“So . . . are you a Democrat or a Republican?” A seemingly innocent question, but upon further investigation, it can reveal dastardly motives and have severe repercussions. Depending on the asker, you could be faced with a disgusted look and a barrage of insults, or a newfound ally and a reaffirmation of your own beliefs.
In recent years especially, identifying as a “Conservative Republican” or a “Liberal Democrat” can have unwanted repercussions. Not every conservative is a radical racist, and not every liberal is an environmentalist enforcer. There are good and bad sides to both parties, but with the increasing lack of communication between the two, they are becoming harder and harder to find. Additionally, Trump’s Presidency, with its harsh anti-immigrant sentiment, has emboldened racists and white supremacists.*
There has been another time in the history of this country when the Democrats and Republicans were as polarized as they are now. It led to the Civil War. Racist white people and “less” racist white people clashed over whether or not a black person was, in fact, a person, and it was an extremely difficult concept for some individuals to grasp. For 4 years, Democrats were willing to fight to keep their slaves.
Now, at this point, you might be thinking, “Woah, woah, woah. What do you mean the Democrats?” It’s true. After the party switch, however, Democrats became modern-day Republicans, and Republicans transitioned into modern-day Democrats. A fact the GOP sometimes brings up is that “Democrats” can’t possibly be for civil rights since they were the party fighting to keep slaves. But actually, the GOP was once that party, so it is an irrelevant argument.
The differences between the Republican and Democratic parties have been radical in the past; this is not a new occurrence. In order to prevent another conflict breaking out, it’s important to acknowledge our differences, and then fight to enact what is true, honorable, and just. Rather than voting based on partisan membership, we as a community need to look at policies, plans, and predictions, in order to work for the betterment of our future and the safety and comfort of all humanity.
* If you’re interested in learning more about the rally that took place last year click on this link: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/08/neo-nazi-cowards-white-nationalists-charlottesville-rally
Photo Credit: https: //ramblertimes.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/international-political-cartoon-democrats-vs-republicans/