Politicians put party over people

Andrew Zerman is a junior English major. He is a Staff Writer for the Newswire from Cleveland.

We are living in an ugly era of American politics right now. We have a president who will cause further havoc to our country if he wins. If he loses, he will not accept the results and do anything to stay in power. 

In addition to this, politicians on both aisles do not give a crap about the American people. They just want to make decisions that will either directly benefit their position of privilege or for the sake of furthering their party’s agenda.

When former President Barack Obama was in office, there was a vacant Supreme Court seat in 2016. It was his final year, and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused to have a hearing to confirm a judge. His reasoning was that it was an election year and the American people had not yet spoken. Surely enough, Trump would choose someone to fill that seat since he won the electoral college, not the popular vote.

Fast forward to 2020 and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg passes away. Suddenly, the consensus on the right is no longer to hear about what the American people have to say this election. It was never about the American people in the first place. Saying it was for the American people was a thinly veiled attempt by McConnell to suppress a fundamental part of our democracy on the basis that he personally did not like the political beliefs of the president.

Isn’t it ironic that most of us are told as kids to never lie and always keep our word when those with the most prominent positions in our country do the complete opposite? Essentially, we do not elect people to represent us anymore. We now elect people to represent the party that we identify with and we are at the bottom of their priority list.

As of right now, there are hundreds of thousands of families struggling financially due to COVID-19. “Screw the poor. Appointing a justice is of utmost importance for the sake of partisan gain,” is essentially the message that the GOP controlled U.S. Senate is giving to the American people right now.

I have a lot of respect for Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) Both have announced in the last few days that they will not vote on a new judge until after the election, citing 2016 as the standard. 

They see the people as more important than the party. That is in this case at least. Collins confirmed Justice Brett Kavanaugh, an alleged rapist, to the court in 2018 on the basis of party approval.

Sure, you can send a message or a letter to your Republican senator if that makes you feel any better. You might as well send it to a brick wall though, because it will listen to your voice just about as much as a senator would.

I am a registered independent. I do think both parties are hypocritical at times, and I have my reasons for disliking both, but Republicans are in the spotlight for that right now since they are the ones in power. They are controlling almost everything, and their actions have much more power than the Democrats. 

And believe me, I have criticized Democratic politicians before for doing things that would only benefit their party. I thought that their attempt to make D.C. a state this year was for the sake of giving them two guaranteed seats in the Senate every time.

Our politicians need to look at the principles that our country was founded on and they are very people-centered and not party-centered.