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Feminspire | April 18, 2014

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A Call For Bipartisanship — But Really Though

A Call For Bipartisanship — But Really Though

The long election season is finally over, and I’m pretty happy with the progress we have made as a country. We’re putting more women into the government than ever before; we’re passing marriage equality bills; we’re making steps towards legalizing marijuana use; we’ve told rape apologists that we don’t want them in our uterus or our government. I’m proud of all that has been accomplished at the end of this brutal campaign. There’s still so much left to be done, but a step forward is still worth celebrating. So go ahead. Celebrate.  Put on your red, white, and blue attire, listen to Party In The USA, and go to town.

Image courtesy of ABC

Okay. Back to reality now. Despite all that’s been done, in many ways nothing has changed. Here’s the problem: our President is Democrat and our Senate has a Democratic majority, but the House has a GOP majority. This wouldn’t be so much of a problem if the Republican Party hadn’t made doing everything they can to prevent the President from accomplishing anything on his agenda their number one priority. And when they weren’t being deliberately obtuse, they were proposing bills that would seriously limit the rights and freedoms of citizens all over the country.

Now I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to hate my government. No matter what party is in the majority, I want to respect the leaders who are elected to represent me. But I have to tell you, newly elected officials, it hasn’t been easy in the past couple of years.

It’s incredibly disheartening to watch your government spend more time arguing with each other than trying to clean up our economy. The past few years have not been good; there’s no denying that. But I don’t understand what these politicians expected. After two years of bickering like school children, did you really think that the President was going to be able to get much done? The whole purpose of our governmental structure is to keep one branch of government from holding too much power. It is your job as much as the President’s job to fix the economy. How are you supposed to do that by arguing? Political agendas don’t fix economies; working together does.

You see, elected representatives, whether you like it or not, Barack Obama is going to be the President for the next four years. That’s just the way it is. I’m not asking you to agree with everything the President proposes– I certainly don’t. But when you purposely try harder to work against our nation’s leader than to get anything done, I’m going to be pissed. And it’s not the President I’ll be mad at. He’s done so much for me, despite those who would rather see him fail. I’m going to be mad at you, the people preventing him from being the effective leader he’s trying to be.

There’s already been some incredibly troublesome backlash that has me worried about what’s to come. I’ve seen a Romney advisor ostracize New Jersey Governor (and Republican) Chris Christie after spending time with the President following the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. This advisor stated, “He went out of his way to embrace the president during the final week of the campaign. It wasn’t necessary and it hurt us.”

Maybe I’m not getting your message, but I fail to see how Christie acting friendly towards Obama could hurt your “cause”. Didn’t Mitt Romney talk about being bipartisan while he was governor of Massachusetts? And how is a man who puts concern for his state above political games a bad thing? Republican Party, if this is how you treat one of your own who fails to be subservient to your “agenda,” what can we expect in the next four years? I have no interest in the games you’ve been playing lately. I want more politicians like Christie and Obama who care more about getting things done than the party you align yourself with. If you really care more about your own agenda than helping those who no longer have a home after Sandy, than there’s something seriously wrong with your party’s agenda.

Image courtesy of CBS

After all the change we’ve seen come with this election, we now have the chance to improve on what we started. Obama has been campaigning with the message of moving forward. Going back to another four years of arguing isn’t going to do that. Can you imagine all that we could do if we stopped bickering and worked together? I’m not saying that you have to agree on every proposed bill. But I expect you, as representatives of our country, to care more about the constituents you are representing than about making sure your opposition’s party fails. You’re not even accomplishing anything for your own party; you’re just at each other’s throats until you wind up in a standoff. Christie and Obama proved that when you work together you can get things done. If a red Governor and a blue President can be bipartisan for the sake of our country, I don’t see any reason the rest of the government can’t do the same.

So here’s the deal, delegates. Some of you are about to take office for the first time, while some of you are returning with the memories of staring each other down in the hopes that the other party will flinch first. Either way, we have the chance to make a fresh start and improve on the failures of the previous election cycle. We’ve already proven that that political agendas and yelling at each other across enemy lines accomplishes nothing. Why not try for the change we’ve been talking about all campaign season? Dumbledore once said that, “we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided…Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” He may be fictional, but he seems to know more about the problems we are facing than those who are actually trying to do something. We all have the same end goal in mind: we want to see the economy improve and the unemployment rate drop. So why is working together to make that happen so difficult?

I believe in you, incoming delegates. I know you can put hate-based rhetoric to an end and implement real change. We can get the country back on track. All we have to do is work together. Dumbledore is right: we are much stronger as a nation when we work together than when we divide ourselves by these party lines.

Written by Jackie Klein
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