With the 2016 elections approaching, voters are becoming increasingly more informed about the individual candidates. Most voters identify as either republicans or democrats and already know, more than a year in advance, from which party they will support. Few have broadened their perspectives and opened up to both parties.
Year after year, Americans repeatedly select a candidate from the same political party. It is not because their viewpoints consistently match up with those of a particular party but because they have developed “party loyalty.”
Rather than viewing the candidates as individuals with their own unique set of beliefs, Americans often fail to separate the candidates from the traditional conservative or liberal ideas belonging to the selected party.
However, the voters are not the only ones affected by this bias. The candidates are swayed by their predetermination as well.
Because Americans only look at the party they registered under, the potential presidents have no choice but to appeal to the voters with a strong emphasis on the liberal or conservative beliefs they have been assigned.
In my mind this makes elections into zoos. The candidates are trapped amongst a certain species, with Americans peering in at two separate habitats to determine which elephant they like best, or which of the donkeys they prefer.
Why must voters confine themselves to observing only one habitat? Wouldn’t it be better to have an overview of the entire zoo, to choose from a variety of breeds rather than just one?
The primary elections are always the worst. The candidates are tasked with making themselves stand out amongst the others.
With so many running this year for presidency, gaining recognition is especially important for the republican candidates.
Current frontrunner Donald Trump dominates the news and media with his headstrong claims. Why? Because Americans are amused by his blunt, forceful opinions and therefore encourage such entertainment.
Strongly adhering to particular parties early on in the competition not only sets a strict division between democrats and republicans, but it presents a false image of each candidate’s beliefs.
Candidates who appear intensely opinionated in one aspect often lose their assertion once the primaries pass. Now that they have achieved recognition, there is no longer a need to seem so forceful.
Instead, the goal becomes to ‘compromise’ their old beliefs with much milder ones so voters don’t become offended or alarmed by outlandish ideas.
Americans grumble time and time again about corruption within politics, but they never stop to think about how they contributed. The elephants and donkeys dance for their observers simply to be noticed and when Americans are thoroughly entertained, there is a misleading round of applause.
Voters have built a wall between democrats and republicans without even turning back to observe who the constructors were.
Published on Friday, October 23, 2015