The polarization of the United States: Can our generation ever find a middle ground?

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Sierra D

Matthew Kim, Editor

Democrat or Republican. Liberal or Conservative. In our polarized political climate it feels as if our political leanings precede our identity as Americans. Even amidst victory by a president elect who preaches peace and unity, there is an ever pervading feeling of divide within the country. 

“America feels so extremely polarized right now…especially with everything going on with the election, I feel like it’s so hard for our country to come together,” said Brett Miller (’21). 

The 2020 election was to be a turning point for a country scarred by hate and division. A referendum against a President who refused to publicly denounce white supremacy and called upon a white nationlist group to “Stand by and Stand ready”. 

While the American people voted to set the country upon a path of unity, a United States of America feels distant. Even in the face of a deadly pandemic and a President unwilling to uphold our democracy, we remain divided. Radical narratives pushed by both sides consume the media. 

“It feels like in today’s political climate we’re being exposed to two different sides from the media, depending on which party we support. I think this is really dividing the country and making people question opposing views,” said Mark Lester (’21). 

It feels as if both Democrats and Republicans are more set on scoring a political victory than helping the American people. We scorn and ridicule those on the other end of the political spectrum, believing that we are so fundamentally different. 

Finding a middle ground today may seem impossible. Yet we have no choice but to seek it out. Government remains gridlocked, BLM clashes with white nationalist groups, and America’s democracy is under fire.

America is hurting right now, our government, particularly congress is unable to do anything and it feels as if no bills or laws ever get passed because no one is willing to compromising with each other,” said Lester.

We as citizens must be open minded, to listen to those different from us and to use our voice to speak not scorn. The middle ground is filled with those who understand both sides, respectful of change and tradition. America must find a middle ground, and I believe we can.

“I feel like Gen Z is open minded and very involved in politics, and I believe that our generation can help start the conversation to find a middle ground,” said Grace Chen (’21). 

At the end of the day we are all Americans, not Republicans or Democrats. We all want what we believe is best for our country. And yes, our visions may differ, but at the end of the day we all value America because it is a place of freedom and democracy.

A middle ground will foster the change and healing this country needs. Like all great changes—it must start with the people.