American partisan polarization, 1949-2011:

From the paper: “We find that despite short-term fluctuations, partisanship or non-cooperation in the U.S. Congress has been increasing exponentially for over 60 years with no sign of abating or reversing.”

3 thoughts on “Polarization

  1. Wonderful visualization, we can see the recent fluctuation toward Red with Obama’s presidency ending., and the same population swing is present at the end of Bush and Clinton years, Before the 90’s though it looks like Blue was the clear winning majority even back to the late 50’s, with some increase in Red during the 60’s (surprising?). It’s clear the opposing sides are far more isolated then they once were, and one wonders how long they will keep up the back-and-forth of governance, taking turns to run a nation they no longer wish to share, and relying on the unwieldy democratic feedback of swing-voters to balance animosities. Could be the same tit-for-tat dynamic plays out all the way to the end, with both sides unwavering faith in democracy plunging them into strife and eventual ruin. It can really only be spite that keeps them together nowadays.

  2. Interesting… and yet the Overton Window has never been smaller than it is today (it’s so small that Tom Woods refers to it as “three-by-five index card of allowable opinion”). Makes one wander if this is the endgame of democracy – highly polarized society that nevertheless moves ever faster in only one direction.

  3. Pingback: The Polarizer | Urban Future (2.1)

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