It seems inevitable that political tensions are peaking as we approach the presidential election. Due to our two-party system, most of this stems from the partisan politics between Democrats and Republicans. However, this time around you can add a global pandemic, various natural disasters, and a heightened awareness of racial and social injustice to amplify the banter.
With all of these challenges upon us, it’s easy to forget how much we have in common. Certainly, one inevitable element we all must navigate is CHANGE.
I wasn’t happy with my lukewarm coffee this morning, so I put it in the microwave. I wasn’t happy with how sleepy I was, so I brewed more. It’s a simple concept, but it’s easy to forget how universal it is, especially when it comes to politics and society.
The framers of our Constitution accounted for the inevitability of change when they established a more perfect union. Rather than just wait for completely avoidable conflicts to occur, they had the brilliant foresight to leave room for change. America isn’t perfect, and how we morph toward that utopian goal is always a work in progress.
It’s clear that things are currently tumultuous. This year has been tough for a lot of people, regardless of their political views. But let’s not simply blame this discord on a single year. How about we analyze it?
For starters, the results for the 2016 presidential election were close. The Federal Election Commission reported that Hillary Clinton led the popular vote with 48.19%, while Donald Trump was close behind with 46.09%. That’s almost 50/50. This means, regardless of the outcome, about half of the voters wound up disappointed. On top of that, the 40% of eligible voters who didn’t vote—also relatively close to half—were likely too jaded with the process or just disinterested enough not to bother. Either way you look at it, the math stays the same. Cutting something in half twice doesn’t leave you with much of a sample size
It’s an unfortunate pattern, but at least this disappointment led to something encouraging. According to the United States Census Bureau, the 2018 midterm elections had the highest turnout for a midterm in 40 years. This apparent discontent drove more than half of the voting population to the polls. Groups that didn’t vote in the 2016 election finally made themselves heard.
Maybe the two parties are becoming more polarized. Maybe the numbers only look like this because more people are beginning to identify as neither Republican nor Democrat. Or maybe it’s just a classic case of pride getting in the way of compromise. Regardless of how you interpret these numbers, it means that there is yet again an opportunity to make the union more perfect.
It’s a common misconception that people are against their country if they dislike its current state. That if they truly loved their country, they would always be proud of it. Most Americans agree that our country can always be better. We can cheer for the home team and still want them to improve their game. I can enjoy my hot coffee and still want more of it. Our desire for progress should be seen as admirable, regardless of how it may evolve.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with being content. Everyone wants that. But as these statistics show, most of us don’t feel that way right now. So how will you affect the change you desire? How will you utilize the freedoms provided by our Constitution to make the United States a more perfect union?
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This report is a publication of Demand Wealth. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date, but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of publication and are subject to change.