Updated: Jul 9, 2020
There are two sides of the same coin; some think the U.S. Bipartisanship is on life support, some think it never existed.. Read both the articles to know more.
This article is in response to another article posted by The Contrarian. To understand this article better, also read: https://www.thecontrarianco.com/post/is-bipartisanship-in-america-on-life-support
2020 will undoubtedly be seen as one of the most poignant years in the garbage fire that is 21st-century American history, actually, pardon me, the garbage fire that is 21st-century world history. Yet, it’s only June and we’re merely two decades into a long century. Focusing on the United States in particular, however, the legacy of 2020, while not yet understood, will certainly be a year of things getting worse before they get better; both in and outside of Washington.
Initially beginning the year with the Coronavirus which, is a far cry from being over, America witnessed the horrid murder of an African-American man, George Floyd who cried in sheer terror as a Minneapolis police officer killed him, by cutting off his oxygen by placing his knee onto his neck. All the while, his fellow ‘cops’ and bystanders alike, did nothing to prevent the murder which was taking place right in front of them, instead, opting to record the now infamous footage which has since spread like the wildfire that engulfed the Australian continent earlier this year.
Floyd’s murder while sadly not prevented by anyone, was recorded, which in this case is a good thing, given that there is now irrefutable evidence to convict the offenders. The response to the murder, however, has become a point of contention between Americans, but, what we need to understand is that, while we personally may not feel comfortable with looting or rioting, unless we are African-American fighting for our own personal freedom, it is not our place to decide the way in which 13 percent of our population protest. African Americans are put in a position where they are wrongly accused of harboring ill intent and subject to police brutality. I do not belong to the African American community and hence, believe that I cannot speak for my behaviour in a similar situation, it is only normal for an oppressed community to be enraged about a systemic problem where they are treated lower than the wares of a Minneapolis Target store. Everyone is concerned about looting and doesn't grasp that material things can be replaced; while human lives cut short, can not.
Although we personally may not feel comfortable with the idea of looting or rioting, that may be because we have never been in a situation in which we felt that was our only option of getting people to understand our plight. When you try to be peaceful over and over again, it may feel like no one around you is listening, because frankly, they’re not.
Both Trump and Biden are guilty of disrespecting black Americans, as you have observed, but, while Biden made a disparaging remark which was, without a doubt, a complete and utter embarrassment, Trump has a history of racism, from refusing to rent to African-Americans to his remarks of “when the looting starts the shooting starts.” This doesn’t help the ever-increasing division between the left and the right but, the Republican party’s (GOP) policies are only accounting for a certain set of the US populace, thereby isolating groups of people and preventing any sort of bipartisanship.
Bipartisanship in itself is almost a uniquely American term; given that we have two parties that dominate the political sphere where true bipartisanship never even existed. Sure, people have reached across the aisle occasionally in the past, but how long have those collaborations ever really lasted? The political and social division we are experiencing is just the culmination of years of stubbornness and mudslinging on both sides of the political spectrum. Even in the immediate post-Revolutionary War period, the country’s government was divided into The Federalists and the Anti-Federalists; showing how long the United States have come to decide that only two options for political representation was ‘adequate.’ What the two-party system, particularly the GOP has also done, is set the precedent that you must be loyal to one party and to one country. You must ‘pledge your allegiance.’
Source: Washington Post
Where this precedent of blind loyalty comes in; is the way in which it carries over into the treatment of protestors. The fact that the president (a member of the GOP) sent out the national guard to ‘control’ opposition protests, which are meant to be against excessive force and shows the sheer paranoia of Donald Trump and the current conservative establishment. Most of these protests were in fact peaceful until the police and national guard arrived and used violence by showering protestors with a deluge of rubber bullets and tear gas. While these actions are the epitome of dehumanization, they also are an opportunity for the right to show their allegiance to the GOP, by agreeing with the responses against these peaceful protests.
As stated in the previous article, “many Trump supporters feel as if a vote for Trump is not a vote for all of his regrettable attributes, but rather an enthusiastic vote against the liberal elite,”is an accurate synopsis of the right, valuing blind- loyalty to them and the United States. Anyone who criticizes them will be met with excessive, violent treatment. When it comes to the ‘liberal elite,’ that remark is not totally justifiable, as there are conservative elites who control their own brand of media (Fox News) and manipulate white, working-class people with promises of riches and ‘a return to the way things used to be,’ without any sort of thought as to what that entails for disenfranchised groups. The fact is, the staff appointed by Trump are often GOP members who come from wealthy, corporate backgrounds. Creating a bizarre establishment for the anti-establishment.
Getting back to the ‘liberal elite,’ argument, the conservative elite, are not open about about their wealth and use false consciousness in order to make the working class point the finger at liberals and people of color, to name a few; to distract from the corporate benefits the rich rake in as programs for the benefit of the working class, are defunded. The GOP, at the very top, is a party of the elite. It is a party of unquestioned loyalty and patriotism where, as said by former president George W. Bush, “you’re either with us or with the terrorists.”
As you mentioned, both sides of the political spectrum need to acknowledge Trump when he’s wrong, but the thing is that the conservative side has had a track record of using polarizing language in order to further the wedge between the two parties. Thereby forcing liberals to distance themselves from conservatives in order to not be associated with the sort of behavior that Trump and the current GOP establishment engage in. While conservative leaders admitting the drawbacks of their seemingly unquestioned allegiance to Trump would be a first step, we also need to have a complete government overhaul, as we do of our police, to engender more room for political parties and less room for polarization.
The above article is an opinion piece. Any views or opinions represented in this op-ed are personal and belong solely to the author, and do not represent the views of The Contrarian. No views or opinions are intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organisation, company or individual.