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Journal Writing Project A Little ‘More’ Political Insight

By Mitchell Walbridge

Mon, Feb 20th, 2012
Posted in All Journal Student Writing Project

Every morning when I wake up, I usually follow my routine. Generally, that includes switching on the television to view what is happening in the world. Over the past several months, the news has been plagued by stories of the latest details of political scandals, recaps and summaries of Presidential primary debates, and in-depth interviews with some of our country’s most well known and recognized political icons. If the names Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul do not ring a bell, then it’s probably safe to say you have been living under a rock for the past six months.

Since the beginning of the Presidential race, the Iowa Caucus, so much scrutiny has been focused on what is right and wrong with each of the candidate’s political ideologies, even if they are within the same party. I should point out, however, that the atmosphere of this election is no different than any of the previous ones. As many of us get sick of the bantering of the popular morning new shows or the nightly news, the truth is we have many more months of it. Those who are vying for the seat in the oval office will most likely only become more aggressive in their campaigns. So here comes my challenging question: Is there truly a lack of cooperation and bipartisanship among our politicians? Although I am aware of party lines: Democrats, Republicans, and everyone in between on the political spectrum, shouldn’t everyone be working together to fix the problems rather than putting all efforts on trying to put one political party in power regardless of what they stand for?

This is probably one of the most puzzling concepts of modern day government and politics. Or maybe it is just a concept that I struggle to comprehend. Are we a society in which all people care about is power and control? I cannot truly say that is what all or even most of our politicians care about because I cannot read their minds. I would hope that many of our leaders have our best interests at heart. However, without cooperation from each side, it will be impossible to achieve our goals and fix our problems such as our national debt crisis or international affairs.

So why is the bipartisan way of politics such a challenge? Because each political party has preserved its own set of beliefs and its own platform, they plan to overcome challenges in different ways. Not that diversity in opinion is a bad thing, it often makes cooperation difficult. Keep in mind, though, that if we all had conformed opinions, we would not be introduced to some of the brilliant ideas brought up from a debate.

Analyzing politics and government is not something I do on a regular basis. I do not claim to be an expert in political science. I try to keep an open mind to new proposals and the existing ones. I also believe that it is difficult to criticize leadership unless you are a leader yourself. I think that is an important theory to keep in mind this important election year.

Mitchell Walbridge is a student at Lanesboro High School. He is one of 8 area students participating in the Journal Writing Project, now in its thirteenth year.

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