Gerrymandering And Extremism

Since the start of this century, roughly twenty years ago, we have seen the US political scene become much more partisan and divided. Compromise has become almost a four-letter word and both on the left and the right there is less and less tolerance of any deviation.

Studies have shown that members of Congress have moved to the extreme in recent years, with Democrats being far more liberal and Republicans being far more conservative. Although that reflects the partisans of each party, the majority of voters do not hold to those extremes. So how has that happened?

In the guest column (link below), Richard Pildes explains how gerrymandering has made political life more partisan and finding common ground with others less desirable. The decline of truly contested congressional elections, means that candidates pander to the extremes because all they have to do, as a practical matter, is win the party primary. Read his comments, and let us find a way to bring back a desire to work together.

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