© 2024 WNIJ and WNIU
Northern Public Radio
801 N 1st St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
Northern Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

We Have Met The Enemy ...

Hyperpartisanship is an awkward, unpleasant term for an awkward, unpleasant affliction infecting our political system. We are riven by deep and bitter disputes that prevent us from addressing pressing problems.

In both Washington and Springfield, straight party voting is routine. Legislation is rammed through solely with the votes? of the majority party, which means that the other party's only interest is to regain power and reverse what was done to them. Compromise is disdained as cowardice and apostasy.

The problem is not that selfish gerrymandered politicians are betraying us. Gerrymandering is a symptom of the disease, not its cause. Ideological ?voting and corrosive debate plague the U.S. Senate just as much as the House, and there is no gerrymandering in the Senate

Politicians are hyperpartisan because we have become hyperpartisan. Increasingly, we congregate with people who are our political clones.

Consult the insightful book, The Big Sort. Voters now cast more straight party votes than ever. Fully 40% of the respondents in a recent poll indicated disapproval of a son or daughter who married someone from the other party. Just think about that.

Hyperpartisanship even infects TV, where Jimmy Fallon is losing the late-night ratings race because he is the least partisan of all the hosts.

We suffer from a self-inflicted wound -- hyperpartisanship. In the words of an old cartoon character, "We have met the enemy -- and he is us!"

I am Bob Evans, and that is my perspective.

Related Stories