A message from Congress

Our View

On Jan. 24, President Obama gave his third annual State of the Union address. Attending his address was Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D), who narrowly survived gunshot wounds after a shooting last year in Tucson, Ariz. Still recuperating from her wounds, she stepped down from her position in Congress the day after the president’s address to spend time on her recovery.

On entering the House of Representatives chamber before the address, Giffords received cheers from audience members for her attendance. She took her seat next to Congressman Jeff Flake (R), also from Arizona.

Throughout President Obama’s address, Giffords repeatedly struggled in standing up to applaud due to her injuries. But while Flake holds opposing political views to Giffords, he helped her stand on every occasion. At one point, he started getting looks from fellow Republicans because it appeared he was the only one of them standing up to clap for the president.

Unfortunately, political partisanship is part of the United States governments’ definition. It seems to divide individuals to the point that they cannot acknowledge each other beyond criticizing their political motives. Flake, however, bridged the great rift last Tuesday and risked standing as the only Republican among all Democrats for the sake of helping his friend. He disregarded the hard feelings between the parties and did what any person should do, regardless of beliefs.

Political partisanship is painfully evident at the high school level, as well. At any hint that seems to discredit the opposing party, some particularly outspoken students chortle out loud in pleasure. These students may one day recognize their immaturity and give the people who support the opposing political party some respect.

Seriously, everyone. Let’s stop bickering. Giffords and Flake (and the rest of us) would really appreciate it.

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