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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Columns

Next President needs to end problematic partisanship


Felipe Campos  | The Daily Cougar

Felipe Campos | The Daily Cougar

Today, change must come. This is not an endorsement for either candidate, it’s about the way things are done on Capitol Hill.

The last four years have been a disappointment for the American people. Forget economic recovery or President Barack Obama’s policy decisions, the display of partisanship on both sides of the aisle is sickening and will be the harbinger to the country’s early ruin.

The victor of the presidential election has only two responsibilities for the next four years. First, fix the economy. The hiring rate has reportedly gone up, but so has the unemployment rate. It doesn’t matter what numbers, charts or any media source says, if people feel the economy’s bad, then it is. The president will have to answer for it and push a solution through, or at the least make people feel like something’s happening.

Whoever wins the election also needs to make sure, at least for the next four years, these political wars stop. This nation is not only broke, it is divided almost right down the middle and neither side is looking for a compromise. The politicians haven’t helped, nor has the media.

Unfortunately, two of the culprits are up for election today. Republican nominee Mitt Romney spent the entire Republican primary making crazy people look sane and won his nomination on the strength of fringe groups leaking into the GOP. So many protestors have been shown on MSNBC touting racist and provocative signs that people have forgotten what the original stereotype of the conservative Republican voter had been: a blue-collar worker who spends his money on beer and his Sundays at church.

Obama isn’t free from blame either, and out of the two, has insulted Texans personally. The U.S. Capitol getting a shuttle is perfectly fair and natural. Houston getting snubbed for a shuttle by New York and California is a step over the line, but because of the way modern politics play out, it’s a natural step. Texas will not, under any circumstances, be going blue for Obama today, nor did anyone think it would during the campaign. Of course two of the most liberal, blue states in the nation will receive a shuttle, even when one of them had nothing to do with the space program in the first place.

The bottom line is there needs to be a move toward the center and an appeal to both the sides. The partisanship has ripped Americans in two. This summer, Congress had a lower approval rating than cancer. It wasn’t just the Republican Senate or the Democratic House. Americans hated all of Congress. That hate has spilled out onto the streets and has possessed normally rational citizens into doing violently irrational things.

There are stories everywhere of Romney supporters living in fear because their neighbors are Obama supporters, and of course the same stories are heard from Obama supporters. Idiotic supporters of both sides and ideologies have been reportedly vandalizing vehicles with the wrong bumper sticker and, in rare cases, even assaulting members of a different party preference.

Today’s winner will have to mend the hole in citizens wallets and close the gap in the aisles. There has to be some legitimate and sincere effort to reach across the aisle and stop marginalizing voters that don’t support a specific party platform. Otherwise, no matter who’s in office, the next four years will be the same as the last four.

James Wang is a history sophomore and may be reached at [email protected]

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