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The Great Divide

“There is not a liberal America and a conservative America, there is the United States of America,” said former President Barack Obama during his speech in the 2004 Democratic National Convention. However, when looking in as an international student, all I see is the political divide.

The America I came to know as a freshman was the America of labels. Everyone had an opinion about everything and stood by that belief as their sole identity. 

There is nothing wrong with standing up for what you believe in. However, arguing and stepping on one another to make the other party look awful is wrong.

According to Pew Research, “each party’s share of negative views about the other has increased since 1994, and the gap has continued to widen. 92% of Republicans are to the right of the median Democrat, and 94% of Democrats are to the left of the median Republican.” There is a vast and growing gap between the Republicans and the Democrats. This is called political polarization

The purpose of the government is to serve and provide solutions that can and will lessen the blow on the people. The purpose of an election is to vote the best individual for the job into power. Like America, there are countries with their political flaws and way of life, but nothing as emotional.

From an outsider looking in on American politics, it seems like political issues are more about emotions and how best the opposing party can prove their strength and less about how to move forward as a nation. 

It seems politics no longer concerns itself with trying to work together. It has become, “these are my people,” “us against them and we should fight for what is ours.”

The country belongs to Americans, but who believes that when both the left and the right say that the opposing party is a danger to the democratic-republic? America is referred to as a melting pot where anyone of any background can achieve the American dream. But as one looking in, it seems the American dream is melting away.

The presidential election is on Nov  3, and each political party is trying to win the most powerful position in the country. It is not enough to be the President of the free world—actions need to be taken, and it is what happens after that will make or break the already shaking bridge.