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Peter Aldhous Essay Says U.S. Polarization is a Function of the Structure of our Constitution

Peter Aldhous, a freelance journalist who covers science, social science, and journalism, writes here at Medium that polarization and partisanship in the United States has been the rule, not the exception, for most of U.S. history. His analysis determines that the U.S. Constitution is the reason, especially the separation of powers. Thanks to The Mischiefs of Faction for the link.

4 Responses

  1. Mark Brown

    Aldhouse is certainly correct to the extent the Framers meant the federal government to be inefficient. I am not convinced that this inexorably leads to polarization between two radical alternatives. First, I have a hard time with labeling ideas “radical” or “moderate.” Second, even if we can define alternatives in this way, is one better than the other? Third, one practical observation: the Constitution does not require congressional districts. Repeal the federal statute requiring districts and states might be able to better produce representatives who mirror the views of the electorate. Fourth, …. well, the list goes on.

  2. Joshua H.

    The gridlock caused between two opposing (or supposedly opposing) political parties does not seem to have been an original intention of the Founders when they wrote the Constitution. There was certainly supposed to be a slowing down effect due to the checks and balances between the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative branches, but political parties weren’t part of that formula at all, and some of the Founders were even wary of the idea of them at that time.
    But parties and factions are an inevitable part of human nature, hence why we have them today.

  3. Demo Rep

    Abolish the Senate.
    Abolish the Prez/VP Electoral College
    Abolish the Prez monarchy veto.
    Elect all USA judges – esp. SCOTUS.

    Uniform definition of Elector in all of the USA.
    P.R. and nonpartisan App.V.

    Otherwise – get ready for a 666 tyranny to make all prior tyrant regimes seem like child’s play.

  4. Demo Rep

    Who wants an inefficient USA regime in a time of a *just* war or domestic insurrection ???

    See the many dead/injured in –
    War of 1812
    Civil War (incompetent Union Army generals for about 3.5 years)
    WW I
    WW II (early battles esp).

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