The partisan divide has become such a big deal in America that we’ve started applying it even when it’s not appropriate.

Standing up for a cause because it has merit is the point of partisanship in its purest sense. But these days, thanks to the negative effects of social media on politics and the cancerous condition of ethics in our highest political circles, everything and anything can become a political football.

Gun Control

A paltry 1.5 percent of the U.S. population — that’s how many people the NRA represents.

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Somehow, this small but vocal contingent of the community has convinced us the debate about gun control needs to keep spiraling out of control. It’s sad too, because all that wasted time costs lives.You don’t have to be uber-liberal to get behind this movement. More than two-thirds of the country agrees we need to pass new laws that will have a tangible impact on the ease with which Americans can get guns and hurt each other.

It’s the civilized thing to do — and we’ve seen how well it works in Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and other parts of the world. But people like owning guns, and thanks to one man’s interpretation of our 200-year-old constitution — a document written before anyone could have conceived of an assault rifle — we can’t move forward on something that’s not only sensible, but which would save hundreds of lives. What a shame.

Campaign Finance Reform

2010’s Citizens United decision brought about a new era in the world of American politics. By allowing companies to donate to politicians as individuals, it has effectively allowed powerful corporations to pay to control who runs our government. But this shouldn’t be a partisan issue. We should select the people in power based on merit, not which businesses they pander to.

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Without caps on who can donate what, politicians make campaign promises they know will encourage corporations to give. While some on the left have stood up for finance reform, the fact that many people in power don’t recognize how this encourages corruption is flat-out disturbing. It’s not how democracy is supposed to work.

The longer we go without overturning this decision, the deeper big business digs its claws into our politicians, ensuring things will only get worse. We need to act. Not in a partisan way, but as a country.

The War on Marijuana Legalization

Even though medical cannabis is now available in 29 states, and voters have approved recreational use of the drug in nine, we still have a war on marijuana legalization. What for?

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions seems to think berating pot smokers will become his legacy, as though he’s doing anything but slowing the progress of the inevitable.

The majority of Republicans actually support marijuana legalization. Of all the “partisan issues” out there that really aren’t, this might be one of the silliest examples. Why are our tax dollars going to waste paying Congress to drag this out? The right’s insistence on dragging this issue back into the spotlight is just another example of hyper-partisan bullying. It seems sometimes as though hyper-partisans would rather see the other side lose than see us fix important, pressing issues that need to be focused on.

Equality for All

Show us a politician who will come out and decry the movement toward equality in plain speak, and we’ll show you… a president?

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The Nixonian old-boys’-club throwback of an administration we have in power has lambasted just about anyone, even the best political news websites out there, who tries to call out the blatant misogyny, racism and bigotry rampant in our society and politics. Many minorities still can’t feel confident in speaking up, lest they illicit a backlash from peers.

Under the Obama administration, the progressive movement enjoyed multiple successes. It seemed as though the country had finally agreed equality for all, among other issues, was important.

Today, however, there is some perception that the equality movement boils down to liberals vs. conservatives. That’s just not the case.

Avoid the Spin

More than ever, biased media is distorting the way we look at the world and what partisan issues look like. The alt-right and other extremist groups are using technology to breed confusion and unrest. But it is possible to rise above this noise. Follow the best news sites to stay informed, get your news from multiple sources and check your facts.

Have open conversations with people who think differently from you. Get involved in local politics, and encourage your friends to do the same. We are a country of intelligent people — let’s not allow the few to drown out the voices of the many.

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Hi, I'm Kate Harveston. I'm originally from Williamsport, PA. After pursuing my degree in Professional Writing, it seemed only natural to get out there and start blogging! I am currently pursuing a career as a journalist and freelance writer, covering everything from human rights and gender equality, to US government and international politics. My life goal is to be one of the best female political writers online, while having some fun along the way (because politics can be fun!).

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