Today I’m supposed to write about that thing that makes me go “huh?” with lack of comprehension. I will admit, when I first saw this prompt, I intended to write about something lofty that confuses me, such as love, forgiveness, or some other emotion. Now that I’m sitting down to write, though, all my thoughts are consumed by the political. Because of this, and in an effort to be completely honest about what’s bouncing around inside my head, I’m going to break that conversation taboo that we’ve all been muttering to ourselves for the last two years before going to dinner parties: “Don’t talk about politics.”

Now, I don’t mean that I’m going to talk about merits or demerits about certain political parties. That is opening a can of worms that is just not worth the trouble of opening. No, I want to talk about an attitude that I’ve seen growing in politics, particularly American politics, over the last couple decades.

Why is there next to no collaboration between parties?

Party systems are created so that everyone can feel like there is a group that represents them in politics, yes, but party politics are not meant to be a “bloodless” form of civil war. One party is not supposed to seek the demise of the other party. No one party is supposed to rise from the ashes over the rest to parade its wishes (and only its wishes) on the stage of policy with no regard to politicians outside its party.

Instead, parties are supposed to work together toward the better governing of their people. Compromise is supposed to be a good word, not dirtied by the soot of corporations, the grime of underhand deals, or the sludge of self-interest.

But that’s not what I see in modern politics. I see retribution, hatred, vindictiveness, threats, extremes.

My personal political views are varied. I myself am a self-proclaimed centrist, particularly because I try to see the points of all sides. As such, the lack of compromise, especially because I can see how beneficial compromise would be for everyone, pains and confuses me.

I don’t understand why compromise is not in modern politics. I don’t know how compromise can be reintroduced. I have no solutions to this problem, I just don’t understand why it has to be a problem to begin with.