Parties’ rift shows US political system is on the decline

By Ai Jun Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/17 20:43:20

The glory days of the US political system are tumbling down. A vote carried out by the US House of Representatives on Tuesday revealed once again how strong the smell of gunpowder is between Republicans and Democrats. As ex-Republican congressman Justin Amash, who quit the Republican Party earlier this month, said, "Our politics is in a partisan death spiral."

The House voted Tuesday to pass a resolution to condemn US President Donald Trump's xenophobic remarks on four non-white Democratic lawmakers and hostile language toward immigrants. After a bitter partisan debate, the resolution was approved by all Democratic members and only four Republicans. The New York Times called it "muted criticism" from the Republican Party while putting it bluntly that Republicans rarely criticize the president directly, because "it's Trump's Party."

The trend in US politics is getting quite obvious by now - loyalty to party is more important than serving the country or people. This is the biggest political correctness for both the Republican and Democratic parties today. 

Bipartisanship, which used to help the two major opposing parties realize a balance to achieve common goals and reduce failures in policy, is now becoming a stumbling block to even approve policies that can be supported by both sides. For quite some time, the two parties seem to have exercised no restraint in blocking each other, which has caused numerous stalemates on issues, including the budget, taxation, social security, immigrants and the environment. 

Some say it is because US society is divided. This is nothing more than a far-fetched excuse, because the country could have bridged the gap in society through bipartisanship by choosing optimal policies. Instead, the two major US parties are using the social rifts to promote their own party's philosophy, or worse, for personal interests. 

As the New York Times pointed out, "Republicans worry that, even at a moment when the president is stirring division, a perceived slight or unwarranted criticism could lead Mr. Trump to throw them off, an outcome that could be ruinous to their political careers."

Republicans' latest silence over Trump's racist tweets shows how US parties have degenerated. As a result, Americans are becoming increasingly tired of US politics.

Americans used to treat their political system as a genesis mythology, which brought the country glory days for a long period of time. They worship their system and believe everyone else should learn from the US. US politicians have also been advertising the superiority of their political system across the globe. They believe such superiority is the most crucial reason to have made the US the greatest nation as it was in the world and are therefore intoxicated with it - until now, when political polarization breaks the fairy tale and drags the US downhill. 

James Wilson, a renowned US social scientist, once wrote, "America cannot be defeated on the battlefield, but it can be defeated at home. Polarization is a force that can defeat us."

Be it Wilson or Amash, a growing number of US politicians have woken up to the hard truth - a cancer is growing in their previously all-mighty political system. Yet the problem is, they have no idea where the system will lead them and how they can fix it. And the US is declining exactly from this point.

Posted in: OBSERVER

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