Why are we so split?

It seems the folks in our country are split politically and generally between versions of liberals, moderates and conservatives.

This causes the political pendulum to swing back and forth every decade or so, as the moderates tend to move between the two ends.

It makes me wonder what causes this mix to be so near balanced that it teeters back and forth?  Why, after all this time, hasn’t one prevailing way of thinking about political life become dominant so that we don’t have to rehash the same mistakes over and over again?

3 thoughts on “Why are we so split?

  1. Let me propose that one reason – perhaps the chief reason – for this is that politicians are human and humans have a propensity to act not only in their own self interest, but to place greater weight on the present than the future, or perhaps it’s because those who drift into politics tend to be people who manifest these traits or urges (or fail to control them) to a greater degree than average. As such, (and I make no apologies if I seem politically biased) conservatives too often act like liberals when they are in power and spend money on their own pork projects and cronies and in doing so they alienate the moderate swing vote (not that moderates are any more free of these human traits or urges than any other group).

    If indeed, America is a center-right nation, this theory would make sense. On average, a center-right nation would be expected to elect conservatives more often than liberals, Thus, the status quo would be for conservatives to be in power. That is, unless conservatives do something to alienate that swing vote. I propose, given that America is a center-right nation, that the swing voters are NOT alienated by conservative ideas and policies, but by actions that they view as foreign to their own beliefs. Americans, by their heritage, have a mistrust of and dislike for government – or, more precisely, government officials. We detested the British for abusing their power more than two centuries ago and we still detest politicos who abuse the power we have vested in them.


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