The idea of a “moderate” Democrat or Republican has been on the decline for several years now and is only getting worse.
Think back to the 2016 presidential election. The now President Donald Trump raked in support from many voters considered to be on the far right, leaving many moderate Republicans stuck between a rock and a hard place — choosing to vote for their party’s candidate, who many believed wasn’t a good representative of the Republican Party, or for Hillary Clinton.
On the other side of the political aisle, Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialist, took the Democratic party by storm, and if it had not been for the Democratic National Committee’s establishment-preserving superdelegates, he very well could have won the Democratic primary.
Now, fast forward to the 2018 primary election, and this party polarization has only gotten worse. The senatorial election between Roy Moore and Doug Jones is a prime example of this.
After all of the accusations against Moore, there were still many people who chose to vote for him for the sole reason that he is a Republican, and the Republican voters who chose not to vote for him were, in many cases, accused of not being “real Republicans.”
And then, of course, there’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the newly elected representative and Democratic superstar from New York.
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Her proposed Green New Deal is one of the most liberal legislation proposals our country has ever seen — so liberal, in fact, that many in her own party don’t even support it.
And now, the Democrats that do not fully support the Green New Deal are deemed as being not a “real Democrat.”
These kinds of accusations of not being a true party member are very harmful for America. Even though it may benefit those who are on the far left or right, everyone in between is left out in the cold.
Since when is it not OK to not fully agree with everything on a party platform?
What if a person believes abortion should be legal but should be regulated after the first trimester?
Well, he or she most likely won’t be accepted by either party.
This sort of intolerance for opinions that are not entirely conservative nor liberal is toxic for both parties.
I would be willing to bet that there are few people who believe abortion should be illegal in all cases or that abortion should have zero regulations. But, because both parties are continuing to move further to the right and left, it seems that only the more extreme opinions are acceptable for the parties.
In order for candidates on both sides of the aisle to get elected, they must come to the realization that they must at least be accepting of the people who do not fully agree with all the principles of their parties.
Maggie Smith is a junior in agricultural communications.
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