At the Idaho State Journal, Leonard Hitchcock considers the causes and effect of our increasing polarized polity. Among other things, he suggests that far too many of our citizenry now base their positions on issues on party (what the Founders called “faction”), rather than on the facts surrounding the issues and the merits of proposals themselves.
It is a thoughtful and reflective piece which I commend to your attention. I cite one bit, which comes after his discussion of causes:
. . . polarization has brought considerable clarification to what conservatism and liberalism mean. There is a thread that runs through the ideologies and attitudes that polarization has brought together within each party. At the heart of liberalism is an openness to new experiences; at the heart of conservatism is a fear of change. Democrats imagine new horizons of less discrimination and fairer treatment of all citizens; Republicans see the disintegration of traditional values. . . .