Political Polarization in the United State

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The United States of America has engaged in the battle known as political polarization since before its foundation in 1776. From the uprising against the powerful British nation to the political issues of today, Americans continue to debate about proper ideology and attempt to choose a side that closely aligns with their personal beliefs. From decade to decade, Americans struggle to determine a proper course of action regarding the country as a whole and will often become divided on important issues. Conflicts between supporters of slavery and abolitionists, between agriculturalists and industrialists, and between industrial workers and capitalists have fueled the divide. At the Congressional level there tends to be a more prevalent display of polarization and is often the blame of Congress’ inefficiency. James Madison intentionally designed Congress to be inefficient by instating a bicameral legislation. Ambition would counter ambition and prevent majority tyranny. George Washington advised against political parties that would contribute to polarization and misrepresentation in his Farewell Address of 1796. Washington warns, “One of the expedients of party to acquire influence within particular districts is to misrepresent the opinions and aims of other districts.” Today, the struggle to increase power between political parties results in techniques to gain even the smallest marginal gains. To truly understand political polarization, we must examine data collected through a variety of means, the effects of rapidly changing technology, and observe what techniques are used to create such a polarized political system. John Chambers of the University of Florida measures the difference between "actual" and "perceived" polarizat... ... middle of paper ... ...to maintain a more productive form of government and reduce political polarization, obstructionism and slandering must be reduced or eliminated. Whether political polarization is good or bad for the nation is still up for debate, but the general consensus is it exists due to a variety of reasons. From the construction of our Constitution, it is clear that the intent of our founding fathers was to create opposition in order to prevent tyranny from prevailing. Polarization is a result of the dividing of a nation into political parties. Though polarization has fluctuated throughout the years, it has caused a great deal of trouble in regards to passing legislation and has resulted in a gridlocked Congress. Even though some fear congressional polarization is destined to get worse, “it is mathematically impossible for congress to get much more polarized” than it is now.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the united states of america has engaged in the battle known as political polarization since before its foundation in 1776.
  • Analyzes how john chambers measures the difference between "actual" and "perceived" polarization by examining thousands of answers to the american national election survey alongside polling data.
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