America is becoming increasingly polarized politically

Credit: Pew Research
“Singing songs and carrying signs. Mostly say, hooray for our side”. Credit: Pew Research

Not only are ideological silos becoming more pronounced on both sides, the most polarized voters are also the most involved in politics. Thus, money-grovelling politicians must appeal to and raise money from the most rabid of their supporters. Mass media of course loves and profits from such conflicts, and does its best to throw gasoline on the fires.

Such polarization is unhealthy and damaging to the country as a whole. It also results in a paralyzed Congress that accomplishes little. Such paralysis increases polarization, since the two sides blame each other for it. While it may be great fun to howl at the other side in self-righteous indignation, our country is mostly in political gridlock now. We have stuff that needs to get done that isn’t because one side won’t let  the other get a bill passed. At some point, sabotaging the other side also becomes sabotaging the country.

Consistent liberals and conservatives define ideal political compromise as one in which their side gets more of what it wants.

On measure after measure – whether primary voting, writing letters to officials, volunteering for or donating to a campaign – the most politically polarized are more actively involved in politics, amplifying the voices that are the least willing to see the parties meet each other halfway.

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