Political parties have been polarized since the creation of the constitution


American political party identification has been divided to a degree since the drafting of the Constitution.
The current split in party identification took shape in the mid 1900’s and has grown since.
In the 21st century, American politics is driving citizens away from moderate stances to deeply entrenched ideologies.
There are many factors for this polarization away from centrist/middle-ground politics such as the rise in niche media, uneven economic conditions, geographical changes in America and long Presidential campaign seasons.
President Trump won the election because he worked with right-wing media outlets to push a populist narrative.
For instance, media outlets like Breitbart justified many of the absurd, nativist statements Trump made throughout the campaign and President Trump cited unreliable news’ stories from Breitbart on a frequent basis.
This relationship cemented nativist, misogynist, and islamophobic opinions as facts in the minds of Republican voters.
Then when leaders of the Democratic Party or members of mainstream media criticized the validity of Trump’s statements, Trump labeled CNN and NBC as “fake news.”
The split in the political identity stems from two completely different sources of news, pitted against each other by Trump’s divisive campaign.
Americans are presented with information differently than ever before in history.
The shift from cable news television to social media allows individuals to customize the information they receive. The creation of “echo chambers” online has hardened people’s ideologies and vilified the other party’s agenda.
Therefore, online news has catalyzed ideological warfare, pushing the party’s policies further from the center from the inside.
The combination of declining cable news, which is less opinionated and moderate, and the growth of niche publishers online are polarizing American’s ideology.
There is a difference between ideology and party identification.
The splitting ideology of the voters is forcing Republican and Democrat agendas away from each other.
Symbiotically, the Party’s leaders cue the rank and file how to analyze and discuss certain events.
Working in tandem, the non-compromise views of the people and the party framing of events split party affiliation among the public.
The long duration of the Presidential primary campaign and the structure of the debates caused the campaign rhetoric to get more extreme and pushed the Republican Party centrists to the right.
Candidates needed to stay relevant and fresh in the minds of voters for nearly two years prior to the November election. Many candidates articulated controversial statements on the campaign trail in an attempt to acquire mainstream media time.
For lesser-known candidates such as John Kasich this was a difficult balance because he was trying to cast himself as a stable, moderate candidate but he seldom earned free media exposure.
Since Governor Kasich infrequently was on television news, he struggled in the national polls.
Additionally, the debates structure caused GOP candidates to get more extreme in their views.
Only the top ten best nationally polled of the 17 candidates were allowed on the primetime debate.
Senators Rand Paul and Lindsay Graham both were hovering around the top ten in polls; they needed to express opinions that appealed to Republicans eager to answer a phone survey.
Candidates couldn’t rely on rallies and town hall meetings, so they articulated bold statements prior to the debates to jack up their polling numbers. The formatting of the debates caused Republican candidates on the percent borderline to take hardline stances in a direct appeal to their base.
Lastly, a factor causing this split is the relationship between party identification geographically between rural and urban areas.
The electoral map of the 2016 Presidential election illustrates the large land mass Donald Trump won in compared to Hillary Clinton.
However, Clinton won the popular vote because she carried the urban city centers where Americans live.
Americans in the city centers ought to share some values as folks in Wyoming, but the physical distance between the two has eliminated face-to-face conversations with those of different lifestyles and generally people of different party identification.
Therefore, Republicans and Democrats aren’t speaking with each other and aren’t fostering centrist perspectives on certain issues.
The division of political party along geographical areas is another “echo chamber” where people only communicate and chat with those that think similarly.


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