Two ideologically based societies have developed within the United States, and the differences between them are growing.Roundup
America, it seems, is stuck—unable to make significant progress on critical issues such as climate change, rising economic inequality, and immigration. To explain that inaction, people often point to political polarization. Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, are now so sharply opposed to each other that they are unable to find common ground.
But while the country is stuck, it is not stationary. Some things are changing; it’s just not at the federal level that the changes are emerging.
Polarization leads to stalemate only under certain circumstances—when the two sides in a conflict are closely balanced, and political institutions and procedures (such as the Senate filibuster) enable each side to check the other. That has been the story in the federal government.
Under other circumstances, however, polarization can be a stimulus to change. When politics become polarized between two alternatives, voters have clearer choices. They have more reason to pay attention and turn out. Each side may then mobilize, take power, and get its way in different jurisdictions or private institutions. That is what is happening now in state and local governments and civil society. Two ideologically based societies have developed within the United States, and the differences between them are growing.The question will ultimately be which America, red or blue, dominates the nation’s future...
comments powered by Disqus
- Fake News and Fervent Nationalism Got a Senator Tarred as a Traitor During WWI
- Debunking Viral Story, Art Historian Says ‘Allah’ Does Not Appear on Ancient Viking Garment
- Will Trump Be Remembered as the Worst President in History? Almost Half Think So
- Thank This Man For Your Last-Minute Halloween Costume
- Letters from young Obama show a man trying to find his way
- Thomas Childers says we’ve got the Nazis wrong in 5 different ways
- National security expert Tom Nichols: “Hey, I’m unstable” is a bad look for the president
- Fake news? It’s nothing new, says Trinity College Dublin historian
- Historian discovers early Reformation writings “hiding in plain sight”
- Victor Davis Hanson says we shouldn’t be rushing to war with North Korea