Party Polarization, By James Q. Wilson 's Article How Divided Are We? Essay

Party Polarization, By James Q. Wilson 's Article How Divided Are We? Essay

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Party polarization is the idea that a party’s individual stance on a given issue or person is more likely to be liberal or conservative. Typically the rise of political uniformity has been more noticeable among people who are the most politically active, but as of late, the vast majority of the American public is spilt down the middle. The broad gap between liberals and conservatives is growing rapidly through the years. Which brings on questions of why there is a cultural division? While it is agreed by most political scientists that the media, elected officials, and interest groups are polarized on given issues, in James Q. Wilson’s article How Divided Are We? he discusses the factors that contribute to the division not only to those major groups, but the polarization of ordinary citizens. The deep spilt of the public can be seen not only by arguments, but the fact that we have grouped the states into either red or blue. Those are then deeply divided between conservative or liberal within the state.
Wilson explains several key factors that have contributed to the growth of polarization. He concludes that the changing politics of Congress, the competitiveness of media outlets, and the rise of new interest groups have all contributed to the mass polarization of society. The polarization of Congress has undoubtedly been seen throughout history. Stories from the eighteenth and nineteenth century explain how members would often break out in fist fights with their rivals. Political parties back then had both liberal and conservative factions usually divided by whether you were from the north, south, or mid-west. This lead to major divisions both culturally and politically. In 1998, when discussing to impeach President Clinton, only...


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...turally concerned when his take on some aspects of American politics is different from mine”. Wilson discounts many arguments mentioned in Forina’s first article What Culture Wars? Debunking the Myth of a Polarized America. Including the comparison of red and blue states, stating the views of citizens from the results of balloting is questionable. Forina and Wilson do not agree on anything besides “the potentially harmful consequences of polarization”. Which could end up ruining America’s political system.
The American public is deeply split on a wide range of issues culturally and politically. Wilson seems to have a realistic approach when it comes to these issues. He goes into great details about the issues and gives several examples. Polarization has grown over the years through the advancement of society, and will probably continue to grow throughout the years.

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