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Opinion: U.S. Torn Apart by Political Polarization

Moderate candidates need to be elected in order to bring unity to a country blinded by extremist ideals.
Graphic by Zoie Carlile

The separation between political parties has been more intense in the past few years than at any point in the last two decades.

When talking about politics, people mainly acknowledge two sides of the political spectrum: liberal and conservative, despite a vast range of political beliefs across the spectrum. When two political parties are polar opposites, it causes people to become so firm in their beliefs they are unable to accept any side besides their own. In order to eliminate the issues caused by intense political polarization, we should strive to elect more moderate officials.

According to Pew Research, the amount of people who express consistently liberal beliefs and consistently conservative beliefs has increased from 10% to 21% since 2015. It is not surprising that this percentage jumped right when Donald Trump ran for president. Trump’s major goals consisted of shutting down the border, anti-feminist movements, and making money for himself. These values shined through to Trump’s voters, fostering extremist conservative ideals in his followers.

Due to an onslaught of these very conservative voters, Joe Biden’s bid for President ultimately brought out the very liberal voters, who believed in advocating for a complete removal of guns and entirely open borders.

Part of Biden’s campaign consisted of being anti-Trump, which drew attention to many people due to their dislike of him. This caused a significant divide not only in the White House, but in America as well. Because of the radically different ideologies of the two presidents, America has suffered through a divide that has split the country in two.

This claim is exemplified through situations like the Jan. 6 riot, where conservative voters stormed the Capitol due to an outrage of Biden winning the final election. This act was influenced and supported by Trump, and illustrates the insane lengths that his voters will go to for him. The phrase “loyal to a fault” comes to mind when hearing about the storming of the capitol.

Liberals have also had their fair share of single mindedness. Many liberals have obsessed over being “politically correct” to such a degree that they have created a toxic environment of “cancel culture.” Whether it was a mistake an influencer made at age 12 or a statement that was politically unsavory, liberals have taken the responsibility of stealing the voice and deplatforming that person by “canceling” them.

This idea of “cancel culture” is often used as a tactic to knock down political candidates who stand on the opposite end of liberal political beliefs. This attempt to make everyone do things in accordance with their definition of politically correct has created a toxic environment with no room for personal growth.

In order to unify America, a moderate political candidate needs to be elected into office. Political candidates like Biden and Trump have prevented any chance for our country to be unified.

Unfortunately, the candidates for the upcoming presidential election don’t bring any hope of having a moderate president.

Political candidate Nikki Haley has presented the most moderate views in the upcoming presidential election. Her views on abortion show that she is pro-life, however she believes that women deserve the right to protect themselves against a toxic pregnancy.
Despite her views on abortion, some of her stances on other issues emphasize how conservative she really is. Though she may not be as radical as opposing candidates Ron DeStanis or Trump, her opinions opposing gun control allow the conclusion that she is not as moderate as she looks.

Although in comparison to the other candidates, Haley has presented some more moderate alternatives, she remains a hyper-conservative candidate on most fronts. She is not, by any means, an adequate solution to the problems that the U.S. faces.

In order to bring our country together and unify the people, we need someone in power who is going to prioritize the people rather than tearing down opposing candidates. We need someone who is going to value morality rather than extremist values.

If someone presents themselves this way then they will have more authority to unify our country than Trump or Biden ever could.

About the Contributor
Libby Howell
Libby Howell, Features editor
What are you looking forward to on the staff this year? Being able to make new friends with the staff! Who are your favorite music artists? Drake, The Lumineers, and Zach Bryan What causes are you passionate about? Gun control and women's rights