Partisanship and the United States


Jacob Nedder

As recent political events have unfolded, one thing has been incredibly clear: both the Republican Party and the Democratic party have pushed farther and farther apart from agreeing with each other. This is happening not just at the level of Congress in Washington, but increasingly among citizens as well. Disagreements over politics have moved beyond literal disagreements over ideals and the role of the government in everyday life to physical fighting and dramatic protests from both sides. Partisanship is literally tearing the United States in half, with the two sides rarely agreeing- except on one important topic.

A Pew Research Center poll was conducted shortly before the impeachment trials began, and it found that more than 75% of both Republicans and Democrats are aware of the increasingly divided nature of politics, and are concerned about what this means for the country. However, this was, unfortunately, not the only idea both sides agreed upon, as 73% of all respondents to the poll believed that Republicans and Democrats could no longer agree on the facts behind policies and legislation. With such a fundamental difference in the realities of these groups, it should come as no surprise that increasing numbers in both parties have been becoming more and more opposed to the ideals of their counterparts across the aisle.

This divide is certainly not due to any recent change in the way the two parties see each other. In fact, Pew has been seeing a constant increase in the divide between the two parties since President Bush was first elected, nearly 20 years ago. While parts of this trend have accelerated under President Trump, it is important to remember that this issue is much larger than any one politician. Trying to place blame in one area or on one party simply isn’t possible anymore, if it ever really was. Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail, and the United States and its citizens can move forward from this divide. Until then, we remain a house divided.