Worlds apart

Tyler Davis | Contributing Writer

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If one thing has become apparent in the aftermath of the recent party conventions, it is that our nation’s two most prominent political parties are more polarized than ever before. Individuals on the right see the liberals as Godless socialists, and those on the left view the conservatives as Christian fundamentalists or greedy elites who want to take everything they can and give nothing back. The truth is the vast majority of the American people would not be found on the extreme left or right of the ideological spectrum and more than likely would agree with some ideas from both sides of the aisle. 

There are a plethora of individuals who gravitate towards what Americans would call the middle of the political sphere; however, for the most part these voices cannot be heard over the ridiculous opinions of more drastic fundamentalists such as Rush Limbaugh or Michael Moore. Although neither party platform is quite as crazy as Limbaugh or Moore would like, both have assisted in creating the contemporary perspective on American politics as one that appears to be a choice of one extreme or the other.

Due to this view of politics, many people have taken a strong stance as either a stern Democrat or Republican. With this comes the adoption of all of that party’s views, whether one really agrees with them or not. A prime example of someone who has made this shift is presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Less than a decade ago, Romney was pro-choice and supported gay rights, as well as initiatives such as socialized health care. But Mitt wanted to run for President, and for him to do that he had to drop his more moderate views and join the rest of the radical individuals on the far right.

Although the Democrats have become more polarized in their own way, their outlook has remained fairly consistent. Also, it’s difficult to argue that President Obama is any different today than he was ten years ago, other than the fact he has a lot more experience and his hair is much grayer.

With that said, in no way, shape or form is Obama as perfect as many of his supporters would like to believe. But at least he is honest with them on most accounts. Mitt Romney has been willing to completely change his views on a number of topics for the purpose of appeasing his party’s base. Whether he actually believes what he tells his constituents is debatable as well.

Who knows what this election would look like if Mitt Romney was willing to show his true colors. Probably it would have been impossible for him to win the election, but at least the American people would have received an honest choice between two candidates, not two parties and their super PACs. It’s sad that in a country which boasts about its individual freedoms and civil liberties, we lack political candidates who are able to maintain a degree of distinctiveness.