To conclude my rounds of polling, the third poll posed the question: How important do you think it is to understand and analyze another side’s views?
Luckily, this poll showed more promise. This is an important question to pose when analyzing the rise in political polarization. Only 15.8% of respondents reporting that it’s only somewhat important to analyze and understand another side. That’s pretty good. Granted, this was a small population size. We’ll compare this to other data.
Pew Research showed in 2014:
“The overall share of Americans who express consistently conservative or consistently liberal opinions has doubled over the past two decades from 10% to 21%. And ideological thinking is now much more closely aligned with partisanship than in the past. As a result, ideological overlap between the two parties has diminished: Today, 92% of Republicans are to the right of the median Democrat, and 94% of Democrats are to the left of the median Republican.
Partisan animosity has increased substantially over the same period. In each party, the share with a highly negative view of the opposing party has more than doubled since 1994. Most of these intense partisans believe the opposing party’s policies “‘are so misguided that they threaten the nation’s well-being.'” said the poll. “Yet many of those in the center remain on the edges of the political playing field, relatively distant and disengaged, while the most ideologically oriented and politically rancorous Americans make their voices heard through greater participation in every stage of the political process.”
This isn’t the same question I posed in my poll, but it represents the increasing levels of polarization in our country today. What are the effects of such? Well, as evident in most debates and news programs, it seems that all the speakers can do is complain about why the other party is ruining the country. Nothing can get done. We can’t progress while the two tyrannical parties only bicker.
To make matters worse, “In 1994, hardly a time of amicable partisan relations, a majority of Republicans had unfavorable impressions of the Democratic Party, but just 17% had very unfavorable opinions. Similarly, while most Democrats viewed the GOP unfavorably, just 16% had very unfavorable views. Since then, highly negative views have more than doubled: 43% of Republicans and 38% of Democrats now view the opposite party in strongly negative terms,” Pew Research again reported.
Let’s be real: Understanding and analyzing another side’ views is not only important in strengthening you in your intelligence and views, it’s important in progress. While we still have only two main parties, it’s also important so we can progress as a people and as a nation.
Here’s another good article about polarization: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/political-polarization-in-u-s-highest-in-two-decades-poll/