens’ satisfaction with the American government as a whole is at an extreme low, coming in at only 40% according to the results of the 2018 American Institutional Confidence Poll.

The only solution here seems to be a more moderate choice. Since the two-party system dominates our political structure, a moderate Republican or moderate Democrat would help cut through the divisiveness, opening the channels of communication from the people, all the way up to the President. Is it possible to elect a moderate from either party, given the current political climate? Or is the only hope the long-shot potential of a rising third party?

Part of the motivation for starting this blog was to give a voice to the young moderate who is passionate about creating a sane political environment where we can truly work together, value each other’s perspectives and build an amazing future for our nation. It’s not idealistic to want to have a working and effective government. We have to find common ground.

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