Partisanship’s Assault on America

The nation has gradually been split apart by partisanship. Today, that rift is more notable than ever, and it may very well be what leads the world to its end. Why? Read to find out.

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Partisanship’s Assault on America

The Democratic and Republican parties

The Democratic and Republican parties "tearing" the nation apart.

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The Democratic and Republican parties "tearing" the nation apart.

Shutter stock

Shutter stock

The Democratic and Republican parties "tearing" the nation apart.

Lord Toussaint, Editor in chief

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The current US government struggles to fulfill the will of its people. It is a simple fact that cannot be denied. The petty principles of American partisan culture have resulted in the polarization of Americans from one another. Americans have also isolated themselves from the philosophies of their founding fathers. Factionalism and partisanship are what have led to this deterioration in government function and the rise of social unrest. Many forget that George Washington once called political parties, “potent engines…to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government.” Which in simple terms means, political parties are entities that can take power from the people and give that power to themselves and the high ranking members of the party. Whether or not this interpretation of the quote describes our current predicament, is up for debate. Despite the fact that it was first uttered 223 years ago, I do believe that it is an accurate depiction of our current predicament.

To me, what is most true about this quote is that partisanship does subvert the power of the people. Obviously, the United states is not under a dictatorship, but today’s partisanship creates a government which almost never can put country before party. It renders Lock’s philosophy of the social contract, which states that the people will give up certain rights in exchange for protection of the government, useless. A government that puts petty partisan squabbles before its country and people does subvert the power of the people. The social contract has evolved over time, a government in the modern day must not only protect its people from the dangers of an outside force.  A government in the modern world must implement and manage social services through government regulation. These services include health care, infrastructure, education, and other public programs.

As the principals of the enlightenment made their way into mainstream government, the rights of the people grew, and what were once commodities became necessities regulated by the government to benefit the people. In a republican democracy such as the one of the United States, citizens should be able to rely on their representatives to do what is in their best interest, but sadly, this is not always the case. Petty partisan squabbles and political differences within our government, create what is at times a stagnant government in the areas that the people care for most. A stagnant government is one that cannot protect its people as per the modern definition of the social contract, and therefore, partisanship does take power from the people.

This political culture is sewn into the fabric of our society, despite that it is ultimately what will end us. For the most part, people no longer vote on the basis of principle, they vote on the basis of party. They can barely stand to interact with supporters of the other party. Americans make fun of members of different states due to the party they belong to, despite all being from the same country. Americans have allowed bigotry and hatred to come between them in an alarming way.

Issues that should not be political are political. The very survival of our planet is political. Woman’s right to choose is political. The health of our citizens is political. The safety of our children from gun violence is political. Even impeachment, and checks and balances in general, have become political ploys. If the ruling class of the most powerful nation in the world, the defender and proponent of democracy abroad, cannot agree on the most basic of issues, then what will happen to this world? As Abraham Lincoln once said, “a house divided against itself cannot not stand.” The same is true today after the civil war, and we, as Americans, must not forget that. Many think that the greatest threats to the United States are global warming or foreign interference in our elections, and that is partially true. But the greatest threat is extreme partisanship. If we cannot agree on the most basic of issues as a country, then it will lead to our end, and the end of the world as we know it, for America leads the world. If we cannot agree on how to solve these issues and protect humanity, then it will be global warming that kills us off.
But if we cannot agree on reality, cannot discern fact from fiction, and continue to augment reality to suit our beliefs and smear the other party, then we will all be doomed, and nothing will save us.

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