Cause Of Polarization In Politics

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Polarization in politics refers to a sharp division of political attitudes as a party, into opposing parties. Partisan polarization over the past thirty years has negatively affected Congress’s ability to govern. Because of this polarization of the parties, Congress is now divided and practically dysfunctional. Similar voting between the Republicans and the Democrats was common through the 1980’s, but in the 1990’s the parties became ideologically distant with a decline of a center ground and began pulling away from each other. The main causes of this polarization are that Republicans have become more consistently conservative while Democrats have become more consistently liberal. This change happened as the partisan makeup of the House…show more content…
The Democrats are more supportive of government action on social welfare issues and efforts to regulate the economy; and Republicans typically support government action on national defense and foreign policy. Because of the increased ideological differences between the parties it has been more difficult to reach a compromise. Republicans are ideologically extreme and oppose compromise on principle. With more Moderate Republicans and less Conservative Democrats it makes compromise a lot less likely as there is no middle man to mediate and influence those on the extreme side of their party. Because of this polarization and unwillingness to compromise, Congress is now divided and practically dysfunctional, and it has caused legislative gridlock, and has also undermined the power of the President. Examples of this polarization include funding to Planned Parenthood and the Iran Nuclear Deal. A group of Republicans want to pass a budget without funding for Planned Parenthood, while Democrats promise to hold up proceedings until Planned Parenthood gets funding, and President Obama says he will veto any budget that doesn’t fund Planned Parenthood. On the Iran Nuclear Deal, President Obama and Democrats want to rein in and control Iran’s nuclear program, while Republicans reject the deal and want to implement sanctions on Iran instead. For now, Congress has approved a stopgap spending bill to avert a government shutdown until the end of the year. Without bipartisan bargaining, negotiating, and coalition building, Congress will remain in gridlock and will not be able to make policy

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