Why Do People Vote Along Party Lines? [OPINION]
DISCLAIMER: I am using these examples because they were the most prevalent examples on my Facebook page. I understand that it happens on both sides of the political spectrum. If you find a similar example, I encourage you to post that example in the comments section. My goal here is to get people to realize that it's important to research prior to voting.
Representative Clay Higgins retained his seat in Louisiana's 3rd Congressional District in yesterday's election. Some people rejoiced, and some are stumped as to how he was reelected.
I think that it is clear as to how many of our politicians retain their seats: people frequently blindly vote along party lines.
Facebook was flooded with congratulatory posts regarding Representative Higgins' reelection, with little explanation/substantiation backing up their posts. On the other hand, there were many in disbelief that he retained his seat.
One Facebook user posted something that stood out to me:
If you voted for Higgins, why? Honestly. I want to know. Does he tickle your evil chamber or something? He has, according to a politically mixed party I hung out with tonight, accomplished absolutely nothing legislatively for our state. I asked five very different people tonight what he has done for our state and everyone held up zeros for different reasons. Even his fans said zero, BUT.
Y’all think he’s hot? Is he funny? Is he charming with his completely fabricated accent? Are you just towing the party line? Did he bring some funding to your district? What did this Forrest Gump slash Peter Sellers in Being There MF do to make you vote for him?
This is apolitical. The man has no business in office for a variety of reasons that are yet to be fully examined.
If you love Higgins, I want to know why.
Of the Facebook users who replied, there were only 2 who (I assume) voted for Representative Clay Higgins. One posted the following:
At a moment where love is most needed in this world ridicule runs rampant. Its up to us. ❤️ Love IS the answer. Remind me not how we're sinking.
That Facebook user makes a great observation: there is a lot of ridicule in this world, and not enough love. But it doesn't answer the original question: "Why did you vote for Higgins?"
Another Facebook user posted the following answer to the question:
I voted for him just to piss people like you off. It’s my choice who I vote for and I don’t have to have a reason.
That answer led to somewhat of a firestorm of name-calling, back-and-forth comments that FINALLY got the Facebook user to reveal why he voted for Rep. Higgins. His response was:
"I voted for Higgins because I believe he is a die (sic) conservative that will stand with his party during a vote which historically has the same beliefs as me."
So, in short, he voted along party lines. (Remember, I am not saying that Representative Clay Higgins is a bad choice: only history will tell us that.)
Here's my beef: If you are voting for a candidate with the sole intention of making others' lives miserable, you need to reconsider your life choices. Researching a candidate (politicians' voting records can be found here) and finding out what he/she stands for (go deeper than watching their political ads) will take some time and work, but isn't our country worth more than just blindly voting along party lines?
I used Representative Higgins as an example, but it happens on both sides of the aisle: some Democrats would paint their faces blue in support of all Democrats just as some Republicans would paint themselves red to support their side.
Another user, later in the thread, posted this:
Sure would be nice to hear the responses to the same question if asked about Maxine Waters, or the dead guy in Nevada. Simple answer is blind party voting with no effort placed on research!
It's so much easier to say "Well, I am a registered X-Party member, so I'll just vote for X-Party members down the line" than it is to take time to research each candidate to see where they stand on each issue.
As voters, it appears that Americans have become very lazy.
If you took your time to research the issues, choose your candidates based on their core values and voting records, kudos to you, as it appears you are the exception.
I don't know what it will take to get our country back on a good track. I am not a politician, nor would I ever consider running for office. Conservatives like what President Trump is doing (fulfilling his campaign promises, minorities, environment, and allies be damned); Liberals are not happy with many of his policies (but are enjoying a great economy and low unemployment).
How can we come up with a good balance? How can we have a strong economy and still be friends with the rest of the world? How can we protect our borders yet still have compassion for people who seek asylum? Is it possible to find a happy medium?
If we continue to blindly vote along party lines, I am afraid that the answer is "No".