Abortion, school prayer, gay rights, gun politics and many more are all a part of the list of controversies that divide our country. A culture war is a conflict between groups with different ideals, beliefs, and issues. James Davison Hunter’s book, Culture Wars: The Struggle to Define America, shows that these issues “are not isolated from one another but are part of a fabric of conflict which constitutes nothing short of a struggle over the meaning of America. Unlike the religious and cultural conflict that historically divided the nation, the contemporary culture war is fought along new and, in many ways, unfamiliar lines” (Hunter). Hunter argued that two definable polarities existed in the major issues of the war. The new shift in
The idea of political culture is found within the state’s history. The history of the state is impacted by the people settled in the region, religious backgrounds, and geography. The history of the state influences the attitudes and beliefs that people hold regarding their political system. Daniel Elazar theorized a connection between the states’ history and attitude towards government by explaining differences in government between states. Every state is different with some common ground. Elazar’s theory divides states into three types: moralistic, traditionalistic and individualistic. The state’s constitution defines the powers of government with political culture bias. Because of the state constitution, the political culture
Because culture conflicts sells, journalism in our country has taken to publicizing exaggerated culture differences. Extreme voices have come to dominate American political discourse which has only fed into the concept of a divided country, even making it look like one half of our country hates the other half. The culture divide is based on party differences between republicans and democrats. In reality the cultural differences between democrats and republicans are far less dramatic than I would have guessed. Party affiliation is based on factors like age, Youth are generally more likely to vote liberal and the older generation more likely to vote conservative. Religion, protestants usually vote republican and catholics usually vote democrat. Economic status, historically this has meant wealthy individuals vote republican.The fact that about 2/3rd of voters vote for the party of their parent seems to be the most definite determiner of party affiliation . (Hewson, Jacqueline) Real differences in political opinion is very subtle accross party lines. For example in many ways red and blue states have similar opinions. In blue states 36% of voters identify as democrat while in red states 26% are self proclaimed democrats. In blue states 32% of voters believe government is always wasteful and inefficient while in red states 44% hold this opinion. Solid majorities in both red and blue states support protecting the environment whatever it may
The growing ideological gap between the United States’ two major political parties, in other words, rising levels of political polarization, has had a negative impact on American politics as it results in Congressional inefficient, public apathy, and economic inequality.
In the book, Culture War?, by Morris Fiorina, the myth of a polarized America is exposed. Fiorina covers issues such as why Americans believe that America is polarized, that Red and Blue State people aren’t as different as they are made out to be, and that the United States is not polarized along traditional cleavage lines. This book even covers perspectives on abortion, homosexuality, and whether or not electoral cleavages have shifted. A large point of Fiorina’s is his take on the 2004 election. He ends the book with, how did our great nation get to this position of proclaimed polarization, and how do we improve from here?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, Polarization is defined as the “division into two opposites”. (Merriam-Webster) Political Polarization refers to the perceived division of ideologies espoused between the two major political parties in the United States. The topic of political polarization is one frequently referenced in the media and in political discussions. Does political polarization actually exist or is it a myth? In this paper, this question will be analyzed and examined and a conclusion will be reached.
The political climate today is increasingly becoming more turbulent as Republicans and Democrats volley for superiority in Washington. The two parties are becoming more polarized by the hour, and this is affecting the ability of the government to move forward and pass legislation and continue to improve America. The Senate is in a state of gridlock on some of the most important issues to the people of the United States to date, and yet the senators which the people elected are instead caught up in fighting the people on the other side of the aisle. They should be listening to what their constituents need and want. Today Republican senators are using filibusters, scare tactics, and even entire news networks
This creates a paradox for the reader. In a book designed to remove the impression of polarity, why single out specific subjects in this polarizing way? The logical conclusion is that these topics do have a specific effect on refuting the polarization claim. In the opening chapters, Fiorina et al. illustrate the perceived polarization of partisans, the war in Iraq, and a myriad of other factors like gun control (p. 1-75). With partisanship they found the issue to be a problem of “confusing positions with choice” (2011, p. 25) and thus dismissing the polarization of Americans. Analyzing he war in Iraq yielded similar results (p. 51-55). The authors found that when asked to judge broad statements, like Bush’s handling of Iraq, respondents answered in the partisan way, with more republicans supporting and democrats disapproving (p. 54). However, when the same people were asked to rate Bush’s handling of Iraq in terms of individual acts, the polarization faded (p. 52-53). While there were still dissidents and supporters, the divide was not along partisan lines but rather individual lines, evidenced by the near equal support of republicans and democrats for the use of military force overseas. All of this supports the argument that Fiorina et al. make throughout but provides no insight into why some topics are grouped
This extreme belief system has created a separation of people within America. Where most of people become divided and joint political parties according to Marlantes is on the topic of big government, global affairs, taxes, Americans safety nets and many other issues. When people’s values conflict with what is happening around them, they quick try to find the group or political parity that will support or come close to what they believe in. In Liz’s work she tell of how the current split in America is due to the verifying cultures. According to her this unusual split is caused by people’s values and morals. Because Republicans tend to be white Americans that go to church and Democrats tend to be whites that don’t go to church it is easy to lean toward the party that reflects your values and morals. Because the partisan is so deep between the two parties there is no middle ground for those who are usually unbiased or don’t associate with a political parity. They are instead forced to side with one side or the other. These parties have become a culture on their own. It is easy to see how a person who lives in exurban place, with a collage education are usually Republican and a person how lives in a unban city and has a Graduate degree supports Democrats. These factors of place, money, view, morals, and values have slowly created a deep divide with in our society and our political
Throughout the time in class, we have discussed a variety of different topics relating to the culture of American politics. While Susan Jacoby, through her book The Age of American Unreason, highlights quite a few important ideas about the lack of intellectual thought in American politics, due to the time lapse between the publication of the book and our class, some ideas are not as thoroughly explained as they relate to the current American political atmosphere. Two presidential terms have passed since the release of the book leading to a distinct break from the current political climate. While the fundamental reasoning that Jacoby presents is accurate, the rise of polarization between liberalism and conservativism have created a culture that prompts anti-intellectual thought even more so than eight years ago when Jacoby first wrote The Age of American Unreason.
There are many theories as to how or why political polarization was formed, and the impact it has on government in modern day. Polarization has varied significantly over the years ever since the 1970’s. However, what is the true cause and can it be explained? This paper will discuss some theories on how political polarization came about, and analyzes some accounts of polarization overall. Defining political polarization is vital into developing an understanding of how or why it was initially formed.
Balance of power in American elections rests with the moderate voters in the center. Party ideology is acceptable as long as it is tinged with moderation. In multiparty systems, each party is supported by a narrow range of interests, but America’s two-party system requires parties to have a wide range of interests in order to gain a voting majority to win. The Democratic party has a large variety of voters from different ethnicities, ages, and sexual preferences because of future benefits offered by Democratic politicians. The Republic consists of white middle-class voters that support traditional values.
Culture War: The Myth Of A Polarized America by Fiorina is a book which examines the nature of Americans, on many levels. The main thesis proposed is this atmosphere of conflict and animosity between Americans is nil and only put forward by the political class and dishonest reporters. The issues raised throughout the book pick apart this myth and its many reasonings through facts, data and tracking of the American attitude throughout many eras. The central idea Fiorina holds and present is valid view, which I believe to hold much more merit than this assumed atmosphere of deep division among Americans.
Most agree that the government is politically polarized, but some claim that most of the American public is still moderate, with only the political officials becoming increasingly liberal or conservative. However according to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, only about 39% of the American public is currently moderate, which is a decrease from the 49% moderate in 2004. The moderates of Americans make up less than half of the population, therefore, the majority of United States citizens are part of a political party. Being part of a political party makes people more susceptible to being swayed to the far left or right. Since citizens are split among the two competing political parties, this results in a divided public.
A current cultural conflict taking place in America today is religious. Many Americans discriminate against the Islamic faith and there have been countless acts of mistreatment of Muslims in the work place, at school, in public, and in the media. Negative feelings and acts toward Muslims have become so prevalent that in 1991 the Runnymede Trust Report coined a term for it. The report defined the “unfounded hostility toward Muslims, and therefore fear or dislike of all or most Muslims” as “Islamophobia” (Defining “Islamophobia”). There has always been some religious cultural conflict with Muslims in the United States, but since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, conflict has escalated significantly.