The phrase “party divided” has a certain relevance for the future of our country. What is the relationship between parties in the United States? How do they interact with each other and how do we change that to get what we want out of government? There is a term for this situation. In fact there are many terms that describe it.
In a public disagreement between two parties, we call it a “partisan war.” When there are political fights between political parties, we call it a “political battle.” When there are political conflicts between political parties and their representatives, we call it a “partisan convention.” A politically disunited political party stands no chance of actually winning the election unless they break up. A politically disunited political party is not just divided along political lines; it is also disloyal to democracy and the rule of law. Political parties that are not working together or even disagreeing with each other are a threat to the future of our nation. A party that cannot cooperate does not represent the will of the people and is not representing the interests of the majority.
The public’s attention has been captured by the current debates. Politics have entered a new era with two major parties that are no longer in agreement with each other. It is not always easy to make decisions in a party that cannot agree with each other. People who cannot work well in a team or working with others have a difficult time getting along with others. It may be because of a personality conflict, lack of communication skills or an unwillingness to compromise. One side may say one thing and do another. In some cases, a party that cannot agree can actually harm itself because it does not allow enough of a division to win the vote.
It is important for a party to have a strong sense of party unity. Party unity means different things to different people. For some, party unity means an absolute loyalty to the party and its leaders and policies while for others, it is a sense of obligation to fellow members and to help the party succeed. Party unity means more than just being loyal to the party.
What is party unity? Is it a state of mind? Is it a set of rules, a set of principles or a combination of all three? Is it a party united by an ideology that is true or is it merely an alliance of party members?
Many have questioned whether or not a party should try to achieve party unity, at least until after they win the election. There are good reasons for doing so. But I believe the answer is both yes and no, depending on the party and their philosophy and their elected officials.