What are the long-term effects of hyper-polarization?

What are the long-term effects of hyper-polarization? This is an open question, one that I do not have an answer for. Hyper-polarization is my term for the increasingly caustic political environment that seems to exist at the moment in the United States. It seems that it is becoming or has become difficult to get things accomplished without first going through great convulsions of political purity tests. And it seems nearly impossible to reach any sort of compromise if people are running for office and promising that in fact tbere will be absolutely no compromise. One guy is running for Congress on that pledge. What is the point of that approach? How do you expect to lead, govern, or legislate if you are not willing to make some even minor compromise?

That must make life at home very difficult. “What would you like to do for dinner tonight?” “I want pasta, with red sauce, and NO ANCHOVIES.” “Okay, I kind of wanted a cream sauce–” “I SAID NO ANCHOVIES!!” “I was going to suggest scallions, actually.” “RED SAUCE OR THE KIDS GO HUNGRY.”

Etcetera.

We have protesters getting beaten, dissent being stifled, people of all colors and views being hated. I just wonder, where are we going? Where does this lead to? And when so we say “enough”?

Perhaps at the Rally to Restore Sanity. Calm, sanity, and rational thinking are all sounding awfully nice right now.

(cue personal attacks and hyperbolic vitriol in 3… 2… 1….)

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Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.

One thought on “What are the long-term effects of hyper-polarization?”

  1. See: Chile 1967-1973 & 1973-1989.

    After a more than a century of peace & political stability Chile swung hard to the left, then over-corrected to the right. Allende was an economic disaster, destroying centuries of economic growth. Then, ignoring domestic needs, decided to play the superpowers against each other. The subsequent over-correction to the right was equally devastating – essentially creating a military dictatorship under Pinochet wherein the citizenry lost almost all their civil rights & liberties, and several thousand were unjustly killed by the government.

    The crucial date for Chile was (ironically) 9/11.

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