This is a time of hard, adamant positions that are being taken on fundamental issues that concern all Americans. Whether a person picks and chooses their positions from a laundry list of social, moral, religious, and political stances, or whether a person takes the positions that are dictated by party leadership, there is no real polarization that cannot be attributed to two factors: Religion, and morality.
No political party makes as much noise about, or claims as much ownership of religion and morality than the Political Right, as managed by the corporate interests and as actualized through the Republican Party elite.
Religious beliefs are infecting political behavior in unprecedented ways for a country that touts its superiority in enforcing a separation of church and state.
The religious beliefs that insist upon a divine imperative which drives people to judge all human decisions, existence, social standing and conduct as acceptable or evil, have proven disturbing and abhorrent to the vast majority of Americans. The increasing activism, which ironically uses some of the most immoral and unethical tactics, allows a minority segment of our society far more power and attention than it should have.
In reality, there is a vast middle of Americans with bulges to the political Left. Most Americans are mentally, and spiritually functional and capable enough to get along in the workplace, to fight and work side by side in the Military, to live in the same communities, and to work together for the benefit of all. Whether most Americans are extremists in support of one particular cause or another, most Americans can put the benefit of the whole ahead of their individual beliefs and stances.
One major engine of polarization is the mainstream broadcast media’s propensity toward supporting those who are on one side or another. It is simply more possible, profitable, and do able for the media to increase ratings and broadcast market share by taking one side or another, and to avoid forums which “bring both sides together”.
In the case of radio and television talking shows (they are no longer called “reports” or “the news”), the slant is vastly toward encouraging the antics of the extremists on the right, who appear to be the only active extremists, right now. Maybe if some extremists on the left start acting up, they will get in the limelight.
Another major engine of polarization lies in the past 30 years of Republican political strategy. No other party has been more effective in driving citizens to take strong stands for or against the policies which resolve major issues that affect us all.
Any party, movement, institution, religion, faith, or special interest that did not fit into the long term and short term Republican schemes for this country were dealt with aggressively, and with a scorched earth policy.
One brilliant area of social and political manipulation of the masses was to manage and control the extremely religious, racially bothered, and socially intolerant American who cannot withstand the changes that the world and country are going through.
Glittering promises of a “return to the old days” or to “take our country back” got through to a minority of people who consider themselves to be the most deserving by either divine or constitutional imperative.
In responding to the increased aggression from such directions, the people of America who are being attacked were forced to take equally adamant and fierce stands, from fear of being forced back into the most shameful conditions and times of American history.
From race relations to abortion; from immigration abuse to immigration reform; from gay rights to religious restrictions; from free markets for the corporate interests to feudalism for the people; and from torture to Katrina: No other force than the secretive, wealth grabbing and powerful economic, religious, corporate and politically conservative elites can be cited for the march to insane levels of polarization in our society.
But the middle still exists as the vast majority of American society. And the middle just wants their jobs, medical care, homes,savings, retirements, national treasury, national standing, national security, neighborhoods, president, and kids back from the wars.
The vast middle views the polarization, lying, instability and rage as a threat to their well being.