On Oct. 13, CNN hosted the first Democratic debate of the 2016 election season.

This was the third debate of the season, with the first two debates being Republican debates.

During the debates, the presidential candidates turned to Twitter to express their views to the opposing party.

“#DemDebate was really boring but had a lot of fun live tweeting and picked up by far the most followers,” said Republican candidate Donald Trump.

The GOP debate held Sept. 16 was  no exception.

“Fingers crossed we’re getting close to the part when they talk about things they’re for — instead of against. #GOPDebate,” said Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

These are only two examples of the many other claims made for and against each party.

If politics has become more about who can fight better and get more followers on social media, are we truly concerned with what’s best for our country?

As informed Americans, we should look at both sides of the story.

In 2014, 43 percent of registered voters were independents, rising from 35 percent in 2008, reaching an all-time high of registered independents, according to a Gallup study.

This bashing of political parties is not what America was originally built upon. It is what America has become. Many young adults feel pressured to choose one political party rather than another due to the beliefs of their parents.        

These young adults typically adopt the views of the family rather than forming their own opinions.

What good does this do for America if voters are not truly informed about the issues going on around us?


CODY DUKE | Scroll Illustration

It’s time to take a step back from being focused on which party is better.

In his farewell address in 1796, President George Washington warned the nation about the dangers of political parties.

“However (political parties) may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion,” Washington said.

There are many other U.S. political parties besides Democratic and Republican including the Libertarians, Constitutions and the Greens; however, the Democratic and Republican parties receive the most press, and people feel as if they need to align themselves with one of the main two parties.   

The numbers of registered voters for both the Democratic and Republican parties have dropped, due to the increase in registered independent voters, according to a Gallup study.

Since 2008, the Democratic Party has lost 6 percent of its voters, falling to 30 percent in 2014, and the Republican Party has lost 2 percent of its voters, falling to 26 percent in 2014, according to a Gallup study.

Since the two-party system was created, 18 presidents have been Republican, and 14 presidents have been Democratic.

We should look at both sides of an argument, but we end up looking solely to our party and laughing or criticizing what the other side is saying.

It’s OK to take the time to figure out one’s own beliefs, and then associate them to which party it goes with.

When Supreme Court justices interpret rules and laws to cases, they must put their personal beliefs aside in order to give the fairest ruling to everyone. They look at both sides of the issue in order to give the best ruling.

Beliefs are important in guiding America in the right direction, but we have become too blindsided by the party system.

“A house divided against itself cannot stand,” said President Abraham Lincoln in 1858.

We need to focus on the issue at hand rather than focus on what one party is saying about the other.