Given how partisan it can get here, this study seems worthy of our consideration. Yes, party platform policies differ. The linked study does not address this.
Rather, the study investigates how both parties feed off of polarization, and neither party appears interested in stopping the trend of increasing polarization.
Can we as a community refuse to be part of the manipulation?
Party polarization is even worse than most people think, according to a new Michigan State University study.
And neither party can shoulder the blame, as it doesn’t matter which party is in charge, said Zachary Neal, associate professor of psychology and global urban studies.
“What I’ve found is that polarization has been steadily getting worse since the early 1970s,” he said. “Today, we’ve hit the ceiling on polarization. At these levels, it will be difficult to make any progress on social or economic policies.”
In one of the first studies to address polarization not only in terms of who works together, but also who doesn’t, Neal analyzed publicly available data on who sponsors bills in Congress from 1973 to 2016. He specifically looked at how often politicians from both sides of the aisle co-sponsor legislation.
Published in the journal Social Networks, the study found although thousands of bills are introduced each year, the average representative or senator co-sponsors only about 200. And when they decide with whom to co-sponsor bills, they view nearly half of their colleagues as “the opposition.”
While it’s hard to imagine incivility among Democrats and Republicans getting worse, it likely will, Neal said, especially if one party barely holds the majority.
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