After Super Tuesday, political compromise must now begin


By Hayley Nagelberg

A video was released by JetBlue on Feb. 22 showing an interesting social experiment performed by the airline. On JetBlue flight 603, 150 passengers were given the task of agreeing unanimously on one location to visit. If they could, they would be compensated with free tickets.

But it had to be completely unanimous. On the six-hour flight, the passengers first tried to decide whether the destination should be domestic or international, and then ultimately tried to decide where they should go. Eventually, the decision came down to Costa Rica or Turks and Caicos. With little time left, the plane succeeded in unanimously deciding on Costa Rica.

Sounds nice, right? Flights can get boring, and who wouldn’t want a free ticket to go anywhere in the world? But it’s not that simple a story.

JetBlue called this experiment “Reach Across the Aisle” because the company wanted to see if everyday people could accomplish what our government seemingly cannot — compromise. Typically, we use “reach across the aisle” to refer to members of Congress working together with people on different sides of the political spectrum.

Additionally, the voting paddles the passengers were given were either red or blue, clearly in reference to the colors assigned to the Democratic and Republican parties. And at the end of the video, the speaker says, “If people compromise and work together, all parties can win.”

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Politics are clearly on everyone’s mind, including some airlines apparently. Every other commercial on TV is a campaign ad, and every other post on Facebook is someone sharing their view on one candidate or another.

We as students and citizens of this country have power. We can rally together behind causes until the government addresses our concerns. But our concerns will never be heard if we spend our time arguing over political candidates instead of working together to solve our country’s issues.

If we look around our campus right now to the actions of our friends and peers, we can see how this applies. The amount of animosity in the current presidential election is scary. The hostility has penetrated within individual parties, creating conflict even between supporters of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, and the Republican candidates as well.

Plenty of students who support Sanders have posted hateful messages on Facebook addressed to Clinton supporters, urging them to reconsider their point of view. At the same time, some Clinton supporters declare that Sanders fans just can’t accept a female president. While these claims don’t represent the views of every voter on either side, there are those very vocal groups whose voices carry further.

And in the Republican party, this hostile conversation has extended even to the candidates themselves. Donald Trump has called his fellow candidates liars, while Marco Rubio is trying to rally conservative voices against Trump, even using crude jokes to do so. Candidates lagging behind Trump have even asked to be yelled at so they can get back into the race.

When candidates eventually win the nominations of each party, there are going to be plenty of Americans who won’t have their way. While this has always been true of past elections, the vitriol is so intense this year that it wouldn’t be surprising to see extreme action from disappointed supporters.

With Super Tuesday having passed, the election field will be narrowing and people should begin to consider the possibility that their candidates could fail. But you shouldn’t stop caring if your candidate falls out of the race. Look further into the positions of other candidates and you’ll likely find policies with which you agree.

Not everybody has to agree on a single candidate — there isn’t a trip to Costa Rica depending on unanimity — but people should do their research and consider compromise before abstaining from the vote (or fleeing to Canada, as some have threatened on Facebook.)

It is up to Americans to understand the importance of being educated voters, and that the world keeps spinning no matter who reaches the Oval Office.

Hayley is a freshman in ACES.

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