California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Political parties are plaguing elections

    It’s time to get rid of all political parties, have an open ballot and conduct nonpartisan debates.

    Political parties are dividing this nation and creating an ignorant society and that’s not OK.

    I once had a friend tell me that she wouldn’t watch the Republican debate simply because she wasn’t Republican.

    Basically, she wouldn’t watch the debate because of its title.

    But that’s like avoiding a Mac computer because you hate the fruit apple or saying you hate peanut butter because your friend says it’s gross.

    How can you know you prefer a PC if you’ve never used a Mac?

    How can you dislike peanut butter when you’ve never tried its creamy splendor?

    Sure, maybe you’ve used a Mac once and loathed its setup, or maybe you tried peanut butter when you were 15 and hated its taste.

    But things change, tastes change, people change.

    Just like with political parties, the candidates change, and every four years to be exact.

    Because of the political party stigma placed above a debate, my friend wouldn’t watch it. She’d never know where those potential presidents stood on certain issues.

    Just because you identify with a certain political party and tend to agree with that party’s views, doesn’t mean you’ll automatically disagree with the other.

    In order to truly know every four years whether or not you like a certain political candidate, you really must read into, watch debates from, and listen to each side.

    However, placing politicians into these narrow brackets is creating early assumptions and segregating certain candidates before they even speak a word.

    According to a poll by Pew Research, 30 percent of Democrats have not watched a Republican debate this 2016 election season, and over half of Republicans have not watched Democratic debates in that same timeframe.

    That means nearly half of the voting population only listens to what they want to hear and could completely ignore great candidates—all because of party titles.

    There’s these great people called moderates who constantly break down the walls we used to believe clearly drew the line between Republican and Democrat.

    Sadly this moderate ideology gets lost in the shuffle because the party titles they give themselves are creating this divide between their ideologies and those of the opposite party, even if they are extremely similar.

    In a CNN interview, Bob Scheiffer noted that “Gallup just had a poll out the other day that said there are fewer people who now call themselves Democrat than any time in history, they are at a low point. On the other side you have Republicans almost at the lowest point when people call themselves Republicans.”

    This just goes to show that less and less people find themselves fitting into this two-party mold our system is forcing them into, so why even have them?

    In addition, political parties are excluding a huge group of presidential candidates that could potentially be great for the U.S.

    “In ‘winner-take-all’ systems, third parties do not work because they just throw the election to one of the two major parties,” Political Science department chair Jose Marichal said.

    Members of the Green Party and the Libertarian party don’t stand a chance against the major Republican and Democrat candidates in the presidential election.

    No one watches a Libertarian debate on CNN. No one knows the name of the 2016 Green Party presidential frontrunner, Jill Stein.

    And that’s because no one hears about these parties—they’re not “the major” GOP and Democrat parties we’ve come to know.

    When it comes down to it, although the political parties have shaped America, they’ve also slowly torn it apart.

    Grouping candidates with similar ideals together may seem logical, but as time passes and less and less people actually fit into those brackets, the party system becomes ineffective.

    As Scheiffer said, “We might be seeing the end of political parties,” and that’s not a scary thing.

    It’s time for a change. It’s time for all candidates to be considered. It’s time to push aside our old ideas of what politics are and start anew.

    Rachael Balcom
    Staff Writer
    Published April 27th, 2016