Partisanship and Polarisation

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  • Partisanship and Polarisation
    • The Political Re-alignment of the 1980s
      • The South was first won by the Republicans in 1994 and have kept it ever since
      • By the 90s this changed and the South became Republican because of the religious views and the Republicans had swung to the right and become more conservative and religious
      • Led to the two parties become more ideologically distinct
      • Before the 80s the South was solidly Democrat
    • Red America V Blue America
      • Reinforced by redistricting which cemented party domination in their states
      • Two cultures who had little in common - often called 50/50 America because the two sides were evenly split
      • Some say this is too simplistic because there are swing states
      • After the 90s and into the 21st century, increasingly polarised America made up of red states for Republicans and Blue states for Democrats
    • The Move to Ideological Extremes
      • Democrats
        • Solidly liberal on issues like graduated income tax, women's right to choose, women's equality, immigration laws
        • In 2006 the party produced six for '06 - withdrawal from Iraq, increase minimum wage for poor and grants for students to reduce fees
        • Obamacare to make health insurance affordable for poor people
        • Since the 80s they have become more liberal
      • The Republican Right
        • Rise of the religious right dominance in the south opened the way for influence of the religious right
        • New Right under Reagan led the party more to the right
        • Neo Cons influential in early 21st century and party adopted a more aggressive and right wing foreign policy
        • Dominated by traditional and moderate Republicans up to the 80s but some argue it's moved more to the right
        • Tea Party emerged in 2008/9 and had influence by 2013
      • New Tactics
        • Increasing unwillingness to compromise with the Democrats
          • Brought USA to a standstill in 2013
        • Increasing party discipline insisting on uniting behind a right wing agenda
    • Effects
      • Polarisation of the parties in Congress which makes it difficult to compromis
      • Polarisation of political opinions amongst the American public
      • Lack of compromise led to deadlock and weal government in 2013
    • The Role of the Media
      • Led to proliferation of stations and phone ins which are aggressively right or left wing
        • Fox News is solidly right wing Republican
      • Tv and radio outlets have multiplied and many of the new ones are not regulated for bias and accuracy
      • Most people only tune into channels which reflect their views and these channels just confirm them for them

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