HILLSBOROUGH: Politics as usual doesn’t cut it anymore


Reader Submitted
To the editor:
In the aftermath of the 2016 election, it’s clear that both the Democratic and Republican parties seem to have lost focus on their core beliefs and many people aren’t having it. I’ve recently been reading a book talking about how the Democratic party is losing its base, and judging by the last presidential election it’s clear to see. The party is shifting their focus from the working class citizens to a tighter niche group of people with very particular beliefs and ideas.
About 30 years ago, the Democratic party and its values were very clear; they were the party of the common man while the Republicans were for the elites. Democrats followed basic liberal principles and allied themselves with blue collar workers, middle class Americans, and labor unions. True Democratic principles stemmed from the idea of government involvement brought about by Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his solution to the Great Depression known as “The New Deal.” A large sum of government money was put into creating programs like the Emergency Banking Relief Act, and the Civilian Conservation Corps. However, the democrats have been slowly alienating those blue collar, middle class workers, which is why many traditionally democratic voters might have been hesitate to even vote at all in the primaries.
Meanwhile, Republicans felt that the government should stay out of its citizens life as much as possible. Although they were able to gain control of all three branches of government during the election they too are having an identity crisis. Their inability to follow through with their promise of repeal and replace Obamacare angered many Republican voters and further separated the party from their base. Plus the fact that many Republicans voted against repealing Obamacare shows that Republicans are unsure of where to turn. Not to mention that the Republican nomination was won by someone that doesn’t hold a lot of true conservative values that are normally aligned with Republican candidates.
Overall, I think the American people are tired of the same politicians saying the same things over and over again. Both political parties have been deviating from their original values, and while it provides some noble causes it also creates riffs between voters and the government. Now more than ever citizens do not trust the government or feel that their views and values are represented by either party. I think that in the next couple of years political parties need to make some drastic changes or there could be some serious repercussions. Both Democrats and Republicans need to stop tailoring their policies to niche groups and expand back to basic principles that are umbrella issues across the country.
Katherine Patton