As the political participation of disaffected, unrepresented voters drops, this reserve army of the unallied gets bigger. It’s especially potent in primaries, which are very low turnout events. My suspicion is that if disaffected voters could be reliably re-engaged, the parties would likely find wedge issues to divvy them up over a relatively short set of elections. But they may well divvy them up differently than the parties had previously done. This would be the seed of a realignment.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the new evidence that partisan distrust and even hatred now trumps racial hatred. Consider the now-famous Iyengar/Westwood study, “Fear and Loathing across Party Lines: New Evidence on Group Polarization.” Iyengar and Westwood showed that partisan identification has ceased to be a wholly ideological or instrumental self-description. It’s gone from… Continue reading Partisanship Has Reduced Our Efficacy as Citizens
A nation torn by value-based disagreements can fail to fix a lot of roads and schools while they glare daggers at each other. (Ask me how I know!)