With the election spurring conversation and disagreements between my friends for at least the past month I’ve finally decided to put my own two cents in. This post is just going to be a basic layout of my own view; I’d love to hear what you guys think. So here goes nothing:
Why the presidential election doesn’t matter: Before you jump to conclusions, no. It’s not because there are ways in which Obama and Romney have similar views. I think the two have clearly established by this point their differences of opinion. It’s also not because I don’t think the POTUS is one of the most important people in the free world: he is. I just think that the gap between the power held by the president and you or me has become significantly smaller in recent years. I think this is mostly the case due to how partisan our system of government has become. Anything the president wants to get done has to go through the legislative branch, which is currently split almost right down the middle. This is a problem because it’s no longer conservative AND liberal, it’s conservative VS liberal. (To clarify: I’m not taking issue with our system, checks and balances are clearly necessary. I’m taking issue with the people running our system and their unwillingness to go across party lines.)
Why I’m still optimistic: First off, in terms of ballot initiatives some great things were passed and some horrible things were blocked. Washington, Maryland, and Maine passed/upheld motions to allow same-sex marriage AND an amendment put forward in Minnesota to define marriage as between a man and a woman was rejected. On top of that the first state-level DREAM act was passed in Maryland, an amendment in Florida to restrict funding for family planning/abortion was rejected, Colorado limited political campaign contributions, and Montana passed initiative 166 which states that corporations do not have constitutional rights. (And for those of you wondering: Marijuana was legalized in Colorado and Washington and medical marijuana allowed and upheld in Massachusetts and Montana respectively.)
I’m also excited about the results of the senate race. The victories of people like Tim Kaine and Elizabeth Warren give me hope for the future. I think Warren could turn out to be a great example of what members of the senate could be. She seems smart and stubborn. If this seems confusing after my call for more compromise, let me explain. I think government officials should stand by their own ideals. They should fight for what they think is right, not for what might be beneficial for the party or for their re-election. They shouldn’t be afraid to cross party lines because if there was no fear of bridging the gap between Democrat and Republican then we would no longer have such a clear two-party system and our country would no longer be so divided. We could begin to solve problems for everyone rather than cause problems for each other, and that’s when truly great things can happen.
What are your thoughts about the election results?