The Cutter’s Guide to Fixing America: Party Lines

In case you haven’t been paying attention to the news, the federal government (or at least the “non-essential” parts of it) has been shut down.

What’s the cause of this shutdown?  The simple technical answer is that Congress hasn’t approved a spending bill, so the government isn’t allowed to operate.  The more important question is: Why did this happen?  You’ll likely get a different answer depending on who you ask, but the underlying cause is that America’s two major political parties have been unable to cooperate.  It’s gotten so bad that some Congressmen have basically admitted that they aren’t really interested in working together for the betterment of the country; They only care about getting their way.

Obviously, they weren’t paying attention when I wrote the first part of my Guide to Fixing America.  So just in case any of them happen to stumble upon this site, I’ve decided to re-visit my plan to make our country better.  I bring to you another edition of The Cutter’s Guide to Fixing America!

The Cutter’s Guide to Fixing America: Party Lines

Feel free to stand up and salute! (Image source: Flickr)

Feel free to stand up and salute! (Image source: Flickr)

Unlike that song that the kids enjoy so much, the line between Republicans and Democrats does not seem to be blurred at all.  In fact, the line seems to be sharper and more defined than ever before.

If you’ve been to this site before, it isn’t a secret that I am a registered Democrat and am fairly liberal in my beliefs.  But I make an effort to keep an open mind and at least try to understand where the other side is coming from.  Sadly, that seems to be a relatively unique approach in politics.

In the past, I’ve advocated not relying on politicians to solve all our problems for us.  Unfortunately, the problem isn’t just limited to politicians.  Most of the population appears to be as divided as our elected leaders.  Since there’s no better way to gauge the mindset of America, I took a quick look around the internet.  Based on what I’ve seen, this is how Democrats and Republicans view each other.

Democratic opinion: Republicans are misogynistic WASPs who care only about helping the rich get richer.

Republican opinion: Democrats are bleeding-heart liberals who want to bankrupt this country by turning it into a socialist welfare state.

I think a large part of this problem is due to confirmation bias.  People have an unfortunate tendency to only focus on news and opinions that agree with their own personal beliefs…as well as finding information that proves the other side is wrong.

Image source: Flickr

Image source: Flickr

If you’re a Republican, don’t you feel more secure in your beliefs every time you read a story about “welfare queens” who use food stamps while wearing Gucci shoes and talking on an iPhone?  And don’t you raise your nose a little when you read a financial analyst denounce Obamacare?

And Democrats, don’t you get a sense of righteous indignation every time you come across a story about some big bank CEO getting a golden parachute?  Or perhaps you’ve haughtily shared a clip of a republican politician making less than progressive comments.

When we read these stories, we become convinced that we are in the right and our opposition is in the wrong.  And if that’s the case, then why bother to work with them or even respect their opinions?

I think that as a nation we can do – and should do – better than that.  Why are we concentrating so much on the other side’s negatives?  Why not try to find some common ground instead?

Let’s start with a few things that just about everyone in America can agree with:

  • Bryan Cranston is an excellent actor.
  • Recent seasons of The Simpsons haven’t been as good as the early seasons.
  • Peyton Manning is good at quarterbacking.
Who doesn't like this guy? (Image source: Wikipedia)

Who doesn’t like this guy? (Image source: Wikipedia)

Since I’m sure that most of you are nodding in approval, that means that we have indeed found common ground.  Now we can move forward and try to further work through our differences.

If you’re a Republican, why not take a break from reading articles that declare Obamacare to be evil?  If you’re a Democrat, you might want to diversify your reading and not just stick to sources that harp on how pro-business legislation is destroying the middle-class. And if you’re Senator Ted Cruz, then I ask that you simply stop doing anything, because you’re only making things worse.

If we take some time to see things from the other party’s perspective, we might actually start to understand each other better and be able to work together towards a common goal.  Who knows?  If we can change, maybe our political leaders will begin to follow suit. And if they don’t?  Then perhaps it is time to vote in some new leaders who will.

If you enjoyed this, please feel free to check out previous posts from The Cutter’s Guide to Fixing America:

 

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About The Cutter

I am the Cutter. I write some stuff. You might like it, you might not. Please decide for yourself.
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86 Responses to The Cutter’s Guide to Fixing America: Party Lines

  1. djmatticus says:

    Well said.
    I don’t see anyway back from the brink though. I know that congress will eventually come up with a compromise of sorts and the shutdown will be over… but, next year the division between the parties will be worse and the shutdown will last longer, and the following year things will have deteriorated further.
    That’s good insight on the confirmation bias. We do tend to read and watch those stories that fall in line with what we believe and like. But, even when we reach out to see what the other half is saying (dig through the party line mud slinging to get to the core argument) when we don’t like or don’t understand the motives and the end game it works as a confirmation bias all the same. It really comes down to this, right? Democrats – everyone should have a certain standard, a certain quality of life, and those who make more have more of an obligation to get us to that point. Republicans – life isn’t fair, and isn’t supposed to be, struggle is important, and we’ve struggled to get what we have, why should we hand over more than anyone else.
    So… When a republican reads an argument about how society would be better if we could provide better housing and better education for certain subset of people, all they can see is how much more money out of their pocket that is going to be. When democrats read arguments about high earners having to pay 50, 60, 75% of their income in taxes, they think that’s exactly as it should be.
    I think the real problem is the two party system stranglehold on our government. We need more options. We need scrap the system entirely and let people run without be backed as one or the other, voice their own opinions and strategies, stand for themselves and for what they want to do to help this country become greater…

    • The Cutter says:

      Yes, that’s clearly part of the problem. You can see there’s something wrong when John Boehner seemingly does things he doesn’t want to simply due to his party affiliation.

  2. I try to see the Republican point of view . . . annnnnd fail. Every time. Sorry.

    • The Cutter says:

      But surely there’s got to be something about general Republican principles that you can agree with?

    • Ummm . . . thinking. Mostly all you hear from are the completely, totally unreasonable Republicans so it’s hard to say what principles they are for anymore. All I hear is pay the rich more and restrict access to healthcare and everything else if you’re a minority, a woman, poor, etc – you don’t matter.

    • The Cutter says:

      But is that all you hear about because you’re only paying attention to liberal news sources?

    • Not really – Fox News is on every place I go.

    • But it’s one thing to watch Fox News and scoff, versus trying to put yourself in the shoes of someone who would actually believe what that channel says.

      I find myself in an interesting position politically because my family’s political beliefs are radically different from my own. As frustrating as the other point of view may be, I can always prevent myself from believing that people who disagree with me are villainous cartoon characters because my family are among them.

      That being said, I know a lot of extremely intelligent people who have warped world views based on the above-stated confirmation bias. They believe what they choose to, rather than what’s actually in front of them. Too bad there are media outlets that make their money catering to people’s prejudices.

    • I am a liberal living in the conservative Bible Belt of Texas. If I didn’t have conservative friends, I’d have no friends at all. My parents share my beliefs (mostly) but my brother doesn’t. Also, my husband votes Republican. Is that enough exposure for ya?

    • The Cutter says:

      That might be a case of overexposure.

    • Haha I know the feeling!

  3. Congrats, dude. This is the very first politically themed post I have ever “Liked” on WordPress. I can’t stand either party, either point of view, and have no idea why people seem to believe there are only two ways to think, and you are either with us or against us. Well said, but I don’t hold out hope that big party politics is going to change any time soon….

  4. From a Canadian perspective, I believe part of the problem is that only two parties exist in the USA. There seems to be a perception that the two parties are on opposite extremes when in reality, the very fact that other countries have parties that openly identify as “socialist” show that the Democrats are not particularly radical. Though Canadian politics is slowly becoming more dominated by similarly divided lines, places like Sweden seem to be more cooperative since they have more parties representing them and proportional representation.
    Also, some issues really are not a matter of point of view. Believing global warming doesn’t exist won’t stop the polar ice caps from melting and private health care in the US doesn’t even make sense economically since it actually costs far more to maintain than universal health care in other countries.

    • The Cutter says:

      So how do you actually like your health care up north? Is it as much of a political issue as it is in the US?

    • It has a lot of problems with wait times, underfunding, and so on, but even if approaches to deal with the issues are debated, universal health care itself is accepted by all parties.

    • jumeirajames says:

      Every democracy needs a 3rd party the voters can lodge a protest vote with.
      And, from a British perspective America has only one party with 2 sides, there is no radical debate possible and no party for radicals or disaffected people to vote for,

    • Both sides claim to have countries with universal healthcare on their side of the argument. You can find dozens of outlets claiming that Canadian healthcare is a travesty and dozens of outlets claiming that it is the salvation that our country needs. It’s ridiculous how little we actually know about whether Canada/UK/other countries with widespread access to healthcare actually appreciate their setup.

  5. awax1217 says:

    It was like reading my own blog. The reason they do not talk is they speak different languages. The Democrats speak liberal and the Rep. speak conservative. You can not be partially pregnant. You either are nor not. You can not believe in programs to help the uninsured if you feel they should not get sick. Poor people have no right to be sick. How dare they? Hospitals should not charge to fix patients. They should miraculously heal themselves. Okay, it is not realistic but neither is Ted Cruz who is beyond stubborn and like a little boy will hold his breath into he blacks out.

  6. Fantastic article. Probably one of the best things that could be written on this subject as you do not try to take any one side down. You just point out that doing so doesn’t get us anywhere. Pretty much anyone can agree on that.

    Personally I don’t hold a party stance but just vote on what seems sensible to me. I don’t really think there are, amongst most people anyways, clear cut “I am this or I am that” 100% all the time. I think there’s a lot of people who just don’t know what to do or where to start and give up before they even get started.

    I think any real solution to any problem in the US is not going to come from Big Government, but from individual people tackling individual things in their own areas close to home. As who better is there to judge what the problem is and how to handle it than someone right there who actually cares.

    That’s my two sense, take it or leave it. Either way great article, thanks again.

    • The Cutter says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I’m glad you agree that we can all do our part by using our brains and trying to make our own little part of the world a better place.

  7. cnleher says:

    Good post, I personally feel the key issue here is the relationship between the media and the american populace. The goal of the media is ratings, and when ratings are the main priority, you have organizations (on both sides of the spectrum) that engage in sensationalism, and biased journalism. Media organizations engage in more traditional business practices, such as finding a target audience, and delivering edited news specifically for that audience. News should be neutral, and unbiased. While it is impossible to remove all bias, their job should be to deliver the most unbiased news possible. We as the general populace should be educated enough, (and more politically active), to demand better from not only the politicians but the media as well. However, part of the problem is until you have the media delivering more educational, and less sensational, news we aren’t going to have an opportunity to educate the future generations.

    Uneducated voters, make uneducated decisions.

    • The Cutter says:

      Yes, I’d say the media is definitely part of the problem. Americans rely on the news to inform them, but for the most part, we’re only being told what they think will draw ratings.

  8. bernasvibe says:

    @It’s gotten so bad that some Congressmen have basically admitted that they aren’t really interested in working together for the betterment of the country; They only care about getting their way….>>This very true statement is , or should be enough, to make folks think twice about which party holds their interests at heart..When a person whose JOB (with a hefty salary and lifetime benefits..) is to work for the betterment of our country..Yet! they say, in public and out LOUD, they’re NOT going to do their JOB? Not only is that bold; but anywhere else(in my organization and I’m sure countless others across the nation) would be cause for being FIRED..To add injury to insult the actions of those same congressman; matches their words. This is beyond shameful & 3 -ring-circus type of antics..The entire world is watching as our country has leaders ; who are dead set on dividing what was once one of the top countries in the world. Not only have we fallen from that high perch; we’re free-falling…But won’t quite free -fall enough for another recession..Mark my words. There is far too much money to be lost(and not that their concerned with the worker bees of America losing money right now..) The damage has been done though & it will take years for some of us to have the faith in our system that we once had…Sadly, race STILL does matter in America. I’d bet my last buck that if Bush had pushed Obamacare? We wouldn’t be in the midst of a ridiculous shut-down..Exclamation point. Period.

    • The Cutter says:

      I can’t necessarily say that its due to race, but I’m pretty sure that if Bush had proposed Obamacare – even if it had been more socialist than it actually is – most Republicans would have been okay with it.

    • bernasvibe says:

      I’ll leave it at that then..We can agree to disagree on the rest regarding the major race issue in our country. There is a bit of good news in all of the current insanity in D.C. Shut down or not..Republican resistance at this point or not..Obamacare IS the law..Vast majority of Americans will benefit from it..Even those of us who already have excellent health insurance..Next big hurdle , far as I can see? The 2016 Presidential Election..IF Democrats don’t man or woman up; this shut down will be the least of our issues. Enjoyed reading your piece and thoughts..Awesome to see some of us are still trying to figure out a way to fix this mess we’re in.

    • The Cutter says:

      After further thought, I suppose race does have more to do with it. While I don’t necessarily think Tea Party politicians are racist, I do think that they often gain support by preying on racist feelings in the country.

    • bernasvibe says:

      I can honestly and sincerely say there haven’t been many times at all in my life; that I’ve claimed the race issue was behind something..Not on a personal nature; but I’ve been blessed..Plus I’m not a Black male; and Black males catch it far harder than Black women in that regard in our country..Sad a fact that that is..But in this case? Regarding Tea Party folks & what they clearly represent…Even IF it was just a lame way to gain support; its deplorable. It has caused division lines that I thought had been erased by many , many years of overcoming the ugliness that is in our country’s history..Poof! Just like that all those years of progressiveness erased..Some of the things I’ve heard said or even actions(I kept a clipping from an incident President Obama was spit at. And not on the street; right there amongst so called peers in D.C.) It is no small accusation to say someone is a racist at heart..And if they aren’t? They’re in the wrong profession and should be in Hollywood instead of mucking things up in D.C.

      In my heart of hearts though I think Dems could’ve/should’ve done a better job of keeping things on an even playing field. It is beginning to look, at times, like one big ball of the same wax at times..Murky waters indeed. And I’m also a registered and very active lifelong Dem. I’m for progression for all . I’m for alot of things that Democrats represent; moreso than any other party at this present time. I don’t hate the representatives in other parties..Just don’t have a lick of respect for them nor what they represent . In a perfect world? There would be people in D.C. who mirrored those of us who are the worker bees of our country. Rich men can’t relate to ANY of us..Never could and never will be able to. And its only getting worse as it takes more and more money to campaign..Many of us who would like to make a run for D.C; can’t even think about affording the road to get there. Enjoy the dialogue and glad you were FP’ed

    • List of X says:

      Berna and The Cutter, don’t bet on that. Obamacare (at least the most vilified part of it – individual mandate) WAS a Republican idea, and was supported by many prominent Republicans, including Bush the Elder, Newt Gingrich, Bob Dole, and, of course, Mitt Romney. It only became evil after Democrats agreed to do go with individual mandate instead of universal health care.
      http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/08/republicans-supported-obamacare-gingrich-dole-individual-mandate

    • bernasvibe says:

      Waving @List of X! Always appreciate your expert opinion and thankful I can depend on it..Especially when I think I know what I’m talking about, lol..I can admit when I’m wrong..Wish I could say the same for “repugnants”! Pfft..you’ve just given me confirmation that this truly IS a race issue..Truth remains there are too many working class poor who can NOT afford health care..And if it was a good idea when they backed it back-in-the-day; its a good (and needed) idea now..I’m sorry but this whole messy mess still seems surreal to me..Take our country to the brink of financial disaster over something that is already law? As IF we can afford that..Folks in other countries would be on the streets UP in arms..But Americans instead are taking it while holding the :”lube” in their hands..This is OUR country for heaven’s sake! Birthplace of ancestors so far back and sweat and BLOOD shed for our freedoms and we sit and sit and wait for this insanity to end…VOTING time is rolling around and so are a ton of petitions ready for change..and a ton of grassroot efforts that need financial backing and a ton of folks who could use donations..IF nothing else Americans give money to support one another when in need..I can’t pass a person in need without giving them my last dime in my pocket at the time..IF we don’t take care of those in need we all become the non-caring-type-of-folks making this shut down come about..I refuse. I don’t believe that is what being an American is about. Nor will it ever be; regardless of what the leaders at the top are doing now. Not ever

    • The Cutter says:

      That’s the most annoying thing about the shutdown. If this was called “Romneycare” I don’t think we’d be in this mess.

  9. immanuel22 says:

    Cutter race does play a huge part in this. The Affordable Care Act practically mirrors a plan pushed by then GOP Massachusetts Gov. Romney. The Heritage Foundation endorsed a similar plan because it makes people responsible for buying healthcare instead of simply going to the emergency room when they get sick. The imagery of the Tea Party is incredibly racist (Confederate Flag, portraying Obama as a monkey etc., Obama is not legitimate) What we are seeing now is one of the last gasps of white supremacy hopefully. ACA passed the House and Senate, was signed into law by Obama and survived a Supreme Court challenge. If Republicans don’t like it have hearings, investigate and change parts that don’t work instead of destroying the polity of our great nation to get their way. That is how Democracy should work.

  10. Don Williams says:

    Thank you CUTTER for making it all too clear. We have moved away from simple “down to earth”
    social interactions with each other; and it all comes down to law and politics. It divides us… we’re always looking to divide and conquer, instead of join and flourish. The powers of the world want us divided locked in our homes, scared to come out because crime is rampant. Govt. is too big and powerful. I want to be the Catalyst of breaking away from unfortunate decay and turn it around before it’s too late…how can I get more involved without spinning my wheels. Talking to my Senators and Reps. don’t help. I want to make an IMPACT in a shorter amount of time.

    Thanks again.

  11. jumeirajames says:

    ‘ The simple technical answer is that Congress hasn’t approved a spending bill’ – No, the simple answer is that America is up over its head in debt. A five-year old could fix that.

    • The Cutter says:

      Unfortunately, I don’t think it is that simple. Theoretically, both parties want the country out of debt. But they have much different ideas of how to get there.

    • jumeirajames says:

      The %age if debt to GDP has dropped 3% points since the Democrats got in. From around 10 to 7.
      That’s a trend to support and keep going.

      On another point, it is that simple – Britain went through 20 years of austerity after the war to get the debt down.

      And another point – the Democrats were democratically elected and have the right to govern, more Americans need to get behind their government.

  12. micalg says:

    I won’t pretend to understand American politics. But your comment rang a bell with me, and the politics of the UK. Much the same thing regarding opinion driving politics here in my country, and probably most of Europe. Hence the number of coalitions. We, the people should be driving politics, but not in a bigoted way. When will all politicians learn that slagging each other off is not what the average person wants to hear.

  13. 1stpeaksteve says:

    I am a registered Republican. I like many aspects of the party as well. However, a long time ago I realized that my party is like a zombie movie. It may look like your loved one on the outside but start shooting! It is not your loved on on the inside! This is because the party has been high jacked by people who do not believe in the ideals of the party or even the constitution. These people are social conservatives who want to mix church with state and reverse us back to the 1940’s.

    Our country seems to be obsessed with business and the good leaders. We attend seminars to be a better boss. We buy fortune magazines. Yet, we turn around and elect the most backwards people to represent us. We should be looking for people who can streamline our system and make it run faster and easier.

    I hope when the voting precincts open, that people think a lot more harder about whom they are voting for and stop voting just because some rich guy has an “R” or a “D” behind his name.

  14. zachlogan19 says:

    Hi The Cutter, just found your blog… Let me shed some light on what is “happening” in DC
    The Affordable heath care law/tax is illeagle. Due to the imacipation Proclimation. It not only catagorieses the quality of healthcare you receive based on your health already. It also dictates dependant on your social status, race, age, wealth, and therfore should be appealed.Because it is “technically” racist .The Government shutdown is the perfect to clense the illeagle forces in our government, if this opportunity is not capitolized, we only have our selves to blame for higher and downright demonic tax rates, to pay a debt we never agreed to. The debt belongs to washington DC not the United States of America.

    That’s just the latest thing a lot of people disagree on.

    The “shut-down” is the long result of the corruption that has long existed in DC of America,
    If they default yes it would be catashrophic for a time, but like all things. they eventually end, and perhaps rebuild into a stronger better America.

  15. zachlogan19 says:

    Now be it, I do hold some Republican beliefs, I also hold some Democratic beliefs, but what I believe can be summed up in one single sentence. “WE CAN DO BETTER, I AM NOT SATISFIED”.

  16. Reblogged this on katiemehnert and commented:
    Great sense of humor.

  17. I wish I could be party blind (okay I’m making up my own terminology here), and I admire your ideals, but isn’t it also true that we should give credit where credit is due? The government has been shutdown by REPUBLICANS who are trying to repeal a law that has been passed by both houses of Congress, signed by the President, and upheld by the Supreme Court. I agree that we should view political issues through a more moderate lens, but this issue seems pretty cut and dry.

  18. I disagree with this idea of “both parties do it.” Democrats did work with the Republicans on the last budget crisis where Republicans held the country hostage to get their own agenda pushed through. Did it stop the same thing from happening again? No. It only got worse. And now they’re trying to undermine an actual, implemented, democratically passed piece of law that they couldn’t manage to block when they had their chance. It’s a hissy fit, plain and simple, and giving in again is only going to make it worse the next time we need to get a budget passed.

    With that said, there is a huge difference between our politicians “working together” on this particular issue and the everyday citizen believing that anyone who identifies as a particular party conforms to a particular stereotype. Of course we should try to see from the other side’s point of view and acknowledge that the average Republican cares about the same things we do, just in different ways. I just don’t think that’s the problem between our politicians that’s causing the government shutdown.

    • The Cutter says:

      Obviously what I provided was a simplification. But if we as a people can’t see past party lines to understand each other, then why should we expect our leaders to act any differently?

    • We can definitely expect our leaders to act the same. But in this case, only one party is being irrational, so if we’re going to request rationality, it should be directed specifically at them rather than implying that both parties are equally to blame.

  19. rarasaur says:

    Woot! 😀 FP’d. Congrats!!

  20. kkalning says:

    I would love to read a smart, Republican-leaning news source. I’m not being sarcastic. I often feel like the Democrat you describe: Surrounded by my New York Times and my New Yorkers (largely unread, sadly. Seriously, I’ve barely touched one and another’s in my mailbox). But what are my choices on the conservative side? The Weekly Standard?

  21. Here’s an easy way to fix it: do what Queen Elizabeth did when Australia went through their shut down and fire everyone. When people do not do their jobs, they get fired.

  22. kkalning says:

    Reblogged this on the swift kick and commented:
    I love this. I’m guilty of reading news sources that lean liberal — but every time I try to read The National Review I get a headache.

  23. Adam S says:

    Congrats, Cutter. I’m not a politician for a reason!

  24. Pingback: Obligatory Freshly Pressed Post | The Cutter Rambles

  25. waltsamp says:

    For myself, I have no idea who Bryan Cranston is, I have probably not watched more than two or three episodes of The Simpsons and that was when it first aired, however, I do agree that Peyton Manning is a great quarterback. The reason I know that is that ESPN is our default TV channel. I do not watch the broadcast channels except for sports. I do not watch television news because I very much dislike being lied to by politicians and talking heads. My favorite show is the BBC version of Top Gear. It shows middle-age men talking like teenagers and using the same level of common sense. It is the only commentary on Western civilization I need to understand where our culture is going.

  26. I worked in politics for a few years after my undergraduate, and was sought out to run for a local office as well. I considered it for a second and a half. Then I realized how horrible and ugly politics is. Neither party even wants to consider the side of the other. If they did, they figure they may as well be a member of that party (rather than the truth, which is that they would be understanding that we all have different views). I find (for myself, now) that the best policy is to run on the fence. That’s really the most logical way to vote anyway – party lines are not lines of thinking or resolving to what is best, they are just being stubborn under all circumstances.

    I’m so excited you got Freshly Pressed!! Mostly because everything that does sucks and this does not. That being said, if you say anything else bad about my Simpsons, I will cut you. (No pun intended… actually, pun intended…)

    • The Cutter says:

      The Simpsons is probably my all time favorite show, but sometimes I feel like I’m watching a good friend who has gotten hooked on drugs. You know the person you love is in there somewhere, but it hard to even recognize them anymore.

    • To be fair, I haven’t gotten past season 13. I always watched it growing up, but stopped at a certain point. Now I just watch what we have and don’t see the new episodes because I want to go in order. Perhaps I will see the decline as we acquire more seasons? Sad to think that…

    • The Cutter says:

      You’d be best served to just stop now and think well of the show.

  27. Balvah says:

    I will follow this blog because what you say is very true. I am quite polarized and feel like I am spiraling into an abyss. It is because I read and watch only one side. I feel strongly because the America I live in is not the one I grew up in and that disappoints me. Perhaps another outlook is what I need. Thanks for a thoughtful post..

  28. Pingback: The Cutter’s Guide to Fixing America: Party Lines | Awesome

  29. MTJames says:

    The issue isn’t that the two parties disagree, but that partisans don’t know what they are disagreeing with. Each side entertains only a caricature view of the other, perpetuated by interests that profit from the discord. Between that, and a popular culture-saturated electorate, what chance do we have for understanding?

  30. Cutter, found you at Freshly Pressed, and congrats on that.

    Great post… for me, the matter is media. Conservative media (Fox, Rush, et. al) cast the Left as homolovin’, money-splurging Commies; the Progressive media fire back with “John Boner” and attacks with similarly distasteful names.

    Somewhere in the middle lies the truth. Unfortunately, you and I are two of the few who listen to both sides of the argument. So many others tend to listen to only what they want to hear, then quote it as the gospel truth. Thanks for food for thought.

    Sincerely from the Christian Left who are still listening, Amy of Madison, WI (poet)

  31. weble56 says:

    I really enjoyed your blog. I agree whole heartedly. And I am pretty conservative. WE at least are speaking the same language. I have been hounded by “Republicans” and Tea Party members for years and you are right about the perspective issue. My family takes brow beating to a whole new level! My beliefs a very simple: Education not legislation. And if you aren’t going to educate your children please don’t expect the rest of us to fix the problem. I know, in some cases it is already way beyond my simple solution. But that is why we all need to step back, move out of the mainstream (media, politics, religion, etc.) and look at what is really going on. Look, I can’t stand some of the politicians in office right now. It isn’t because of party affiliation, race, gender or age. It’s because they are acting like spoiled children and putting their own interests above those of the people they are supposed to represent. I think we can all agree on that.

  32. atoole says:

    I have long thought about your perspective and it is one of the reasons I started to blog. I wanted to see a “common ground” perspective myself and since I relate closely with numbers that is what I analyze. I hope that one day more people look past their ‘Party” preference and begin to see that finding a tempo that creates solutions not make them is how America will begin to right itself over time. Great read.

  33. theformerangiefox says:

    Politics goes to shit as soon as soon as people start clinging to a single party, particularly when there are only two major parties:

    http://theformerangiefox.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/the-diversity-of-true-democracy-2/

  34. publius1826 says:

    I agree with your premise. We must understand the opposition in order to find the compromise…. I do not believe in political parties. We are Americans, plain and simple. We all have individual ideas which will never be the same as others because we are human, but it is our responsibility as a free people to find the compromise, and stop dwelling on the differences.

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