Politics play an important role in the overall situation of a country. The political set-up of a state especially in terms of the type of government, political parties, and even the political bickering that exist are vital in creating and implementing laws. This is clearly exemplified in a democratic type of government wherein various parties that have different advocacies, view points and stands on various issues are present. In line with this, the newly elected president of the United States of America, President Barack Obama is trying to pass a bipartisan “Stimulus Package” in the Congress.
Bipartisanship usually takes place in a two-party system wherein two major parties dominate the election in all levels of the government. Bipartisanship also happens when these two major parties put aside their differences and collaborate with each other. In this paper, it will be argued that bipartisanship is dead. This argument is based on three pieces of evidence that give conclusive results that will make it clear that bipartisanship is no longer applicable in the United States.
First, according to Patrick Joseph “Pat” Buchanan, a renowned American political commentator, author, columnist, politician, broadcaster, and senior advisor to three previous U. S. presidents, “There is a religious war going on in this country [United States], a cultural war as critical to the kind of nation we shall be as the Cold War itself, for this was is for the soul of America. ” He delivered this statement during the 1992 Republican National Convention wherein he further explained that this cultural war is a displacement of classic economic conflicts that are caused by newly emergent moral and religious ones.
Furthermore, the kind of war that he is referring to is said to be observable in the result of the recent elections wherein there is only a marginal difference of within 2 points. However, this kind of outcome does not give convincing result that there is indeed competitiveness among Americans and that they are for or against one major party. Closely divided votes do not mean deeply divided votes because this does not identify whether a certain group of people hate the other or they are just merely voting out of random.
Moreover, it is difficult to identify if Americans only follow two political perspectives that are based on the two major parties that exist in the country. This is due to the fact that the media is not normal in the country. Media incentives are often used in order for those people involved in this field to sensationalize a particular issue. In this sense, not only is it difficult to identify the real stand of the American people when it comes to issues because the media could also influence the people’s way of thinking in order for them to take problems as either black and or in variations.
Second, through the article entitled “From Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America,” the writer Morris P. Fiorina, debunks the observation that Americans are highly polarized especially in terms of cultural or social issues. He also challenges the idea that this polarization has heightened the concept of partisanship in the electorate and Washington by arguing that it is the political elites who are becoming more polarized.
Morris stated that due to the fact that political elites, especially the candidates for office, are more polarized in terms of party and ideological lines and they also manipulate the choices available to their voters. As a result, it established a distinction of the electorate, as well as a deceitful appearance that there is indeed polarization in the mass public (Fiorina, 2005). Moreover, in the study conducted by Fiorina, he compared the voting behavior and the position of Americans when it comes to specific issues that define culture war including gun control laws, abortion, sexual orientation, sexual discrimination, and others.
He used the blue and red states wherein the blue are the recognized Democrat states and the red are the Republican states. The result of the study shows that states are similar in many instances. This is proven by the data which identified that four out of ten voters in both red and blue states agreed that migration should decrease; as well as seven among the ten deemed that English should be the official language of the United States. Moreover, in terms of issues that are considered part of the culture war, differences are still observable.
Nevertheless, results give proof that there is a similarity in the stand of Americans when it comes to these issues. The comparison of the blue and red states show that there is many similarities and some notable differences but very little variation for a culture between states to exist (Fiorina, 2005). Third, a recent survey deals with Obama Ratings by Party Identification that illustrates independent parties and other parties that do not fall as either as a Democrat or Republican parties.
The Inauguration Week showed that 90% positive ratings came from the Democrats and also a substantial 67% came from the independent and other parties. On the other hand, only 42. 7% positive ratings came from the Republicans. Similar results is also seen during the post-inauguration week wherein 87. 3% from the Democrats and 61. 3% from independent and other parties have positive remarks for Obama while only 32. 7% from the Republicans feel the same way. In this sense, it can be clearly seen that independent and other parties also have an important role when it comes to supporting any political actions that Obama will make.
Moreover, this also signifies that Americans are not simply polarized into two major parties. The discussions above of the three pieces of evidence clearly identifies that bipartisanship is dead in the United States. Bipartisanship is no longer applicable because most Americans have more similarities when it comes to important issues even those that are under the cultural or social realm. The stand point of Americans is no longer identified in just two opposite poles.
Rather, the political elite and irresponsible media of the country are the ones responsible for shaping the United States’ society to be such. In reality, states that are often identified as either red or blue do not really have much distinction when it comes to the vital concerns of the country because they have more similar stands than differences. Being the case, bipartisanship is not applicable in a society that is not or no longer polarized. Reference Fiorina, M. P. (2005). Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America. New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.
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