Don’t Celebrate Political Polarization

 Posted by on 18 June 2014 at 10:00 am  Election, Politics, Polls
Jun 182014

From America’s growing political polarization:

Unfortunately, both Republicans and Democrats are ardent opponents of individual rights in various domains. That’s why I don’t regard America’s growing political polarization as a good trend. It limits our choices — and many people’s thinking — to “economic freedom (sort-of) plus theocratic social controls” versus “social freedom (sort-of) plus fascist economic controls.” Alas, the statist elements seem to be growing in both parties of late.

Instead, people need a clear choice of freedom versus statist controls in all areas of life. Nonetheless, the widening gap is fascinating… and there’s more in the Pew Study too. (The year-by-year animated graph is pretty nifty.) I’d just like to see data for more than 20 years!

  • monicahughes

    Interesting. But maybe this increased polarization and gap actually presents an opportunity for the pro-individual rights components of both parties to be merged.

  • James

    I wonder if anyone has run the analysis using the assumption that there are more than two groups. That’s clearly true–there are factions within both political parties–and it would be interesting to see how much of a role that played in this trend. Specifically, does the increased insanity of outliers (such as Occupy Wallstreet) drive the trend, or is it a true shift of the mainstream party members away from each other?

    I’m also curious as to how members of the public that don’t identify with either group fit into the picture. My thought here is that if people in the middle get sick of associating with the lunatic fringes of the parties they will abandon both parties, which will result in an apparent divergence of the two groups when in reality what’s happening is that the people are remaining the same, there’s just not as many folks in the middle self-identifying as each party.

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