Wednesday, October 12, 2005

 

The Politics of Polarization

Michael Barone of U.S. News and World Report has written a review of a paper by Bill Galston and Elaine Kamarck called "The Politics of Polarization." Barone seems to wonderfully summarize the salient points of the paper. Barone's piece is a must read. The paper can be found here.

During the Clinton administration, the Clintonites began the current practice of the politics of polarization. I see them as the Democratic equivalent of the Nixonian Republicans.

Nixon used the "Silent Majority" to pit against his enemies. The Democrats run scare tactics attempting to frighten the populace with the specter of the religious right, big business, homophobes, etc. The problem for the Democrats is that there are more of the people you should be "afraid" of than there are liberal Democrats that have taken over the Democratic Party.

Major points that Barone notes:

Although I have gone Republican most elections in the past 20 years, I would love to see a stronger, healthier Democratic Party. It would be healthier for the country as both parties would have to focus more strongly on serving the needs of the populace. Currently, The Democratic Party is so far "out there" it lacks the voter base to gain any significant power. If enough Democratic politicians could let go of the issues of gay marriage, quit race baiting, and show some respect for religion, they could gain popularity.

Liberals and conservatives need to read Barone's piece and the paper if they want a morin depthth look.

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