Examples Of Party Polarization

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In an interview with the National Journal in October 2010, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell infamously said “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president”. Now, six years into President Obama’s presidency, while they did not achieve their goal of making him a one term president, they have successfully become the least productive Congress in modern American history. This comment by Senator McConnell is demonstrative of the tone of Republican Congressman during President Obama’s incumbency and perpetuates the pervasiveness of ideological differences over collective action for the greater good. Increased party polarization over the past few decades is what explains the failure of the…show more content…
There has been a liberal trend among democrats and a conservative trend among republicans starting in the 1960s and political attitudes on economic and social issues are more aligned with party preferences than ever seen in recent government (Smith, 2013, p. 207). Political science theory states that two-party competition induces parties to move toward the center to capture the median voter, however, what we have seen contemporarily is a shift in this prevailing strategy toward concentrating on the party base and primarily focusing on maximizing loyalty of core constituents (Fiorina, 2006, p. 636). Thereupon, it becomes less about maximizing the vote of the all the general public and more about getting more votes than the other party (Fiorina, 2006, 636). Political parties are integral parts of political life and are designed to promote the achievement of collective choice (Aldrich, 1995, p. 610). Essentially, they exist to solve the collective action problem in government. But the increasing divergence of political parties over the past few decades has made obstruction easier and given rise to a legislature where policies are proposed and opposed on the basis of ideology and party affiliation rather than likelihood of solving problems (Fiorina, 2006, p.…show more content…
Both Democrats and Republicans remain steadfast in their political attitudes and party affiliation regardless of the impact it has had on policy creation in the legislature. Their commitment to party loyalty and reelection have made them into a status quo maintenance machine and regardless of public opinion on imperative issues that plague America and require reform, they refuse to compromise for the sake of the country. Gun control and immigration reform are two of the biggest issues that need to be addressed in our nation and it is vital to the survival of our government that our legislators, as arguably the most powerful legislature in the world, put aside party and individual loyalty to serve the greater

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