Perhaps the One Thing All American Voters Can Agree On.
The issue that unites the average voters on both the left and the right.
Considering the context of American history, I think it’s safe to say we are definitely living in the midst of one of the most charged, politically polarized moments since the civil war. Over the past few years in particular, the tension between the political parties and the ideologies we associate them with has increased drastically, and the divide has become impossible to ignore. With the polarization only increasing as time goes on. I’m sure I’m not alone in finding it difficult to imagine a country that is ever able to fully heal.
All that being said, there is one issue that seems to have risen above all the others, and has been a common uniting factor among both the left and the right. Regardless of where we stand when it comes to healthcare reform, criminal justice reform, immigration, or the environment, it seems that almost every American can agree on the toxicity and corrupting influence of money in politics, and the private financing of elections.
Over the past forty years the slow, steady, corporate and oligarchic takeover of the American government has taken its toll on nearly every single aspect of our lives. Whether it be the loved ones we send overseas to fight yet another senseless war, the price of a pharmaceutical drug, or the need to take up a second job to cover the cost of living, there is almost no aspect of our lives that hasn’t been affected by the rot that is money in politics.
Perhaps that’s why it’s one of the only things that units us politically on both the left and the right. In one form or another, nearly all of us have or are continuing to experience firsthand how corporate greed and the government inaction that results from it touches our daily lives. Our friends and family might tell us they’re going without a medication their doctor prescribed to them because they can’t afford it, telling us as casually as though they’re discussing the weather.
But it doesn’t take much thought for every one of us to stop and think about how that’s caused by the drug companies buying off our politicians, and that should infuriate us. We know that the senseless wars our country has involved itself in have everything to do with our oil companies and defense contractors looking to make a quick profit. No matter how much we the people might oppose something, money in politics continues to rule all at the expense of not just our democracy, but our lives.
Unfortunately, the one political issue we might all be able to agree on is also what divides us. The tension and frustration felt throughout the country can at least be partially attributed to the fact that for the past forty years, none of us have felt heard. Of course, the reason none of us feel heard is because our politicians are paid not to listen to the will of the American people. For years, we have been told who to point the finger at and blame for the issues at hand while the donor class lines the pockets of our politicians in order to keep them complicit.
As hopeless as it may feel sometimes, and as easy as it may be to shrug our shoulders and say there’s just no point, the fact remains that money in politics is probably the single most important issue that the American people could possibly agree on. It is the issue at the heart of all others, and agreement on that notion makes me somewhat hopeful for a future in which our government’s decisions are based not on who’s contributed the most to someone’s campaign, but on a battle of ideas and what their actual constituents want.