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Extremists hijacking political parties

by William T. Robinson, Jr
William T. Robinson, Jr.

There are two primary parties that Americans are literally forced to gravitate toward. Respectively, I am referring to the Democratic and Republican Parties. However, there are a growing number of American voters considering themselves as Independents. The two major political parties have differing philosophical views that seem to set them apart. That is to be expected. It gives the American public options so they can consider what they feel is the right direction for our country to take.

Republicans are basically seen as supporting conservative views that advocate for smaller government; tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations; unlimited financial support for defense; fewer subsidized federal programs for the poor; non-universal health care; stricter law enforcement support; and preservation of traditional family values. While many of these platforms may be seen as discretionary, it could be easily argued that some of the Republican platforms cater to the wealthy and affluent, minimizing or excluding the concerns of common working class people. 

Democrats are noted as supporting federal and state programs to help the poor and downtrodden, advocating for bigger government to oversee improprieties; universal healthcare; stricter regulations governing businesses and corporations; the enforcement of civil rights; and more programs to help empower the average, working American citizen. Many people see the views of Democrats as being more compassionate and humanitarian when compared to the philosophical views of Republicans.  The biggest flaw some opponents of the Democratic Party see is that the party seems to ‘enable’ citizens—keeping them from becoming self-supporting and independent. Opponents also feel Democrats are too liberal, going too far in trying to accommodate everyone’s whims and wishes, no matter the cost or consequences.

Traditional Republicans and Democrats are at odds within their own parties. They see extreme right and left factions literally hijacking their parties, attempting to lead them into unchartered waters. Older voters don’t generally agree or feel comfortable supporting extremist positions, right or left. But Republicans are no longer the party of family values and high morals after supporting the likes of a Donald Trump; Democrats seem accepting of anything, without restraints—giving everybody what they want regardless of the consequences. That isn’t always the answer and could have some dire results in the long run.

Both political parties have voters who are very uncomfortable with the direction of the left or right extremists in their parties. Extremists who are too far right or left leave a lot of older voters questioning the stability and credibility of their parties. Some extremists seem to be throwing caution to the wind in their efforts to spread their often incendiary views, which may deviate from their party’s traditional positions.  

Too many supporters of the two parties see little or no room for compromise or bipartisan support; therefore, in many cases, we all lose. Many lawmakers have led the public to believe there is no compromising to find common ground. The unwillingness of some politicians to even entertain legislation that would help average Americans in general has caused many Americans to identify as Independents. 

Regardless of the narratives presented by each of the major political parties, many Americans can identify with some of the philosophical views found in each of the two political parties. Most feel that each individual law or bill should be judged and voted on according to its own merits, devoid of party loyalty.

There is the argument that Republican and Democratic legislators  (while appearing indifferent) are playing on the same team,  especially concerning special perks and privileges they legislatively bestow upon each other. You don’t see them advocating for term limits or turning down special perks such as stock options, salary raises, and special health care not available to the American public.

Many people believe the major two political parties are putting on façades of being extremely opposed to each other to solicit votes from their designated bases. Thus, we have many Republicans believing they should support rich corporations, with Democrats basically believing they should rally for the poor or common working citizen, regardless. But there is a growing group of voters who can relate to concerns on both sides of the political spectrum; therefore, they feel boxed in.

You can blame extremists on both sides of the political spectrum for the erosion of trust and stability. Extremists from both parties have ignited narratives and spewed hyperboles. Very few people feel comfortable and are questioning their support for the Democratic and Republican Parties. Sometimes you can take something too far and everyone loses.

Both major political parties are losing support,  because many Americans are tired of being pigeonholed into party affiliations that are gravitating away from their comfort zones—manifesting behaviors they feel are disrespectful and unbecoming. Whether you accept it or not, many voters’ views vacillate across party lines.

Unswerving loyalty to one of the two major political parties is destined to become a thing of the past with many people putting more emphasis on an Independent Party. Right and left extremists are making people question their political affiliations.     

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