Political Hipsters

By Anna Boratyn
Executive Opinion Editor|
Allegedly, this blog is called “Left and Right.”  Theoretically, to look both Left and Right one should be standing somewhere in the middle.  Even more specifically, one can’t very well look both left and right if one stands in the left corner, facing the left wall.
I am part of the problem of the lack of bipartisanship in American politics today.  I’ll admit that freely.  When one of my friends told me that she was a moderate, I did a double-take.  It was like she belonged to the Bull Moose or Whig party.  I didn’t think those existed any more.
Republican or Democrat, all anyone really wants to do is make America better.  So why is that something that is so easy to forget?
Both sides have mud on their hands—Romney’s claims about Obama gutting welfare in attack ads have been proven utterly wrong, as have many of his statements on live television.   Obama is not blameless either—he has indulged in his fair share of attack ads too.
In the last ten years especially, Republican and Democrat have become identities.  If you’re a Republican, you’re like this, but if you’re a Democrat, you’re like that.
Republicanism emphasizes hard work, rugged individualism, religion, Regan, family, fiscal independence.  Democrats are associated with civil/ women’s/ gay rights, progress, the betterment of society as a whole.
All of these characteristics and attributes are not all mutually exclusive.  Granted, rugged individualism interferes with the betterment of society as a whole, and women’s and gay rights clash with religion often.  But they shouldn’t have to.  Both parties should balance each other out through compromise, not block each other out of spite. Compromise has become a dirty word.  But is someone “uncompromising” really that powerful if they get nothing done?
But the issues that Democrats and Republicans directly disagree on have become identities.  For example:  If you’re not pro-life, you must be anti-life, you monster.  Are you pro-choice?  No?  You must be anti-choice, you disgusting sexist.  The words “Republican” and “Democrat” have a way of rearing up and engulfing a person.
American politics didn’t always consist of the factions that there are now.
The framers of the Constitution felt that there should be no parties in American politics.  In his farewell address, George Washington warned Americans about the rise of parties.  He feared that they would rip the country apart, and that parties would be too concerned with ruining each other to cooperate and run the country.
So, fellow Republicans and Democrats, let’s make like hipsters and eschew some labels.