I have come to think that the most serious problem we Americans face is our own polarized partisanship. It is our most serious problem, because our polarization makes it difficult or impossible for us to work seriously and practically on many of the problems that we face. We are gridlocked, stuck, unable to move forward. Arguably, our own polarization should be at the top of the list of problems we attend to.
To me, the polarized partisans appear to be pretending that the “The United States of America” is an invulnerable fortress that will continue to stand no matter how much or how long we fight with each other. It is not. It is a fragile set of traditions, institutions, and norms that we can reproduce and improve every day, or that we can lose or destroy.
I wanted to understand polarized partisanship better than I did: What does it look like? How does it work? What causes it? What are the consequences for us and our country? I assembled a good deal of information, which I have organized in sections.
The first assembles poll results (and some other data) on various aspects of our polarization and partisanship. The second section assembles some findings from research on political polarization.