Political Polarization Is Defined As The Division Into Two Opposites

1221 Words Dec 10th, 2016 5 Pages
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. In order to understand the concept of political polarization one must first understand the meaning of ideology. Ideology is defined as “a manner or…content of thinking characteristic of an individual, group, or culture.”(Merriam-Webster) Voting based on ones ideology is considered a rather recent phenomenon. Prior to the rise of ideological based voting, candidates were selected and scrutinized based on their own personal attributes and characteristics rather than their ideas. Prior to the 1970’s, there was not a huge difference in ideology between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. For example, take for instance the House and Senate votes on the passage of the Social Security Act in 1935. In this vote both Democrats and Republicans were widely in support of its passage. (SSA) This is in stark contrast to today when neither party can agree on the future of Social Security. Another example would be the passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act…
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