Has anti-partisanship gone too far?

Pleas welcome Maia, a new contributor to Innermost Parts who gave me the following piece unsolicited this afternoon. ~Loki

On October 3rd the Hoot published a lengthy article about Innermost Parts not so subtly impugning the ‘Political Party’ that has supposedly emerged from a progressive voting block in the Senate. Adam Hughes (Union Vice President), Noam Shuster (Senator at Large), Andy Hogan (North Quad Senator), Nathan Robinson (Castle Quad Senator), Lev Hirschorn and Alex Melman, (Senators for the Class of 2011), were all cited as members of this new organization. The exposé was inspired by a post on Innermost Parts by Phil Lacombe ’10. The post incited a heated discourse about the existence of a ‘Progressive Party,’ as he called it.

However, the fact remains that no one wants a political party in the Student Union. The two-party system that controls Washington politics has left our generation disillusioned with any system that seems to reflect this inefficient method of governing. The thought that such corruption could possibly be infiltrating our serene campus is disturbing to say the least. But has our fear of Party Politics gone too far? Have we forgotten about the positive effects of cooperation and collaboration? Have we forgotten to support those who answer our call for action?

Last spring contributors to Innermost Parts were faced with a difficult decision: should they remain on the outside of the Student Union and simply continue to criticize their actions or should they dedicate themselves to enacting the change they wanted to see. They chose to take action. In an age of online apathy, where people hide behind their laptops, joining facebook groups and blogging, rather than actually contributing to society, this group of active students should be commended for the example they have set for future classes. Their message is clear: Don’t just sit there and complain, Do something about it!

In order to take this important step they had to abandon the anti-establishment myth; they had to realize that their criticisms were not only statements of opposition to the status quo but also statements in favor of action. This mature realization enabled readers and writers alike to run for office, support candidates, assist campaigns and conscientiously vote for the candidate that best reflects their ideals. This is Representative Democracy at its best!

Let’s stop allowing our fear of partisanship keep us from collectively supporting agents of necessary change.


6 thoughts on “Has anti-partisanship gone too far?”

  1. I have lost all faith in the ability of political parties to remain objective in all respects of the political system. I do not profess to be an anarchist, but I firmly believe that a candidate for political office must remain immune to partisan influence, for if he/she does not, then all objectivity is lost, and the purpose for which that candidate chose to run for office has been finally and totally subverted. A political candidate must represent his or her own viewpoints, plans, and ideas, and must be backed entirely by people, by individuals, and not by a self-centered partisan group. Thus has it been for over two centuries, and only through immediate action, spread throughout the country like a plague against the partisan interests, can the deed be done and the true freedom of the people restored.

  2. As you might have already guessed, I like political parties. They provide useful coalitions in governing, an intermediary between the people and a governing body, and organization when campaigning. Now in America, partisanship sucks because it’s either one way or the other. That’s not a fault of the Republicans or Democrats, its the fault of the single-member, first-past-the-post electoral system we have in this country. I love multi-party, consensus-based democratic systems, and explained in my interview with Ariel that I would be extremely enthused to see other political parties organize on campus. Unfortunately with the strong anti-partisanship on campus, it’s almost impossible to have a diverse collection of parties and platforms.

  3. Maia, you make some good points but I’m not sure about your dig at “people hide behind their laptops, joining facebook groups and blogging.”

    I own a laptop, have a facebook account, and blog quite a bit.

    What are you implying here?

  4. You make some really great points in this piece, Maia. This sets up a great understanding for the Democracy for America (DFA) and Innermost Parts connection. The goal for DFA is to work to elect officials into office who will enact the change we need in the United States Congress. In this day and age, it is clear that electing change-oriented officials is the most effective way to put our nation in the right direction. We can blog and protest all we want… but unless the policy makers are on the side of the people, nothing will get done.
    Members of DFA recognize this value and it would be foolish if this same concept was not applied to local governing bodies as well, in this case the Student Union.
    The best point you made, by far, was that our writers here did want change and they each recognized the real way to get change accomplished – action from within.

    Welcome to Innermost Parts, Maia!

  5. I agree with you, Maia, and this was indeed our line of thinking when it came to running for office.

    We all decided independently to do so, actually, and merely wanted Innermost Parts’ endorsement just as we wanted endorsements from many clubs.

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