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Most people would agree that the US has a toxic political culture. Bernie Sanders, in the UK this week, makes the point that both blue and red are in hock to big money. The information space is completely dominated by echo chambers which make reasoned political argument ever more unlikely. Political institutions are in what seems like a state of permanent partisan seizure.
All this is caught up with the binary nature of the political system. Almost any given issue is a win/loose scenario, and the political extremes get to dominate. Whether on health care, gun ownership, debt ceilings, there is no incentive – no perceived win – in a depolarised approach. This is rarely more the case than on so–called ‘moral’ questions – abortion, same–sex marriage, trans issues (I say so–called moral, because of course all significant political issues are moral).Michael Wear, a former adviser to the Obama administration, has written how – ironically – forces in both Republican and Democrat movements worked to scupper cross party work reducing the number of abortions. The thing that both sides could agree on was that they didn’t want to work together.
Read the full article here.
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Paul is Head of Political Engagement at Theos. His background is in Parliament and public affairs, and he holds an MLitt from the University of St Andrews’ School of Divinity.
Posted 3 March 2023
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