An Open Letter to Senator Schumer (D-NY)
An Open Letter to Senator Chuck Schumer of New York:
Dear Senator Schumer,
I know you (and, perhaps more so, your staff) regularly hear from enraged constituent after enraged constituent. Well, I’m not enraged—just a little worried. Worried about college. And it’s actually not because of the whopping tuition costs (yet), but because college students are more politically polarized than ever. A polarized college environment where a liberal and a conservative can barely have a conversation without a screaming-match resulting (or worse) is not exactly ideal. And while I have no intention to pin the blame for this phenomena entirely on you, I do believe it has, in part, resulted from the behavior of you and your colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
Let me explain: It seems as though Generation Z has picked up some of your generation’s bad habits—namely, harmful political polarization. By observing the way government functions, even the poorest math students can arrive at a simple equation: Extreme Partisanship = Attention. And people just love attention. You see, partisan voices frequently overshadow those of compromise in the Senate, or partisanship is often dramatized in the media, or partisan candidates are often elected over their moderate counterparts. It seems like partisanship always wins, doesn’t it? Well, maybe it does for one person or institution—but it never wins for a country. So, to keep a potentially longer letter short, I’d like to ask that you condemn this type of dangerous partisanship more than you entertain and engage in it.
And again, I am not pinning the blame entirely on you, but much of your rhetoric, especially since you became minority leader, has been “attack, attack, attack.” I’m not asking you to be too soft, but I am asking you to meet with Republicans more often to find bipartisan compromise. Remember the days when you called for the end of partisan primaries? Let’s try to make our way back to those days, and then take it from there.
The aforementioned points are just a brief reiteration of what we discussed when members of Next Generation Politics met with you last year. If you’d like to meet again to further discuss bipartisanship, we’ll be ready. But if not, we hope you remember that, as much as we love to sit on our lawn chairs and watch political fireworks explode before us, we prefer a functioning government first.
For the Next Generation,
This letter has been edited by Contributor and Editor Mateo Portelli