Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics by Marc J. Hetherington

By Marc J. Hetherington

Even though politics on the elite point has been polarized for a while, a scholarly controversy has raged over even if usual american citizens are polarized. This booklet argues that they're and that the reason being starting to be polarization of worldviews - what publications people's view of correct and mistaken and stable and evil. those transformations in worldview are rooted in what Marc J. Hetherington and Jonathan D. Weiler describe as authoritarianism. They express that variations of opinion in regards to the such a lot provocative matters at the modern factor schedule - approximately race, homosexual marriage, unlawful immigration, and using strength to solve safety difficulties - mirror transformations in members' degrees of authoritarianism. This makes authoritarianism a particularly compelling rationalization of up to date American politics. occasions and strategic political judgements have conspired to make a majority of these concerns extra salient. The authors reveal that the left and the proper have coalesced round those opposing worldviews, which has supplied politics with extra incandescent colors than ahead of.

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Even if issue preferences are not miles apart, political conflict can seem polarized if it has a fundamental difference in outlook at its foundation. It is this more subtle understanding of polarization that we believe characterizes American politics today. Conclusion We have argued that much of the scholarly disagreement about whether ordinary Americans are polarized can be explained by the fact that different scholars have meant different things by the term polarization. Fiorina adopts a more literal definition, requiring both large distances between groups in their issue preferences and a clustering of those preferences toward the ideological poles.

Instead both southerners and nonsoutherners evince this pattern. Although not as deeply held as a value, we also show here that the distance between partisans on defense spending has increased markedly as well, particularly recently. This is not an ideal measure of hawkishness, but it is the only even somewhat appropriate item asked across a sufficiently long time series. In the 1980s, differences between Republicans and Democrats hovered just below 15 percentage points. After the Cold War came to an end, however, those differences dropped to about 10 percentage points through the 1990s and into 2000.

Those choosing the more “traditional” qualities are characterized as being more authoritarian. Moreover, authoritarianism plausibly underlies preferences on policies of emerging import such as gay rights, how to combat terrorism and immigration, all of which are dividing Americans today. Authoritarians and 30 Authoritarianism and Polarization nonauthoritarians differ in their ability to tolerate difference, which would be germane to differences in preferences on gay rights and immigration as well as ­differences in racial resentment.

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