something that i find really frustrating is our current political climate; everything is dichotomous. you’re either republican or democrat, your senators vote one way or another if they are republican or democrat, candidates are republican or democrat, etc.
(yes, there are others, but they do not play large roles yet.)
the reason this is so frustrating is that you are almost forced to be one or the other, and then you assume every single belief of that party; it’s ridiculous. realistically, you are NOT going to 100% agree with every belief of one party – you’re likely a mixture of both. but, you end up compromising on your moderate opinions, or the opinions you share with the opposite political party.
doing this limits our freedom of thought, in my opinion. having to state “I am a Democrat” means that you automatically oppose Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court affirmation, you are pro-life, you think that marriage between any two people should be okay, you probably believe in universal healthcare and gun control legislation, etc. stating “I am a Republican” means exactly the opposite.
for example, this Supreme Court nomination has automatically meant that he would be inducted simply because there are more republicans than democrats in the senate. what? that’s STUPID!! why don’t we have senators that are more free-minded and willing to think beyond the constraints that their party has?? there are DEFINITELY more senators than personally feel the opposite of their party, but there is simply no room for them to speak out and publicize that opinion without being ostracized by their community.
it’s like the political version of peer pressure: since you’re a member of a fraternity or sorority, you’re automatically supposed to do whatever events they do without question, or like being on a sport where you’re expected to become best friends with everyone and spend most of your time with those people, sharing the same opinions and experiences. it shouldn’t be like that!
i personally wish that political parties were not a thing anymore; rather, we should really just be rating senators on a sliding scale where they possess more conservative or liberal views and not be ostracized for having an opinion.
why not say, “Hey, Senator A seems to rank about a 34% on the liberal scale, a 26% on the conservative scale, and a 40% on the moderate scale.” they’d be able to more freely express different opinions both as a regular person, but also as strong political figures.
how nice would it be to be able to say, “I also think this man should/should not be inducted into the Supreme Court,: regardless of your “party?”
i don’t know. it’s irritating and i don’t like the thought that people are mindlessly assuming their political party is correct or better on everything they do simply because they agree with them on other areas.
for example, if i say i am a democrat, but i recognize that we cannot 100% place responsibility on republicans for making the supreme court vote a simple majority, i should be able to say, “yeah, democrats actually made that a thing for lower courts during the Obama administration and republicans have chosen to make it valid for the highest court as well.” democrats should want to better their own knowledge of the situation and use this information in making their own opinion, as well as republicans. if i were a republican saying “yeah, republicans are great because we’ve implemented a simple majority for the supreme court which is long overdue and is something we’ve always wanted to do, and democrats demonstrated it works for lower courts,” i should be able to address the limitations of what my group has done vs others.
ideally, i still want my sliding scale so i don’t have the option to say democrats or republicans; i can just say the persons i am speaking about. it would be easier to make your own unique viewpoints without fear of being singled out by others, because others would have their own opinions, matching or not.
lastly, i think that this would be better for us who vote as well. how many times have friends, family, or yourself voted for the “republican” or “democrat” but now known a single thing about them or their policies? how stupid is that? it’s basically a popularity contest at that point. “well, since he’s a football player obviously i’m voting him for homecoming king.” vote based on knowledge! vote for candidates who most closely represent your views, regardless of if it means crossing the invisible barrier that separates your party from another. it shouldn’t feel dirty to be a democrat who agrees with a republican or vice versa; it should instead be a sign that you agree with an individual.
TLDR; sliding scale politics would make it easier to vote with your conscience instead of voting where your party votes; you wouldn’t be pressured to vote a specific way because of how you identify, and you would make better informed decisions by researching candidates.
an aside: please register to vote to make your voice heard, no matter what you believe. if we disagree, that’s fine; you still have the right to voice your opinion provided it doesn’t hurt others or infringe on their humanistic rights*
*note: i refer to the humanistic rights from John Locke’s writings – life, liberty, property, aka i am not referring to the rights the US Constitution gives citizens, but rather the rights that every person should have no matter where they are.