Does Religious Pluralism Require Secularism?   /   Fall 2010   /    Essays & Short Takes

Why a Hyper-Polarized Party System Weakens America’s Democracy

How polarization undermines public trust in government.

William Galston

Dale Glasgow/©

The current Congress—the 111th—is the most ideologically polarized in modern history. In both the House and the Senate, the most conservative Democrat is more liberal than is the most liberal Republican. If one defines the congressional “center” as the overlap between the two parties, the center has disappeared.

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