I want to discuss the division in our nation. Whenever I turn on the news, all that they discuss is what their political party is doing better than the other one, and how the other party is wrong and evil. It does not matter what network you are watching, they all do it; the only difference is what party they choose to support.
The media, however, is not the only ones who do this. Politicians themselves are just as bad, if not worse than the media at causing division in our nation. They try to show “the other side” as completely wrong and claim that they have no good ideas. One example of this is how many Democrats across the nation strongly disagree with the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett simply because it was President Donald Trump who nominated her; however, if they were to look at her record they would see that she has actually been a really good judge.
To stay unbiased, another example is how many Republicans are against climate protecting measures only because it is the Democrats who are pushing for it.
This idea that it is OK to hate something simply because you do not like who is saying it is just silly and, frankly, wrong. I mean, just imagine if someone decided to hate a musical artist just because someone they did not like thought that the artist was very talented. The situation is laughable and honestly quite childish. As the famous President Abraham Lincoln once said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Now when President Lincoln said this, the arguments were between slave states and free states, but today states still argue amongst themselves, the only difference is now it is blue states versus red states.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that argument and debate between states and individuals is essential for our nation to survive, but this debate needs to be used to better the nation as a whole, not to better half of our nation and damage the other half.
For example, early in our country’s history when the Founding Fathers were drafting the United States Constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation, they were split into two main parties: the Federalists who wanted a strong national government, and the Anti-Federalists who wanted a decentralized government that gave power to the states. Although they disagreed, they were able to still work together, and to compromise in order to better our entire nation.
I want you to think back. When was the last time you saw a compromise in our national government? I am 17 years old and can not remember one in my lifetime, certainly not any major ones. In order for our nation to survive, we need to start working together, compromising and uniting as one to do what is best for the nation, and that means doing it on both sides of the aisle, Republicans and Democrats. Not just on a national level either, but in our own state here in Idaho, we also need compromise to figure out what is best for everyone in the state of Idaho, and in our counties and our towns we need the same thing to ensure that we are building our nation from the ground up, giving it a strong foundation to thrive on, and then doing everything in our power as citizens to ensure that it stays strong and does not divide.
But what can we do as local citizens to help preserve and strengthen our nation? Well, one thing that we could all do when voting on issues or candidates in our community and also on larger levels is to learn the facts about what is going on, and then make an educated decision based on what you think would be best for our community, state or nation, rather than simply looking at what party the candidate is for, or what party supports a certain bill, and then voting based on that.
I am certain that as we work to come together as a community, our state will become more unified, and our nation will as well. We will see less division among the people of the United States. At the end of the day, while some of us claim to be Republicans, and others claim to be Democrats, and others claim to be independent, we are all American. We are all American, and that is what should matter when we are voting: what will best help my fellow Americans, not what will best help my political party, but what will help my fellow countrymen who share the rights that our forefathers gave their lives to protect. They did not die just to protect the members of their political party, they died protecting all Americans, and when we vote it is essential that it is our goal to protect and benefit all Americans as well.
The only thing that can destroy our nation is ourselves, by increasing the divide in the country. When we unify as one people, the American people, nothing can stop our great nation.
Joshua Powell of Pocatello is a senior at Century High School who wants to go to law school and become a politician working to serve the community.