Cincinnati’s Curse is That We Are All Pawns in the Game of Our Two-Party System

Last year we witnessed what will be remembered as one of the worst years in American Election history. Time and time again I heard something along the lines of “well, at least he’s not crooked” or “well, at least she’s inclusive.” Yet again, we found ourselves in having to pick the lesser of two evils, but I have to remind everyone that evil is still evil. The leadership of both parties has proven to be incredibly corrupt in selling out their votes to the highest bidder when considering issues during legislative votes. Even the Supreme Court, which is supposed to be the most objective section of the government, has become a tool for the parties to jostle over. Then again, who isn’t a tool to these parties anymore?

The Republicans capitalize on using religion as a tool to achieve their ends. They narrow their base to such a small, yet active voter base that wants to make sure that certain values stay apparent in our culture. While there’s nothing wrong with being religious, there is something wrong with trying to control the behavior of others due to religious preference. So here we are in 2017 with a completely red government and many women, LGBTQ citizens, and others are afraid they’re going to lose their human rights. Frankly, I’m scared for them because it doesn’t look like there will be a voice to stop them over the course of the next four years. Yet the republican leadership will keep doing exactly what many in their voter base wants with swift disregard.

The Democrats capitalize on the downtrodden, minorities, and social justice advocates. Much to the discernment of many whom may read this: The democratic party has done very little for the homeless and minorities in this country on a national level. Their greatest achievement during President Obama’s years in office was a healthcare system that worked for some, but ended up hurting many in the middle class as well. No major changes were made to criminal justice reform. Young African American and Hispanic citizens are still being incarcerated at unprecedented rates. More people from the middle class fell into the lower middle class. The list goes on.

At this point, we have to question: Who and what are not tools for these parties to achieve their means? They tell groups of people that they care, but then either fail to enact the promised change or completely shaft another section of the population in the same motion. If you try to be reasonable or compromise, they chastise you for not being firm in your beliefs. What if I care about making sure that no one in our first world country has to go without food in their stomachs, but think we’re wasting too much money without responsible spending? What if I think both education and national security should be equal priorities? What if I think my gay best friends should be able to get married and protect themselves with a semi-automatic if they want? Does that make me Republican? Democrat? Or am just doing this crazy thing where I form my own opinion based on logical thoughts? We need to stop being pawns in a chess game for others. We need to take back our independence as voters.

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Originally Featured on Thought Catalog.