How division in politics affects everyone

By Billy Badour, Collegiate correspondent.

 

UNIVERSITY CENTER – With politics seemingly more divisive than ever, we must ask ourselves as a nation: “What are the consequences of this?”

Today’s political divisiveness has been mounting for nearly 50 years. According to pewresearch.org, political division and animosity has deepened since the latest presidential election. Members of a political party are now more likely to view the opposing party as “immoral” and “close-minded”.

On top of this, a majority of Americans now view the two parties as “too extreme”. According to people-press.org, 78% of Americans say that the division between parties is growing. 81% of American adults also say that they are at least somewhat concerned about the division of political parties. Included in the 81% is the 46% of Americans who say they are very concerned about the political division in the country.

For the first time since the 1980s, more than a third of Americans say that there is a large difference between political parties, with 55% saying that there is a large difference.

As the holidays are approaching, so does the tip-toeing around political issues when families are together.

“I try to avoid talking about political issues with family as they more often become shouting matches that don’t change anyone’s mind,” says Delta student Gordon Kraft, 19. “Both parties seem to have developed a ‘us vs. them’ mentality, while also creating more niche, passionate groups such as antifa and the alt-right.”

A student at the University of Michigan, Mason Payne, 19, said that “I personally don’t feel anxiety when discussing political issues with my family since we all feel similarly, but I can definitely see how it could be uncomfortable for some.”

These students both said that they are concerned about the division between parties and believe that the gap between them is widening. Both of these students also believe that the latest presidential election has significantly widened the division between parties.

“I feel it alienated the parties from each other even further,” says Payne. “With much disapproval, Trump took office and only seemed to care about a small portion of the American population.”

Hope College attendee Andrew Dwan stated that he was very concerned over the growing political divide.

“I don’t think there’s been this much of a political divide since the Civil War,” says Dwan. “I am also worried about the growing divide between rural and urban. Rural communities overwhelmingly vote Republican, while metropolitan areas are voting Democratic.”

These three individuals all echoed similar ideas and thoughts on the negative effects of a growing political divide.

“The political divides coming from Trump’s election have pushed candidates from both sides of the aisle to the extreme of their political ideas,” says Dwan.

 

 

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