Column: Americans respond best when rhetoric fiercest



There is no doubt about it: Political polarization is the norm in D.C. and the states. A recent Pew Research study, “Political Polarization in the American Public,” finds that political and ideological lines of division are not limited to the political elites but are embedded in the American public itself.

More and more are identifying with the extreme left or the extreme right. This division, according to Pew, leads to more negative results. These include a) more negative views of the opposing party, b) “rising tide of mutual antipathy,” c) personalization of politics; and d) less beneficial political compromise.

We are told that polarization is like the plague: Avoid it at all costs. There is nothing redeeming about split-voting, rancorous debate, mudslinging on both sides, vitriolic accusations, slow to no movement on policymaking, a divided Congress and Republicans versus Democrats. No good can possibly come about as a result.

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