Home > Learning > Government Reflection #1: Reflecting on Political Parties

Government Reflection #1: Reflecting on Political Parties

     It seems that that the United States has finally taken a step in the right direction when it comes to equal protection for all people. The Violence Against Women Act was finally passed by Senate. With a successful final push through the house the legislation creates and expands programs assisting local communities with law enforcement and aiding victims of domestic and sexual abuse. The most controversial part of the new legislation is that it goes further than just women to offer protection for gay, bisexual and transgender victims of domestic abuse. It also includes American Indian women who are assaulted on reservations by non-indians, it gives them the ability to take their case to tribal courts which would otherwise not have been allowed due to jurisdiction issues. This was a huge step forward for human rights in this country but a huge step back for Republicans. For the third time in two months Speaker John Boehner brought a piece of legislation to the table without the approval of a majority of house Republicans. Conservative republicans worry that continuing to give democrats the deciding vote in congress will give them too much power.

This story represents the best and the worst of the goings on in our country at the moment. While it seems we have finally reached a point in our history we can take a step through truly having equal rights for all people, we are still struggling to reach full success. It seems strange that we can pass a bill saying we will protect against domestic abuse between gay couples without allowing them to get married.  It seems that even with some of the most progressive minds of this generation in office we cannot get equality achieved. I think the biggest part of this event that connects to our class is the role the Speaker of The House has played as head of party. By definition he should be doing what he believes leads his party in the direction it wants to go and yet he put a piece of legislation on the table that republicans didn’t even help write, a point that minority leader, Nancy Pelosi. Republicans are the majority in the house right now but since they are divided among themselves the deciding vote is going to the democrats. With my new knowledge of how congress works and how parties operate it seems to me that this is the foundation of the issues that congress has been having. If the republican party can’t even get along with itself, how are they expected to reach major decisions with the republicans to solve major issues such as last December’s Fiscal Cliff Crisis? 

What our class has taught me is that Politics is ultimately the art of Negotiation. In a country of Millions, we elect a few hundred leaders. These leaders are meant to come together and figure out what is best for our country. Though it can’t be easy representing millions of opinions, these leaders need to be able to put their egos aside and save our country. In the end it doesn’t matter whether you’re Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal, in the end we’re all American. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/01/us/politics/congress-passes-reauthorization-of-violence-against-women-act.html?pagewanted=1&src=ISMR_AP_LO_MST_FB 

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