OPINION Partisan Fighting: The Obstruction of Political Progress


John Pritchett

Republican elephant boxing Democrat donkey

A partisan is defined as a committed member of a political or army. In multi-party systems the term “Partisan Fighting” is used to describe the intolerance that a partisan has to opposing views from another source. This intolerance has obstructed progression in politics for hundreds of years and is now seemingly more common than before.

In George Washington’s farewell address, Washington heeded a warning, “the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organize a faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party.” Washington realized that the formation of political parties would cause a misrepresentation of the majorities true beliefs and instead represent the parties beliefs.

Using Washington’s belief about political factions, this system of representative political parties undermines the beliefs of many and creates a system where it is up to a minority to decide the laws and policies of the country. Taking all of this into account already conveys undertones of a flawed system, but considering the problem of partisan fighting exemplifies the issues with our system.

Partisan fighting in itself delays political progress, it turns debates into fights and verity into fallacy. When we have a system that already caters to a minority, this type of political arguing not only misrepresents a majority, but more often than not fails to push forward any meaningful agenda.

This obstruction is commonly found in the citizenship that makes up political parties as well, the two major parties in America are the Democratic party and the Republican Party, in-fighting is a common sight between individuals of this party. This political in-fighting fails to resolve political injustices as well as progress the common body of knowledge.

As I’ve described, we have a two-party system that fails to represent the majority and fails to allow political progression among politicians and citizens. This is a dangerous combination, we are currently in a time of varied political bodies with diametrically opposed viewpoints, and it is important that we can come together as a unity to resolve issues instead of seeing it as a fight to win, nobody wins in this type of fight.

It is my belief that there needs to be significant political reform in the way we handle political factions as well as how we handle the exceedingly large amount of political in-fighting. Politics should no longer be about winning, it should be about collectively moving forward as a country, and as a citizen.