The UnCivilized War

Santo Caruso

Just by pure coincidence, or dumb luck, I found myself walking behind the leader of the Young Democrats and the leader of the Young Republicans as they conversed after a Political Science class the three of us shared.

I listened in, convinced I was doing the right thing because at any point I worried one would slap a “kick me” sign on the other’s back or turn him around and pull his underwear up over his head.

They discussed holding a “summit” where both sides could speak about issues, spit various lies and half truths, and most likely end with a steel cage match where two men would enter and only one true party would emerge. Because this is where we stand as a country now.

Divided by just under 550,000 votes (roughly the same as Delaware County, so they mean it when they call Pennsylvania a “battleground state”) or a half of a percent of the total voters, two thousandths of a percent of the total population of America.

Assuming these numbers would hold true, if all voters went to Walmart after the polls, or caught the Seinfeld rerun at 11 p.m. and went to the local firehouse for their civic duties, approximately 48 percent of Americans backed a losing horse in 2000.

Forty-eight percent of people were disappointed, concerned, but most likely apathetic.

Since candidates tend to appear more moderate than they are during campaigns, voters did not know the extent to which Bush would change American policy. This left many people unhappy with his religious fanaticism and foreign policy.

Not this year.

Most Americans have a better idea what Bush stands for and what will probably happen. Whether this is good or bad remains to be seen.

This all brings me back to my two opposing classmates. I anticipate the worst because the two parties have divided the country. By hating each other, and refusing to work together, Democrats and Republicans have made it difficult to have open political discussions.

Party members are declared traitors if they do not believe in every policy.

The Republicans are slowly blacklisting Sen. John McCain, because he did not believe in the Bush tax cuts (and he was right).

Mayor Giuliani is also catching heat for some of his views, which do not fall in line with the current regime.

Republicans scheduled these two and Gov. Schwarzenegger (who is becoming a bit of a outsider because of his stance on gay marriage) to speak at the convention last Tuesday. It seems they wanted these men to appear but wanted to keep them a solid distance from President Bush.

The irony of this is that they speak for more Americans than Bush does. The votes (and most polls) show that Americans are moderates.

We tend to lean towards less government (a Republican ideal) but more freedoms and help for the poor (a Democratic ideal). We want tax cuts (Republicans), but we don’t want them only for the rich (Democrats).

America is a combination of Republicans and Democrats, but left-leaning GOP members or slightly right Democrats are not nominated by their extremist parties.

This lack of appeal just adds to the already disenfranchised voters’ feeling that what they want does not matter to any of the candidates.

The whole point of this is to shed light on the fact that as the percentages inch closer and closer to 50/50 for Bush and Kerry, more and more people are dissatisfied with the voting process.

And as the aisle grows between Democratic and Republican majority, parties find it more difficult to get things done as neither group is ever willing to compromise.

This leaves us with unhappy citizens and a stalling government with bipartisan bitterness growing every year.

The parties refuse to work together so neither side can get anything done.

Any chance everyone can just agree to vote for the Green Party this year?