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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, December 03, 2023

Voters are partially to blame for polarized political system

The people will always get the government they deserve. I’m aware of two ways to rebel against our government, the first being an armed rebellion (not a good idea), and the other being our ability to elect who we wish. So when I see people upset with the way their government is functioning, or in this case, not functioning, it asks the question; can we be upset with our government when we are the ones electing them? It’s awful, of course, to think we have caused polarity to get the best of us. Unfortunately, I wasn’t alive when your candidate choice didn’t define you and who to choose was an intelligent, informed decision. As our polarity increases, the candidates are becoming more and more incapable of covering the needs of their constituents. Whoever has the best rhetoric has become easier to elect than someone who approaches situations without bias and can make an informed decision instead of a predetermined one. I believe primaries have played a massive role in this loss of true democracy.

As time goes on, more and more states are looking to move their primary date earlier to emphasize their state’s role in the process. However, what the American people see is what Mitt Romney called a “scrum” in his latest documentary on Netflix. Thus, the further primary dates are pushed back, the more in-house fighting we are going to see. It’s been a while since we have seen a nice Democratic “scrum,” but that is right around the corner. Watching these primaries is like watching a freight train crash in slow motion and the last man or woman standing gets the nod. People make decisions based on primaries and debates where one comment could mean the end of a campaign.

What’s wrong with this, besides the fact that they are constantly beating each other senseless? Voter confidence will continue to drop as we see our elected officials getting torn apart for more time. It’s like letting a six-pack sit in the sun all day and having to chose one. It’s sad that this is what we have been reduced to. A potential cap on the date for primaries could fix this problem to allow more debate in the general election for a candidate. What’s the point in electing people if in-house fighting will be their downfall? The “system” we have crafted is hurting us more than we can imagine, and I believe that will be completely evident in 2016 presidential debates on both sides of the aisle.

It’s not entirely the voters fault, as candidates are subject to the party agenda and contributors much of the time. These people didn’t come out of nowhere, however, we elected them. So when I see congress at a 13 percent approval rate, I think our voters deserve to shoulder more of the blame than is given. We are allowed to revolt against our government through these voting mechanisms for a reason, but to elect someone on the basis of saying “no” to everything; you’ve elected a jackass. The same is true for someone who will say “yes” to everything. Let’s go back to the times where “maybe” was an option, and you could enter a voting booth without your predetermined, minced candidate of choice. As things continue to get more black and white, the want for a grey area is crucial. As comedian Lewis Black said, “In my lifetime, we’ve gone from Eisenhower to George W. Bush. We’ve gone from John F. Kennedy to Al Gore. If this is evolution, I believe that in twelve years, we’ll be voting for plants.”

Do you agree with Jeff that voters need to place more responsibiity on themselves and the officials they elect? Please send all feedback to

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