Vladimir Borovic



Dear America: Finding Compromise is Necessary

Democracy is not just about representation; it’s also about compromise. For years, the political landscape in America has been dominated by two political parties and their agendas, but only recently has agenda pushing become more important than governing. This trend has led to polarization that is now threatening the very foundation of American democracy.

The problem lies in the fact that we have become entrenched in fighting for our beliefs and opinions, often at the expense of finding common ground. We are quick to claim that our policies are the most crucial for the country to adopt, and we are unwilling to listen to opposing views. This has created a climate of hypocrisy, where each party accuses the other of overreach while engaging in the same behavior.

Politics, which was once considered a subject for mostly just engaged voters and experts, has now seeped into schools, social media, and our daily lives. Issues that weren’t pressing at one point in time, such as an individual’s choices and preferences, have now become the center of political debate; discourse about banning AP African American History or the rights of LGBTQ Americans have become highly divisive, prevalent topics.

A big factor in this divisiveness is our approach to defining individuals based on political parties. This approach has shifted from representing a spectrum of views to adhering to a rigid set of almost bullet-pointed opinions. Terms like “Democrat” or “Republican” are now associated with specific policy positions, and individuals are almost expected to conform to these positions. That is inherently natural to the human condition, wanting to fit into a group of people to feel special, heard, and represented. But that representation often comes in the form of limiting another group’s representation, creating a space where diversity of thought is almost discouraged.

What is even more concerning is the erosion of accountability in the political system. When the scandals involving Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton came to light, both Republicans and Democrats were quick to call out the wrongdoers. In recent decades, however, we have seen a shift in this attitude. Some Republicans seem to be willing to overlook or even praise the wrongdoings of Donald Trump, the scandal-plagued former president. Even members of the Democratic Party like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are idolized. Supporting a party should not hinder reason. Politicians are not perfect; they are not gods. Their power may supersede ours in a myriad of ways, but their ability to make mistakes does not and never will. The idolization of politicians just permits a lack of accountability.

We must acknowledge that many Americans hold different opinions on issues, based on their own experiences, education, and exposure to different sources of information. Therefore, it is unproductive to continue disparaging each other as uneducated, as this oversimplifies the complexities of the issues at hand. In truth, much of the misinformation that pervades political discourse stems from a lack of inclusivity and the failure to incorporate a wide range of perspectives, leaving individuals to be misinformed rather than uneducated.

It is therefore incumbent upon us to seek out a variety of viewpoints and engage in critical thinking in order to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of the issues. Networks such as Fox News and MSNBC, for example, are known for shaping the opinions of their viewers in a particular direction, further complicating political discourse.

But deeper than that, we should just learn to accept. We must learn to accept people who hold beliefs that differ from our own and recognize that our opinions should guide our own lives rather than attempting to control the lives of others.

Respect for the freedom and autonomy of others is paramount, for without diversity of thought, democracy becomes a hollow concept. What do we have when everyone turns into more versions of ourselves? This principle applies equally to both political parties. It is essential to listen to one another, recognizing that neither party has a monopoly on the truth.

Educate yourself on their opinions, beliefs, and values, and while you may not agree with their positions, at least you become knowledgeable. And work to find a compromise. Ultimately, if we desire a thriving and functional democracy, we must be willing to engage in meaningful dialogue, respect the diversity of opinions and beliefs, and work towards a compromise to address the complex issues facing our society.