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The Falacy that American Politics are More Divided than Ever Before

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posted on Oct, 7 2015 @ 03:16 AM
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It has become popular over the past 6 years to hear claims that US politics are more divided, more polarized, and feature uglier personal attacks between candidates than ever before.
hbr.org...

What accounts for their concern? Research on the American political system shows that the Congress now is more divided than ever, pulled apart by two starkly different conceptions of government. Many in the media and in Congress complain that the nation’s politics have become too ideological. Congressman Jeb Hensarling, for instance, the co-chair of the supercommittee set up to trim the budget deficit, has declared that “the committee did not succeed because we could not bridge the gap between two dramatically competing visions of the role government should play in a free society.”


I say this is a claim not backed up by history. America's political divides have existed since the formation of the country and, in varying lengths of cycles, that divide ebbs and flows the same as it always has. Take the presidential election just a scant 24 years after America's formation... the election of 1800:
www.ushistory.org...

The election of 1800 between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson was an emotional and hard-fought campaign. Each side believed that victory by the other would ruin the nation.

Federalists attacked Jefferson as an un-Christian deist whose sympathy for the French Revolution would bring similar bloodshed and chaos to the United States. On the other side, the Democratic-Republicans denounced the strong centralization of federal power under Adams's presidency. Republicans' specifically objected to the expansion of the U.S. army and navy, the attack on individual rights in the Alien and Sedition Acts, and new taxes and deficit spending used to support broadened federal action.

Overall, the Federalists wanted strong federal authority to restrain the excesses of popular majorities, while the Democratic-Republicans wanted to reduce national authority so that the people could rule more directly through state governments.


Sound familiar?

www.cnn.com...

Things got ugly fast. Jefferson's camp accused President Adams of having a "hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman."

In return, Adams' men called Vice President Jefferson "a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father."

As the slurs piled on, Adams was labeled a fool, a hypocrite, a criminal, and a tyrant, while Jefferson was branded a weakling, an atheist, a libertine, and a coward.


Imagine that! People today loose their SNIP over a candidate questioning the religiosity of their opponent, how would "Jeb Bush accuses Hillary Clinton of being a hermaphrodite" or "Bernie Sanders calls Ben Carson a half breed" go over?

It continued, though... 28 years later, Andrew Jackson versus John Quincy Adams.
history1800s.about.com...

For those who detested Andrew Jackson, there was a goldmine of material, as Jackson was famed for his incendiary temper and had led a life filled with violence and controversy. He had taken part in several duels, killing a man in a notorious one in 1806. When commanding troops in 1815, he had ordered the execution of militia members accused of desertion. Even Jackson’s marriage became fodder for campaign attacks.

Those opposed to John Quincy Adams mocked him as an elitist. The refinement and intelligence of Adams were turned against him. And he was even derided as a “Yankee,” at a time when that connoted shopkeepers reputed to take advantage of consumers.


Slightly tamer stuff by today's standards, but in 1828 these types of attacks got men killed... by Jackson in duels, no less. Imagine if Lindsey Graham had responded to Donald Trump's petty insults with a slap across the face and a challenge of pistols at dawn.

Next was the Election of 1876. Hayes vs Tilden. This election fell on the heels of Ulysses S Grant's presidency following the Civil War, one of the most corrupt administrations in history and also one of the most brutal in terms of Southern interests.
www.digitalhistory.uh.edu...

In the election of 1876, the Republicans nominated Rutherford B. Hayes, the governor of Ohio, while the Democrats, out of power since 1861, selected Samuel J. Tilden, the governor of New York. The initial returns pointed to a Tilden victory, as the Democrats captured the swing states of Connecticut, Indiana, New Jersey, and New York. By midnight on Election Day, Tilden had 184 of the 185 electoral votes needed to win. He led the popular vote by 250,000.

But Republicans refused to accept the result. They accused the Democrats of using physical intimidation and bribery to discourage African Americans from voting in the South.


Holy crap! It's Bush vs Gore: the Prequel.


Florida, Louisiana, Oregon, and South Carolina each submitted two sets of electoral returns to Congress with different results. To resolve the dispute, Congress, in January 1877, established an electoral commission made up of five U.S. representatives, five senators, and five Supreme Court justices. The justices included two Democrats, two Republicans, and Justice David Davis, who was considered to be independent. But before the commission could render a decision, Democrats in the Illinois legislature, under pressure from a nephew of Samuel Tilden, elected Davis to the U.S. Senate, in hopes that this would encourage Davis to support the Democrat. Instead, Davis recused himself and was replaced by Justice Joseph Bradley.

Bradley was a Republican, but he was considered one of the court's least political members. In the end, however, he voted with the Republicans. A Democrat representative from New York, Abraham Hewitt, later claimed that Bradley was visited at home by a Republican Senator on the commission, who argued that "whatever the strict legal equities, it would be a national disaster if the government fell into Democratic hands."

Bradley's vote produced an eight-to-seven ruling, along straight party lines, to award all the disputed elector votes to Rutherford B. Hayes. This result produced such acrimony that many feared it would incite a second civil war.


Anyone who claims the 2000 election was a travesty should be boiling over with rage over the election of 1876, a REAL example of a stolen election, not simply a claim of one which repeatedly went unfounded by historical recounts.

These are just a few examples... if you start to delve into the 20th century, you run into people like Joseph McCarthy, who simply accused anyone running against him of being a communist and goaded the media and the people into doing the same. Or the very real possibility that LBJ had JFK killed to elevate himself to the presidency. Or Richard Nixon being every bit as tactless and unpleasant a man as Donald Trump on Trump's worst day.

My point here is that none of this is new. As far as politics go, there truly is nothing new under the sun. It serves no purpose to sensationalize the current situation of politics in America. The system is broken, yes... but it's been broken for centuries.




posted on Oct, 7 2015 @ 03:43 AM
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The Falacy that American Politics are More Divided than Ever Before. This statment is true.

The claims about polarision, are there to mislead the stupid puplic who are silly enough to believe it. Politicians in the US like politicans elsewhere in the world could quite easily feel at home on both or either sides of the fence.

No doubt manny of them join the party they join because a) that party holds the seat where they live or b) because it has the best chance of winning and holding the seat.

The art of proaganda is get the massess to see the truth as a lie.

I have been a observer of Americian Politics for 30 years and I am still trying to work out the differences between them as, in my view, there are just so many issues where they are both on the same side of the fence. The prolem for me is try and work out which side of the fence that is, the left or the right.

The US strikes me as an extremely harsh place in which to live. There seems to be extremely harsh laws there. It seems one (of the masses) can be put away for ever for exremely little there.



posted on Oct, 7 2015 @ 03:58 AM
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American politics are a joke to say the least. There is ONE party, but the people think there are 2. That way they get a choice of who will # them the next four years.



posted on Oct, 7 2015 @ 06:50 AM
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a reply to: burdman30ott6

I think politics would be so much funner with duels.



posted on Oct, 7 2015 @ 06:52 AM
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a reply to: Vector99

You are correct, and until the two party stranglehold on American politics is dismantled once and for all it will continue to be this way. As long as the crooked politicians can wield the notion of 'voting for the lesser of two evils' (or else you're throwing a vote away) as being a viable threat they will continue to march to the same drum beat of their one master (corporate money, influece and lobby).



posted on Oct, 7 2015 @ 08:57 AM
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originally posted by: crazyewok
a reply to: burdman30ott6

I think politics would be so much funner with duels.


I think politics would be a lot more fun if we could vote for "None of the above", NOTA! Where NOTA were the winner, the election would have to be re-done with different candidates. If NOTA were to win a second time....the "position" would be eliminated until the next election cycle.

Now that......would be interesting and it could save the taxpayers oodles of bucks!



posted on Oct, 7 2015 @ 10:05 AM
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Politics is just adult entertainment. Nothing more, nothing less; a surreal charade designed to make the electorate think they are actually making a difference by voting.

We have the best government money can buy!!!



posted on Oct, 7 2015 @ 10:13 AM
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a reply to: olaru12

I like to think of it as a "finer mans WWE".

Right down to them switching who gets to be the face and who gets to be the heel. Remember Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon the heels? They got to be fondly remembered as the "face" before it was all said and done. Just like Ric Flair.




WOOOO!!!!
edit on 10/7/2015 by bigfatfurrytexan because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2015 @ 10:18 AM
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a reply to: crazyewok

Only if they had to duel their constituents. I'm all for that.



posted on Oct, 7 2015 @ 10:19 AM
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a reply to: burdman30ott6

American politics is WWE for people who can't afford to watch wrestling.


(edit) Sorry. Didn't know someone else used a wrestling reference.


edit on 7-10-2015 by DBCowboy because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2015 @ 10:28 AM
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originally posted by: Azureblue
The Falacy that American Politics are More Divided than Ever Before. This statment is true.

The claims about polarision, are there to mislead the stupid puplic who are silly enough to believe it. Politicians in the US like politicans elsewhere in the world could quite easily feel at home on both or either sides of the fence.

No doubt manny of them join the party they join because a) that party holds the seat where they live or b) because it has the best chance of winning and holding the seat.

The art of proaganda is get the massess to see the truth as a lie.

I have been a observer of Americian Politics for 30 years and I am still trying to work out the differences between them as, in my view, there are just so many issues where they are both on the same side of the fence. The prolem for me is try and work out which side of the fence that is, the left or the right.

The US strikes me as an extremely harsh place in which to live. There seems to be extremely harsh laws there. It seems one (of the masses) can be put away for ever for exremely little there.


I think we have all noticed that the "two camps", by which I assume you mean the Democrats and the Republicans, aren't very different from one another.

There is, however, a real divide between that whole group and those who believe in individual freedom.

I have no doubt that many within the two parties who do respect liberty will quickly distance themselves if they ever discover this discrepancy.

Therefore, helping people to notice that is paramount.


(post by Robert Farrior removed for a serious terms and conditions violation)

posted on Oct, 7 2015 @ 02:51 PM
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a reply to: bigfatfurrytexan

I love that analogy. I've often wondered what it would have been like for ATS to have been on my radar at the height of WCW's New World Order storyline in the late 90s.



posted on Oct, 7 2015 @ 04:10 PM
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originally posted by: Vector99
American politics are a joke to say the least. There is ONE party, but the people think there are 2. That way they get a choice of who will # them the next four years.


There are two parties here.

There are clear ideological differences.

What makes them seems the same is that piece of paper called the US constitution.



posted on Oct, 7 2015 @ 04:17 PM
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a reply to: neo96

I disagree. I think what makes them look identical is a chunk of paper called "The US Dollar." If money, or at least the combination of corporate lobbying and lower income vote buying, were removed from the equation, we'd truly have two differing parties (or more.)



posted on Oct, 7 2015 @ 04:33 PM
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a reply to: burdman30ott6

I don't ever see that happening.

But then again politics has never been about doing the right thing.



posted on Oct, 7 2015 @ 04:34 PM
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originally posted by: burdman30ott6
a reply to: neo96

I disagree. I think what makes them look identical is a chunk of paper called "The US Dollar." If money, or at least the combination of corporate lobbying and lower income vote buying, were removed from the equation, we'd truly have two differing parties (or more.)


Can I get an AMEN!!!

God Money....one deity to rule them all.



posted on Oct, 8 2015 @ 06:05 AM
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a reply to: burdman30ott6

I think that the ultimate end result of the USA political system was the Civil War. Before the Civil War the Political divided went beyond ideology and emotion over rid rational thinking. The same is occurring again . The more the political establishment fails to tackle a issue like immigration the angrier and less rational people become over time. People who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.



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