Political Polarization in the United States
In many instances, the US has been perceived as a representation of liberal democracy metrics. However, the recent presentation of polarization in the US has resulted to the division of individuals by Democrats and Republicans. The division of people along ideological lines and partisan acrimony has deepened and acts as a threat to liberal democratic practices. There are various outcomes of political polarization on the US political processes and variations from the classic pluralistic description of US politics. The increase in levels of political polarization in the US is perceived to hinder the role of the US as a role model for other liberal democracies to follow. When people are aligned along different divisive issues, there results in a polarized community.
Based on this argument, the levels of political polarization in the US hinder its role as a model of liberal democracy because of inducing alignment along lines which cause conflict in the society. As proposed by Baldassarri and Gelman (2008 p. 442), the levels of political polarization in the United States have resulted to issue alignment which divides citizens by political affiliation. Majority of the US citizens’ preferences are loosely connected. Political polarization in the US has ruined the nation’s role model purpose because of the negative impacts it has had on environmental protection and climate change policies (Dunlap et al. , 2016 p. Rather than utilizing the existence of political polarization to guide other countries, the US has ended up creating partisan polarization on environmental protection.
As revealed by Dunlap et al. (2016 p. Political polarization results in economic inequalities in the United States. According to Barber and McCarty (2015 p. 30), there is a direct correlation between political polarization and economic inequalities in the US. In the last five decades in the US, levels of political polarization have gone hand in hand with increasing economic inequality rates. In various cases in the US, polarization leads to economic inequality when outdated or ill-suited economic policies remain in effect as a result of a political stalemate. In this sense, the US fails as an example to liberal democracies because it allows it levels of political polarization to trigger income inequalities. Political polarization inhibits the illustration of liberal democracy in the United States by bringing the aspect of money in politics.
As supported by Barber and McCarty (2015 p. 31), political polarization is directly connected with the system of private campaign finance in the US elections which undermines democracy. This issue is based on the aspect that politicians follow policy goals on behalf of their special-interest funders. The limitation of the powers of the media implies that the liberal democracy is restricted. As revealed by Barber and McCarty (2015 p. 32), the levels of political polarization in the US have adverse effects on the media environment of politics. Following the tough political arena in the US, American journalism has transformed adversely and embraced a confrontational style of politics. For instance, when the use of cameras was introduced into the House Chamber in 1945, the minority Republicans obtained a powerful new strategy against the majority Democrats.
As a result of political polarization in the US, the general public has been able to learn about rules associated with environmental conservation. Even though there has been partisan and ideological polarization, the US citizens have discovered the need to conserve their environment (McCright & Dunlap, 2011 p. Despite the levels seeming to cause divisions about the engagement of the US in international environmental treaties, the citizens have obtained insight on the need to engage in environmental conservation activities. In India, political polarization has had adverse effects by encouraging ethnic segregation and ethnification of political parties. This exists when the efficiency of an ethnic group triggers attacks by the co-ethnic groups, and this undermines liberal democracy (Klasnja & Novta, 2015 p. The high levels of polarization in India are triggered by different opinions of the two leading political parties: the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The AAP follows the symbol of Swaraj which considers self-governance through community building and individuals. This means that the AAP focuses on political decentralization. The BJP supports the symbol of Hindutva which is seen as a way of life and holds that Hindus can adopt non-Hindu religions while at the same time remain to be Hindu. Since the two parties in India adhere to different symbols and ideologies, they find it difficult to arrive at a consensus when making decisions and legislation of national importance (Mondal, 2015). Promotion of engagement of the less ideologically extreme would also play essential roles in reducing the levels of political polarization in the US. This approach would ensure that there is less emphasis on problems for political aims.
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