Political Gridlock And Dysfunction : A Central Aspect Of Studying Congress

Political Gridlock And Dysfunction : A Central Aspect Of Studying Congress

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Political gridlock and dysfunction is a central aspect of studying Congress because it determines a huge part about how they function and their general effectiveness. When it comes to the political landscape in the United States, law-making and legislation ultimately comes down to what the Senate and the House of Representatives vote on and how they vote. Gridlock has been studied for years because of how it has changed the political landscape essentially from the beginning. The Jacksonian Era in the mid 1800’s shifted the way that political parties operated and from then on a two party system has been a critical part of American politics. The winner-take-all format of elections in the United States, along with the increasing importance of political parties has forced a two-party system into being and prevents a third party from being able to get their feet off the ground for more than one or two elections. From there, two politically distinct parties that have ideologically opposing ideas have ruled Congress, bouncing back and forth between who has the majority vote necessary to pass legislation. In the grand scheme of things and in the most simplistic side of things, that is why we have gridlock. One party versus one party makes it very difficult to convince the other side to want to do anything with the other especially when they were designed to be opposites. A responsible political party goes out of its way to question everything that the other party says. In a theoretical sense it provides a way for someone to play devil’s advocate at the very least and as a way to point out flaws, loopholes, and poor wording in the legislation, even if it should be a bipartisan type of bill. It should be the duty of the other party to chall...


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...r aspect of American political and social culture and has been studied a lot and will continue to be studied because of the ever changing nature of polarization and the issues begin faced that are in gridlock. There is a chance that the dysfunction could possibly decline at some point, though right now it doesn’t appear like it will happen any time soon. But when that happens there will be a whole new aspect of dysfunction that we can study since it hasn’t happened that often in the past. While there are a lot of theories out there about how and why and in what way the gridlock has happened, some have more merit than others, and there are still new angles and different approaches that can continue to be studied. But with such a dynamic system to study, continuing to study this area of political science will be a central part of studying Congress for years to come.

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