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The Campus

The student news site of Allegheny College

The Campus

The student news site of Allegheny College

The Campus

The Political Herd- Republican Columnist

As finals were over and stress levels declined, all across campus students were departing from their grind.

I, however, re–entered the grind and continued to examine the current political climate at Allegheny’s “Pathway to Civility” conference.

Designed as an effort to examine the current political situation and environment in America, the Center for Political Participation’s conference was largely centered on a survey it conducted and published in April, titled “Nastiness, Name-calling, & Negativity.”

Students from Minnesota to South Carolina attended the conference and its several workshops in order to find the reasons for incivility in American politics and its affects on the populace.

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At the conclusion of the workshop, and following the examination of the survey’s data, the attendees (from a wide realm of political beliefs) agreed upon “Ten Tips to Improve Civility.”

Those ten tips can be found online at the CPP’s Web site.

The bottom line is to listen to other ideas instead of blocking out all opposing points of view.

It’s quite simple to look at headlines and determine that the Republican and Democratic parties are feuding with one another over an important national issue.

Obviously this problem must be fixed in order to ensure fair representation of each district. Some of the gleaming problems in Congress are healthcare reform, economic reform and the START arms reduction treaty.

Specifically with the renewal of the START treaty, both academia and politicians on both sides of the aisle have exposed many flaws. According to The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, the Democratic agenda in Congress has been to support President Obama’s START treaty at all costs (this can be found from liberal think tanks as well). Now Congress’ support of START is to ensure that Obama’s treaty is not a political failure.

Keeping in mind that this is incivility in American politics, the right is also guilty. One of their most fatal mistakes has been to block important executive appointments that will help the Obama administration to run more effectively. Their mentality is that an ineffective administration will help the GOP’s election chances in November, a goal they’ve worked towards instead of helping the government better serve its people.

This is where the most crucial aspect of the CPP’s survey comes into the picture. According to USA Today, the results show that 70 percent of Americans blame political parties for the decline in civility.

When looking at national headlines, this finding is very convincing. The lack of trust in political parties for representational governance has begun to politicize the nation.

Unfortunately every branch of the federal government has undergone politicization. Judicial appointments have always been political, but the Supreme Court itself is now being affected by growing partisanship.

According to CNN, nearly every recent judicial ruling has been politically divided. When the nation’s judicial system has become politicized, a grave problem is present.

Placing blame is difficult, but there are a few obvious candidates. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid have both politically divided Congress over any major issue. President Obama, the national leader, has let both of them run rampant with extreme partisanship. Although the partisan problem has been ongoing, Obama has contributed and exasperated the issue.

Instead of focusing on his own agendas in order to inflate his political image, the president should try and fix a broken political environment and let the respective branches of the government carry out their constitutional duties.

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