Tag: polarization

Tulsi Gabbard: The Ideal New Face of the Democratic Party

Ian Brzeski | United States

Both the Democratic and Republican parties need a change in leadership. They both need to break away from the establishment and become the parties they claim to be. There was a point in time where the parties stood for principles they truly believed in; however, this piece has long since passed. Though both parties are guilty of this, The Democratic party has specifically failed to live up to its promoted ideal of being the “anti-war” party.  Through the party leaders’ continual lying and corruption, the Democratic Party needs a fresh face to restore some of the party’s integrity, and that face should be Tulsi Gabbard.

The Democratic Party has failed when it has fallen under the control of those who think in terms of dollars instead of human values – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Tulsi Gabbard and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Once a party that seemed to care for the citizens, the Democratic Party has now become a joke due to deceitful politicians who have succumbed to the evils and temptations of the establishment. Power corrupts and money talks, and these colloquialisms are more relevant now than ever before.

The Democratic Party needs to replace the outdated and corrupt leaders of Pelosi and Schumer with the new. If they want to align with their boasted ideology they claim to have, they have to replace them with the likes of Tulsi Gabbard and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who care for the welfare of the people and maintain consistent values without compromise.

Of course, I am not saying you have to agree with Gabbard or Ocasio-Cortez on political issues. In fact, you could disagree with any one of them on virtually every single point they stand for. However, even feeling that way; you cannot dispute that they care for their constituents and seem to uphold values the Democratic Party claims to prioritize. I have respect for both, but Tulsi Gabbard is better suited to lead the party.

An Ideal Figurehead

Gabbard is a better fit than Ocasio-Cortez for a few reasons. First of all, Gabbard makes more of an effort to stress pulling out of Syria and Afghanistan. She also vehemently advocates for allowing Venezuela to maintain its sovereignty. Ocasio-Cortez does not make as much of an effort to talk about these issues, as she seems to focus her efforts on internal matters.

With people like Gabbard at the forefront, the Democratic Party would start to become more respectable by bringing back their “anti-war” values. Another reason Gabbard is a better fit is that she is more of a moderate Democrat while Ocasio-Cortez states that she is a democratic socialist. As intriguing as radical ideas are, they are not usually politically wise to promote. There would be more tension amongst people in the party. Most importantly, though, Gabbard holds steadfast to her beliefs and doesn’t succumb to pressure from political parties.

Values Over Party Politics

Tulsi Gabbard is not afraid to call Donald Trump out when he does something wrong, but she also is not afraid to praise him when she feels it is right to do so. People like her are next to impossible to come by today, not just in politics but also in everyday life.

Take, for instance, never Trumpers who will cry about every little thing he has ever done. Believe it or not, the man sometimes makes good decisions. You also have the people who worship Donald Trump in the same way that the poor people in Medellin worshipped Pablo Escobar. To them, the man can do no wrong. Famous conservative pundits who sometimes criticize Trump often suffer bitter blowback.

Many people in both groups here may not like Gabbard. She slams Trump often, so the latter group is likely to take issue. But she also applauds Trump sometimes. Thus, the former group also has reason to be wary. Regardless, Tulsi Gabbard is still able to maintain her values with her original thoughts. Without a doubt, we need more people like her representing the people of the United States. Whether you agree or disagree with them, the inherent value that comes from a genuine person who is committed to the betterment of society far outweighs any potential tiffs one may have over party affiliation.

Warranted Criticisms

I support Tulsi Gabbard simply because she is the best option for the DNC. Despite this, many people have claimed she is not who she seems. One common criticism is that Gabbard is not truly anti-war and really is in fact quite hawkishEvidence of certain statements she has made as well as evidence from her voting records supports this notion. Thus, it appears she is not unilaterally opposed to war.

However, she is better than the other democrat representatives. She has some foreign policy opinions that I feel hold weight. Tulsi brings a kind of non-interventionist background with her, unlike most Democratic leaders, and I think that this is what the DNC needs more of.

I am not a Democrat and I don’t agree with Tulsi Gabbard on many of her claims. Certainly, she is not my ideal candidate. Despite those things, because of her passionate emotional and logical appeals to pull troops out of Afghanistan and Syria and her unwillingness to back down when faced with pressure from those in and outside of her party, she has garnered my respect.

She is not afraid to critique people she historically agrees with when she truly believes they are wrong. She is certainly not one to shy away from praising her opponents when they deserve it. We need more of this in politics if we ever hope to diminish the hatred that comes with political polarization. Therefore, Tulsi Gabbard should be the new face of the Democratic Party.

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An Appeal to Centrism

At its core, public policy appeases the masses. The roots of democracy dig into public input. For that reason, I propose rooting for the candidates that rarely get much attention: Centrists. Not everyone belongs to the far-left or right. However, the candidates on the ballots are.

Moving further to the end

“Both sides can be seen as equally insane.” To many people, this statement rings true. For others, it shows how polarizing our politics can be. Now more than ever, people are voting the idea of centrism out. In fact, many moderate Republicans were replaced with further right Republicans in last years midterms. Unfortunately, media outlets constantly give the louder and more radical voices a microphone. As a result, voter turnout is on the rise, while Republican enthusiasm is down.

Victory for Centrists

The victory of Abigail Spanberger against Republican Incumbent Dave Brat, a member of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, is a prime example of a centrist candidate rising over a more extreme candidate. Spanberger, an ex-CIA agent, ran on a Centrist agenda in the rural 7th District of Virginia; a Republican stronghold. Her platform held many signature Democrat principles, but she opposed single-payer healthcare and vowed to vote against Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House. She was victorious by a margin of 2%. If she had been more progressive, she likely would not have won.

These results are not across the board. However, if fully embraced, more voters would be happy with the actual legislative policy being produced in Congress. Congressional approval is at a low point, and it has been there for a while now. If the middle ground was more represented and given more attention, there would be less extreme candidates winning elections. There would also fewer stalemates in the legislative process. Centrists would, not only enact more common sense measures but also bring more logical ideas to the floor.

How do we define Centrism?

However, it is without a doubt that Centrism is a subjective term. Your middle ground may be different than mine. Another argument from the New York Times quotes that Centrists are hostile and wish for the destruction of democracy. 

The future of politics with Centrism

The citizens of the United States want Congress to work together and do their jobs. In the House of Representatives almost every viewpoint in recognized-whether you are pro-life, pro-amnesty, or pro-single-payer. However, we need more reasonable and logical candidates to run on issues that everyone can agree on, while putting their personal issues aside. With direction, time, and accountability, Centrism would prosper and radical agendas would die in the primary ballot box.

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Continuing the Conversation: How to Really Stop Hate

By Thomas DiGennaro | United States

Daryl Davis, a black musician and one of the biggest sweethearts I’ve ever met, has made quite a hobby over the past few decades; he has repeatedly met with members of the Ku Klux Klan, National Socialist Movement, and other hate groups. He is the first black author to ever write a book on the Ku Klux Klan and has recently aired a documentary, Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race, & America.

Daryl Davis: A Mission

Daryl’s desire to meet with people who belong to these organizations stems from a staggering question he has asked himself since his first experience with racism as a child; “How can you hate me if you don’t even know me?”. Inspired by a sheer curiosity of how this was even possible, Daryl studied just about everything there is to know about the KKK and other groups. However, he could not answer his question.

Eventually, Daryl encountered a Klansman at a bar he was performing at. The man approached him and invited him to talk and have a drink in a courteous, polite manner. Daryl, as a result, decided to schedule a meeting with the leader of the KKK in Maryland, his home state.

Since then, Daryl has collected dozens of robes from former Klan members who have befriended him. He also has spoken at universities and groups all over the country about his actions. Daryl’s underlying philosophy is simple: “If you have an adversary, someone with an opposing point of view, regardless of how extreme it may be… give that person a platform. Allow them to air their views, and when you do things like that, there is an excellent chance that people will reciprocate”.

The inability to have the conversation, the fear of having an argument, of sharing opinions has become an underlying root of a variety of hate, violence, and alienation in politics today. Ignorance breeds fear; fear breeds hate; hate breeds violence. Simply put, sit down and talk with someone to try to understand their position and intentions. Otherwise, it’s easy to make inaccurate assumptions about people or groups.

Blatant Misunderstanding

A glaring example of this today is the belief that all liberals want to take away everyone’s guns. Though most support some gun control, this in itself is a generalization. On the other side, the ideas that gun owners are violent and nothing good comes from guns are also generalized.

We also see the belief that all cops are racist and hate black people because of incidents that end in shooting or violence at the hand of a cop, as well as the belief that every black male in a hoodie is a gang member and perp because of high crime rates in black ghettos. I could fill 30 pages with these, immigration, Kavaughn and #metoo, marijuana laws, voting laws, health care, student loans, the ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’, and so many more.

This is a pressing issue in society today. Polarization and refusal to talk leads to isolation of the opposing viewpoint and the conversation dies out. Worse yet, we’re sometimes too afraid to have the conversation out of fear of offending anyone or changing their opinions of you. The day that people are afraid to express an opinion because of what others may think is the day we start the slippery slope towards groupthink.

Have the Conversation

Clearly, there’s no denying the ignorance between the conservative and liberal ideologies. There also is general public ignorance of libertarianism and capitalism. So many people have these egregious misunderstandings of libertarian forms of government (or lack thereof) such as minarchism, paleo-libertarianism, and anarcho-capitalism. Like anything else, people make the most ludicrous assumptions, and the idea loses credit without conversation.

Whether about race, politics, religion, or anything else, have the conversation. Give the other person a chance to voice their opinions, and instead of waiting for your turn to talk, listen. Absorb what they have to say, inquire about it, and try to emphasize their opinion. You do not have to agree with everybody, and some positions certainly do not deserve respect. However, the fact that they are a person with an opinion deserves respect, regardless of what the opinion is. If a black man can sit down with Nazis and Klansmen, then we can listen to our boomer Trump conservative uncle or millennial hippie Bernie-loving socialist sister. You will be a better person and have a more cohesive understanding of the subject. There is no better test of your beliefs than to have them challenged.

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