“Vicious, Hateful, and Divisive” Partisans: Understanding and Countering Antidemocratic Political Polarization
The topic of American political partisanship and polarization has become a staple of both academic research and the political news cycle. A search for the word “polarization” in any major newspaper or news magazine turns up dozens of articles, op-eds, and think pieces either decrying the phenomenon or wholeheartedly endorsing it. We see it in family members at the dinner table, in our celebrities on Twitter, and in our politicians on the podium. Definitions may vary by field, by frame, and sometimes by convenience to an argument, but the consensus is this: Political polarization exists, and it’s increasing.