Thursday, August 4, 2022

Why We're Polarized

Author Ezra Klein spends the first half of Why We're Polarized making a good case that America's two parties have become more polarized. The main change happened in the 1960s. Whereas prior to this point, there was a lot of diversity of opinion on several issues across party lines, since then each party has become more fixed and more polar across a range of issues, and more worriedly, "identities".

It struck me as odd that Klein only went back to the 1960s to conduct his analysis. After all, this is a country that has had a civil war. Surely, America has been more polarized before? But the terrific book How Democracies Die did a much deeper dive into this issue and came to a similar conclusion, so I loosely accept the premise.

Klein then goes into the myriad of reasons why this has occurred, and offers some solutions (most of which did not seem realistic in the present political climate, since they would disadvantage one party, mostly the Republican one, since they currently hold a lot of advantages that allow them to win representation with fewer votes).

I particularly enjoyed the history lessons of how the parties have evolved (and why) over the last few decades. Enjoy!

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