Us Election Shows Perilous Divide Between Republicans And Democrats: Experts
- Copy article linkCopy link
Presidential elections can be revealing moments that convey the wishes of the American people to the next wave of elected officials. So far, the big reveal in the contest between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden is the extent of the cavernous divide between Republican and Democratic America, one that defines the nation, no matter which candidate ultimately wins.
Voters from both parties turned out in droves to pick the next president, but as they did so, they found little agreement about what that president should do. Democrats and Republicans prioritized different issues, lived in different communities and even voted on different kinds of ballots.
Whoever emerges as the winner, that division ensures that the next president will face significant gridlock in Congress, skepticism about the integrity of the vote and an agitated electorate increasingly divided by race, education and geography. Even the vote count itself threatens to further split Americans.
Two days after polls closed, neither Trump nor Biden has earned;the 270 electoral votes;needed to win the presidency. The Republican incumbent is encouraging his supporters to protest outside counting locations still sorting through mail ballots the method of voting preferred by many Democrats while pursuing an aggressive;legal strategy;that could lead to further delays.
America’s Political Divide Intensified During Trump’s First Year As President
Republicans and Democrats have grown further apart in their political views during the first year of the administration, the Pew Research Center finds.
Disagreement among Republican and Democratic voters on a range of political issues has risen sharply in recent years, a political divide that intensified during the first year of President Trumps administration, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.
The divisions between Republicans and Democrats on fundamental political valueson government, race, immigration, national security, environmental protection, and other areasreached record levels during Barack Obamas presidency, Pews report states. In Donald Trumps first year as president, these gaps have grown even larger.
Political Parties: What Is Divided Government
In a rare instance of united rather than divided government, members of both major political parties put aside partisan differences to show support for those injured at the Republican party practice session earlier in the week. Republicans and Democrats came together. Not just for a baseball game. We came together to express our gratitude to law enforcement, show our support for those who were injured, and also to unite as a nation in the face of such tragedy, wrote Speaker Paul Ryan about the 2017 Congressional Baseball Game on June 16, 2017. He is seen in this photo thanking Special Agent Crystal Griner of the Capitol Police.
Don’t Miss: How Many Log Cabin Republicans Are There
The 2016 Rebellion Is Ongoing
With the 2016 political primaries looming, I asked which candidates they found most attractive. At the time, the leaders of the Democratic party favored Hillary Clinton and Republican leaders favored Jeb Bush. Yet no one I spoke with mentioned Clinton or Bush.
They talked instead about Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. When I asked why, they said Sanders or Trump would shake things up or make the system work again or stop the corruption or end the rigging.
In the following year, Sanders a 74-year-old Jew from Vermont who described himself as a democratic socialist and wasnt even a Democrat until the primaries came within a whisker of beating Clinton in Iowa, routed her in New Hampshire, and ended up with 46% of the pledged delegates from Democratic primaries and caucuses.
Trump a 69-year-old egomaniacal billionaire reality-TV star who had never held elective office or had anything to do with the Republican party and who lied compulsively about everything won the primaries and went on to beat Clinton, one of the most experienced and well-connected politicians in modern America .
Something very big had happened, and it wasnt due to Sanders magnetism or Trumps likability. It was a rebellion against the establishment. That rebellion is still going on, although much of the establishment still denies it. They prefer to attribute Trumps rise solely to racism.
Television And The Internet
A 2013 review concluded that there is no firm evidence that media institutions are contributing to the polarization of average Americans. No evidence supports the idea that longstanding news outlets are becoming increasingly partisan. Analyses confirm that the tone of evening news broadcasts remained unchanged from 1968 to 1996: largely centrist, with a small but constant bias towards Democratic Party positions. However, more partisan media pockets have emerged in blogs, talk radio, websites, and cable news channels, which are much more likely to use insulting language, mockery, and extremely dramatic reactions, collectively referred to as “outrage”. People who have strongly partisan viewpoints are more likely to watch partisan news.
Furthermore, a 2018 study highlights that there is no correlation between increased media and Internet consumption and increased political polarization. The data confirms a larger increase in polarization among individuals over 65 compared to those aged 18â39, revealing that Internet consumption is only a small factor in calculating the cause of political polarization.
Also Check: How Do Republicans Really Feel About Trump
Healing The Political Divide
How did we become such a divided nation, and how can psychologists help us bridge the gap?
Vol. 52 No. 1
Monitor on Psychology52
With votes now tallied, and in some cases, electoral outcomes having been determined by extremely narrow margins and marked by legal challenges, there is no doubt that the political divide in the United States is a central trait of the country. And as this divide seems likely to continue to grow, for many of us it feels uncrossable. Yet psychological science suggests that it is both possible and imperative for members of our society to find common ground.
Why We Should Not Tolerate Any Voting Errors
Nonetheless, the refrain seems to run that any problems seen in 2020 would not have changed the outcome of the election. First, that is not necessarily true.
Second, so what? Every fraudulent and illegal vote disenfranchises a legal voter, and just as we as a country would not tolerate the disenfranchisement of any voters by locking the ballot box to them, we should not tolerate the disenfranchisement of any legal voter by acquiescing to the stuffing of the ballot box by a non-dispositive number of voters.
Third and most importantly, our country is too divided to survive unless both the right and the left trust the outcome of the election. Here, we are not merely talking about the presidency. Since Republicans victory in 1994 gaining control of the House for the first time in 40 years, a slim margin has separated the majority and minority parties in both the House and the Senate.
Further, with enough individual House and Senate races to flip the majority having been by narrow margins of victory, confidence in election results is imperative. Such trust in election results proves especially important given the deep divide on not just matters of policy and priority, but core American values.
Elections are too tight and the populace too divided for close enough for government work to cut it anymore. The American voting system must be reformed to ensure security, transparency, replicability, and election officials uniform compliance with state election law.
Recommended Reading: Did Any Republicans Vote To Impeach Trump
The Big Lie Claim Is A Dodge
Before these filings, Biden had attacked Georgias voting-integrity law as Jim Crow in the 21st century. While Democrats current focus is Georgia, the talking-point of the party is that voting rights are under attack by GOP-controlled states after Republicans seized on former President Donald Trumps false claim of massive voter fraud in the 2020 election as a pretext for passing new legislation curtailing ballot access.
Biden later repeated the Jim Crow canard in pushing H.R. 1, the so-called For the People Act, which could gut many mainstream state statutes designed to ensure voting integrity, such as voter ID laws. In a speech in Philadelphia earlier this month, after branding state election-integrity laws a 21st-century Jim Crow assault, the president sought to connect Trumps attacks on the validity of the 2020 electioncalling it both the Big Lie and the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil Warthe January 6, 2021 storming of the capitol, and the supposed imperative for passage of H.R. 1.
There is a dangerous confluence of factors at play here that has permeated the press coverage of election-related matters. By coloring all criticism of the 2020 election as part of The Big Lie, the left allows itself to ignore evidence of actual fraud, widespread illegal voting, violations of the Electors Clause, and, frankly, just plain incompetence.
From Republicans To Democrats: America Is Deeply Divided
The past week of news has shown just how entrenched the state of polarization is in the United States today
The early 20th-century American entertainer and social commentator Will Rogers once observed: Im not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat. Rarely has that aphorism seemed as appropriate as in the wake of this weeks botched Iowa Democratic caucuses.
I stayed up half the night waiting for the Iowa election results, only to find that none would be forthcoming, largely on account of a faulty app. With the results still trickling in days after they should have been tabulated, it appears that Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are in a virtual dead heat for the lead, with Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar rounding out the second tier.
The reception of Trumps address illustrated the almost complete polarization that prevails in America today. Republicans considered the address a thoroughly appropriate perfect, one might say extended boast about the economic success under his watch. Democrats considered it a divisive, mean-spirited barrage of lies and slander. By the same token, your partisan affiliation will probably determine whether you thought Pelosis tearing Trumps speech text apart was an outrageous and disrespectful breach of decorum or a dissent against demagoguery.
You May Like: What Republicans Voted Against Repeal Of Obamacare
Cpac And The Broader Republican Party Agree: Its Trumps Party For Now
Its part of our long era of partisan stalemate. The question, of course, is how much longer can this last? And is there any resolution in sight?
History holds, at best, a half lesson here. This current period of partisan stalemate stands out in a few respects when we consider Americas long history with partisan conflict. For starters, the period we find ourselves in now is unique in that the national partisan balance of power is extremely close , even as most states and most voters are either solidly Democratic or Republican. Whats more, the national outcome often hinges on just a few swing states and districts. This period is also unique in the extent to which America is divided. Hatred toward the other party drives our politics. This produces a deeply polarizing and highly destructive form of partisan trench warfare that threatens to erode the very legitimacy of American democracy.
Consider just a few record-setting patterns in the last several elections:
Nine presidential elections in a row without either party experiencing a landslide , eclipsing the previous record of seven in a row .
Seven presidential elections in a row where fewer than a quarter of states changed parties, well eclipsing the previous record of three in a row.
And now the question is, how do we get out of this current stalemate? Once again, we can turn to the hyper-partisanship of the Gilded Age for clues.
Why Democrats Massive Effort To Suppress Election Concerns Is Dangerous
Americans should see 2020 and the January 6 riots as a wake-up call to the future our nation faces should election integrity not be restored.
By: The Federalist, January 35, 2021:
This man was elected president of the United States of America, Joe Biden of Al Gore during a 2013 campaign event when introducing George W. Bushs Democrat opponent.
Theres no doubt that the Russians did interfere in the election, and I think the interference, although not yet quantified, if fully investigated would show that Trump didnt actually win the election in 2016, former President Jimmy Carter proclaimed during a 2019 panel discussion sponsored by his nonprofit organization.
Rush thought we won, and so do I, Trump said in an interview with Fox News following radio personality Rush Limbaughs death in February 2021, later the contest the fraudulent presidential election of 2020.
Three different presidential elections and four different presidential candidates all claimed the man inaugurated commander-in-chief stole the election. Yet while tolerating claims that Clinton and Gore actually won the White House, the corrupt media immediately co-opted the Nazi comparison Joe Biden deployed in response to Trumps claims of fraud, branding his charges The Big Lie.
Also Check: What Republicans Are Voting Against Trump
Why America Should Suddenly Prepare For A Billion
The problem is that previous models fail to take in proper empirical data and do not account for voters picking candidates that are good enough without obsessing over details. Furthermore, they do not take into account misinformation, missing information, decision fatigue and other things that can stand in the way of an optimal decision.
Yang and her team,;which includes Daniel Abrams, Associate Professor of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics at Northwestern University, Adilson Motter, Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor of Physics at Northwestern University, and Georgia Kernell, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Communication and Political Science at UCLA,;created a model that works a little differently. They took all of those factors into account along with 150 years-worth of U.S. Congressional voting data from the American Nation Election Study. They then compiled all of this information using complex mathematical formulas and came out with something that explains why politicians are becoming more polarized.
How it Works
First, we must understand the shape of the American political system and how parties shape themselves to function within it. The graphic below sheds some light on this subject.
With this information and a lot more the model created by Yang and her team have been able to predict the movement of the parties away from the center.
My two cents
Why Democrats Share The Blame For The Rise Of Donald Trump
I was part of a Democratic administration that failed to fix a rigged system I know our current president is a symptom of our disunion, not its only cause
An impeached president who is up for re-election will this week deliver a State of the Union address to the most divided union in living memory.
But why are we so divided? Were not fighting a hugely unpopular war on the scale of Vietnam. Were not in a deep economic crisis like the Great Depression. Yes, we disagree about guns, gays, abortion and immigration, but weve disagreed about them for decades. Why are we so divided now?
Part of the answer is Trump himself. The Great Divider knows how to pit native-born Americans against immigrants, the working class against the poor, whites against blacks and Latinos, evangelicals against secularists, keeping almost everyone stirred up by vilifying, disparaging, denouncing, defaming and accusing others of the worst. Trump thrives off disruption and division.
But that begs the question of why we have been so ready to be divided by Trump. The answer derives in large part from what has happened to wealth and power.
In the fall of 2015, I visited Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Missouri and North Carolina, for a research project on the changing nature of work. I spoke with many of the people I had met 20 years before when I was secretary of labor, as well as with some of their grown children.
Also Check: Do Republicans Support The Death Penalty
What Is Political Polarization And Is The United States Becoming More Polarized
The United States has two main political parties, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. In the early 1990s, the two parties had more similar policy agendas than they do today. Over the last 25 years, the Democratic Party has moved more to the left, while the Republican Party has moved more to the right.1
Building Back Better: Bipartisanship In A Divided Nation Is An Attractive Mirage
With Donald Trump now largely absent from the national stage, there has been greater talk of the potential for a return to;bipartisanship;between Democrats and Republicans in Congress. As part of our;Building Back Better;series,;David T. Smith;writes that while there has been a brief revival of;bipartisanship;in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise in partisan polarization over the last three decades means that cooperation in Congress on;anything;else is very unlikely.
Joe Biden;repeatedly;promised;a return to;bipartisanship;in his 2020;presidential election;campaign. Claiming decades of experience in negotiating with his Republican opponents;in the US Senate, Biden appealed to;people;exhausted;by political polarisation.;He urged Republicans;along with other Americans;to reject Trumps re-election;and return to;political normality, where civility reigns and cooperation is possible.
But polarisation;in;the Trump era wasnt an anomaly. It was a continuation of trends that have been visible for decades, and;it;wont be reversed by;Trumps exit from the White House.;Polarisation is;even;worse;in Congress than outside it, and;with the;smallest Congressional majorities now operating;since the 1930s, there;is;acute;pressure on both sides not to break ranks.
Figure 1 ;Liberal-conservative partisan polarization by chamber
Shortened URL for this post:;
You May Like: Who Is The Speaker Of The House For Republicans