Political parties detract from true meaning of being American

Hannah McDermet


They say there is always two sides to a story. Well, in the United States, there seems to be only two sides to every issue. I’m talking about the constant bickering and childish fighting between the two major political parties. It seems like you cannot turn on a television or read a newspaper without running into another stupid quarrel between the two groups.

The Democrats and Republicans representing us in Washington do not listen to the will of the people they represent, but instead seem to follow strict party lines and vote accordingly. They put hidden measures in bills to stop them from being passed, and they make it nearly impossible for anything to get done.

Politicians vote for whatever will give their party more power over the other. This love of power is funded by money given to politicians by groups, corporations and the rich who only make up 10 percent of the population. These groups and corporations are the ones that are being represented in Congress. Forget about the everyday, middle-class majority.

People focus too much on a candidate’s political party and not enough on what will be best for the state or the country. This trend can be seen even here in South Dakota. During the last election, there were three candidates running for the only seat South Dakota holds in the House of Representatives. One Democrat, one Republican and one Independent campaigned across the state, all with different views about the important issues being faced at the time. Not to anyone’s surprise, Republican Kristi Noem beat out the other two candidates.

I could not believe the amount of squabbling Noem took part in while she was on her campaign trail. She and Democratic candidate Stephanie Herseth Sandlin took cheep shots at one another throughout their campaigns fighting against each other’s voting and police records. The fighting was petty and immature. Instead of focusing on the issues, the two candidates made the race into a complete bitch-fest. Independent candidate B. Thomas Marking did not take part in any of this childish bickering. Instead, Marking told the people of South Dakota that he would base his voting on Internet polls taken by the citizens of the state. He would remain completely unbiased, and would vote according to the polls instead of his own personal views or the views of his political party.

Why would the people of South Dakota not want an unbiased independent representing them in the House? The answer is funding. It’s not hard to believe that Marking had the least amount of funding for his campaign. Noem, on the other hand, raised double the amount of what Sandlin raised. Corporations and political groups funded Noem’s campaign knowing that she would vote in their favor if she was elected and the sad thing is: it worked.

The two-party political system puts these groups and corporations in power, not the people. I’m so tired of these political parties forcing the people of our state and country to chose sides. The system is dividing our country. We are either seen as Democrat or Republican. Why can’t we all just be Americans? We need to stop focusing on political parties, and start focusing on what would be best for our society. The country is self-destructing under this system and I refuse to take part in any of it.

Hannah is a senior journalism major. Reach her at [email protected]