Our View: Don’t allow yourself to blindly follow politicians

In November, Americans voted on the 46th President of the United States. In a highly competitive race between former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden, voters quickly became divided across party lines. 

In the aftermath of the election, people continue to associate themselves with their candidate, but voting for a candidate in an election does not mean that voters support every action the candidate makes afterwards. 

Voting for a candidate does not mean full, unconditional support for every policy and action of that candidate. In the months since Biden took office, many people have assumed that every Biden supporter has supported his every move since being elected. One of these moves by Biden that has resulted in high tensions between parties is the Syrian airstrike on February 25. 

According to the BBC, the Biden administration carried out an airstrike on Syria that was very controversial among Biden’s supporters. Some Americans supported Biden in the election, but that does not mean that they support every move that he makes. The airstrike on Syria was not deemed necessary by many Biden supporters. 

ABC News reported that some Republican Congress members approved of the airstrike on Syria; however, Democrats were not thrilled about the action by Biden. The airstrike on Syria is just one example of Democrats not supporting Biden’s action. Voting for a candidate does not make voters mindless followers. 

At the end of the day, political leaders are human and they can make mistakes and at times, politicians may not follow through on all of their campaign promises, or they may make decisions that seem counterproductive to their political platforms. As voters, we need to hold these politicians accountable. 

Biden made a promise during his campaign before the presidential election to provide more relief aid to Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. A few months into his presidency, the $1.9 trillion aid package was passed and Americans have begun to receive their stimulus checks. Biden came through on his promise in this situation, and we should always hold our political leaders to their word. We elected our politicians based on their beliefs and policies, and if they are not staying true to those, we must make it known. The work does not stop after a candidate is elected. The work and accountability from voters must continue throughout their entire time serving. 

Blindly following your candidate can create tunnel vision. If we blindly support every action made by a candidate, then effective democracy cannot be achieved. True democracy happens when we follow our personal beliefs by choosing the best candidate for what we envision our country to be. 

Supporting candidates’ actions without the beliefs or facts to back them up can create bias through a lack of accurate information. A blind follower can automatically train his mind to give reasons to support his candidate’s action. Whether there is logic behind this reasoning or not, the follower has allowed his opinion to inform the facts and reason in his mind. Forming your own beliefs requires the opposite. The facts of the situation and the logic behind it should lead to opinions and beliefs, not the other way around. 

Believing that a person supports every candidate’s actions can be detrimental. With this narrow-minded perspective, people are put in boxes. Making these assumptions can lead to big disagreements and political issues. Don’t assume that a political party affiliation tells you everything about a person. 

To grow and be better, we must embrace our humanity. Humans are complex beings with their own rationale and logic behind every decision. While outside factors can change the outcome of these decisions, there is much more to that decision than what can be seen on the outside. We are more than a party affiliation. Don’t let the label deceive you. 

Facing the reality that voting for a candidate does not immediately lead to blind loyalty can allow us to be a better society. If you believe you may be a blind follower, reevaluate your beliefs outside of a candidate or party’s beliefs. What matters to you regardless of the political affiliation? Those are the issues that you should support regardless of whether the candidate is Republican or Democrat. 

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