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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Political parties caught in their own contradictions

Guest Column: James Heltunen

The fall brings a change of the seasons. The leaves turn red and carpet the Earth.

It is a predictable natural phenomenon. Autumn also facilitates a much less predictable American process: election season.

But unlike the natural laws, American politicians are not bound by science or physics. Political survival justifies any means to an end.

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The American politician currently runs solely on electability. They are willing to sell out their principles for votes.

They are willing to create a tax loophole for a Super-PAC’s support.

The politician blatantly lies to the American public and often supports contradicting policies.

It is not surprising that the former Chinese Communist leader Deng Xiaoping once said, “The United States brags about its political system, but the President says one thing during the election, something else when he takes office, something else at midterm and something else when he leaves.”

One of the founding principles in the Constitution is limited liberty.

Limited liberty allows you to pursue your needs and interests as long as they do not infringe upon another person’s liberty.

Simply put, you cannot kill your neighbor for his land because that infringes on his right to live.

Both Republicans and Democrats claim to love liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Unfortunately, their actions speak louder than their rhetoric.

Let’s look at the Grand Old Party first.

They are the self-proclaimed sons and daughters of the Constitution.

The Republican Party supposedly loathes unnecessary government intervention in the economy and personal life.

But once regulations are put into law, a different reality comes to light.

Republicans that “distrust” a large federal government somehow helped create the Patriot Act (“sneak and peek” warrants and roving wire tapes) under former President George W. Bush.

They dislike government intervention in the economy but supported the bank bailouts in 2008.

Democrats are allegedly the party of the working-class, the anti-imperialists and the progressives on social reform.

They claim to battle all forms of discrimination and believe that all individuals have equal rights regardless of race, sex, sexual-orientation or religion.

Democrats support the principles of limited liberty in the Constitution by mainly supporting the First, Fourth and Fifth Amendment.

Unfortunately, they supported the Patriot Act under former President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama renewed it in 2011.

The Patriot Act can allow the government to violate those same amendments according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The United States Department of Treasury claims that the Patriot Act is intended “to deter and punish acts of terrorism in the United States and around the world.”

Instead of protecting people, this act has allowed law enforcement to breech the privacy of millions of Americans, circumventing due process and obtaining information without warrants.

This doesn’t sound like anti-imperialism to me, nor does it sound like small government.

This debases the credibility of both parties because they go against their own platform, their coveted ideology.

The two parties contradict themselves again by fighting a person’s Second Amendment right to own a handgun or assault rifle.

Democrats talk about being the working class party but most voted for the bank bailout in 2008 and the auto bailout in 2009.

Both these bailouts cost the working class billions of tax dollars. NBC News reported in 2012 that the White House estimates that taxpayers will lose $25 billion on the General Motors bailout alone.

The proponents of the working class are actually hurting those they swore to protect. Whose interests are they serving? Not ours.

A nation reaps what it sows. We keep electing officials who contradict their own philosophy. We do not hold them accountable.

Americans have grown apathetic towards Washington D.C. and our noble form of government.

Young Americans and college students especially need to become more informed and involved.

The young demographic is frequently under-represented in general elections. Because of this, both parties cater to the needs of others rather than the young population.

It is imperative that students become more involved in the political process by casting their votes after careful consideration.

I encourage all to learn the principles of freedom and liberty. Learn about all the different issues and never compromise principles.

Vote with logic and reason instead of emotion. Don’t vote on the basis of party affiliation. Look into the actions of both parties and make your decision.

There is too much at stake in this upcoming election for us to make the same errors in judgement. Enough of the status quo. It’s time for a real change.

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