Since the founding of our country, American politics has cultivated a difference of opinions. Even our Founding Fathers disagreed on issues while writing our Constitution.

But the rise of the 24-hour news cycle has had a tremendous impact on our nation’s politics. Now, Americans go to Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC to watch anchors and commentators that hold the same opinions as they do.

Rather than getting news from an original, unbiased source, Americans are forming their opinions based on what the mainstream media is saying. How did we get here?

In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt offered Americans a ‘New Deal’ that aimed to rebuild the economy after the downturn of the Great Depression.

The influx of farming subsidies, unemployment programs, managed inflation rates, and the promise of pensions for millions through the Social Security Act of 1935 started the partisan divide.

President John F. Kennedy assumed the presidency at a divisive time.

As the civil rights movement took center stage, the size of government continued to grow. Americans became dependent on the federal government as a way of life, prompting President Kennedy to speak the infamous words: “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” People and politicians alike rallied around this inspirational message.

President Ronald Reagan took a different approach for the American people. President Reagan put more money back in the pockets of Americans, peeled back burdensome regulations, cut back on social programs, and increased spending for the military.

His focus was on getting the federal government out of Americans’ everyday lives and projecting peace through strength in his foreign policies.

Fast forward to today’s political environment. During President Obama’s presidency, his single greatest achievement was his namesake piece of legislation: Obamacare. It aimed to provide socialized health care for all Americans, levied on the backs of other citizens.

His actions grew the size of government by implementing 20,642 regulations while in office, creating obstacles for small business owners and consumers.

President Trump has accomplished monumental tax reform—the first of its kind in over 30 years. His efforts repealed the burdensome Obamacare individual mandate and rolled back over 860 job-killing regulations.

As a result, America’s economy is booming, Americans are keeping more of what they earn, and our military is being rebuilt.

Now, Americans find themselves in a time where they do not even know what their political party’s national platform is—that is, what Republicans support versus what Democrats support.

Over the years, both parties have evolved with one party nearing closer and closer to a socialistic style of government.

I encourage you to look up each political party’s national platform on the Internet or reach out to your party and request a copy of your party’s national platform.

Study the issues. Inform yourself and then make your own decision about where your values best align.

I think you might find that between abortion, gun rights, marriage, health care, religious freedom, and others, there are some pretty huge differences.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) represents the second district in the U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached through, and at 3109 Azalea Park Drive, Muskogee, OK, 74401, 918-687-2533 or 202-225-2701