The Mischiefs of--Present Day--Factions

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Since the genesis of the United States of America, political scientists and figures have recounted tales of war between the ideologies of political groups. In his farewell address, even George Washington, first president of the United States, warned against “the danger of parties in the State” as well as “the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally” (Washington). Since human beings are reluctant to heed good advice, the “mischiefs of factions” (Madison), since then, have come about and been growing and changing, and political alliances have been strengthening and evolving, so much so that they have progressed into a form of hierarchical organizations that foster environments in which everyday Americans can come together and celebrate their concurring political beliefs. At present day, political polarization is stronger than it has ever been before, proven by the decline of centrist members in Congress, the increasingly partisan voting behaviors of the American public, and the widening social gap between Republicans and Democrats. This intense partisanship has several implications on the functioning of the American government, delineated by the increased time it takes to confirm presidential nominations in a divided branch government, 30 percent legislation decrease in a divided legislative government, and the overall decline of honest discussion in the American political atmosphere. First, it is important to consider that party polarization occurs more evidently in the “party elites… mean[ing] members of Congress, party activists, and other influential players in the political process” (Epstein and Graham 2), and much less in the general American public. Extreme trends in partisanship can best be observed in Congress; si... ... middle of paper ... ...RAND Corporation. Web. 1 Jan. 2014. Fiorina, Morris P., and Samuel J. Abrams. "Political Polarization in the American Public." The Annual Review of Political Science 11 (2008): 563-88. Annual Reviews. Web. 5 Jan. 2014. Madison, James. "The Federalist No. 10." Editorial. The Daily Advertiser [New York] 22 Nov. 1787: n. pag. The Constitution Society. Web. 5 Jan. 2014. McCarty, Nolan, and Rose Razaghian. "Advice and Consent: Senate Responses to Executive Branch Nominations 1885-1996." American Journal of Political Science 43.4 (1999): 1122-143. JSTOR. Web. 6 Jan. 2014. Rogers, James R. "The Impact of Divided Government on Legislative Production." Public Choice 123.1-2 (2005): 217-33. JSTOR. Web. 1 Jan. 2014. Washington, George. "Farewell Address of 1796." The Avalon Project; Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy. Yale Law School, n.d. Web. 05 Jan. 2014.