In this question I asked yesterday Is Now The Time For A Third Political Party To Rise In The US? I apparently made a pretty controversial statement that was called out by quite a few people like @linds34 @Kalinka_ and @goaded so I thought I'd briefly address it in a myTake.
The controversial statement was "essentially the Democratic Party has moved very far left, and the Republicans span most of the spectrum." I think it's important to clarify that by this I mean that the democratic party is polarizing on the left, and the right is doing less of this.
The first issue I want to address is to demonstrate that we are in fact living in a more polarized climate today than we were a few decades ago. This is always a pretty controversial statement with people hyperbolically stating "we've never been more divided!" With the obvious retort being that we fought a Civil War before. I think that this retort is poignant especially with one of the most controversial campaign ads ever being the Daisy advert in the 1960s which depicted a young girl and the threat of nuclear warfare. However when I'm talking about the increasing polarization I'm talking about within my own lifespan. Pew has run a poll on this topic consistently since my birth year and I think their findings are quite telling.
As you can see by the graph Dems and Repubs both had many shared political values in 1994, in fact far more than they differed. Now however that gap has clearly widened.
I believe that the claim we're becoming increasingly polarized is a fairly uncotroversial claim and I seem to not receive much pushback on it. I presume then that the biggest contention people will have with my aforementioned statement is that it's the democrats who are moving further left which has predominantly resulted in this divide. I can understand this sentiment as the typical response is that both parties have become more polarized and less ideologically diverse so it seems unfair to blame any one party. However these Pew results seem to clearly vindicate my statement.
As can be seen by both graphs the Democrats have moved moved further than their Republican counterparts at about twice the rate. Of particular import I think the first graph showing the difference between mixed republicans and democrats is particularly telling.
I think that's about all I'll write for today. It's admittedly short, but I think it gets enough of the point across. It's important to remember here that I'm not arguing that the Republicans policies are better, or that they aren't also becoming more polarized, just that the left is doing so more.
I also think this Op-Ed piece from CNN is a pretty good take on the situation
Full report from Pew can be read here http://www.people-press.org/2017/10/05/the-partisan-divide-on-political-values-grows-even-wider/