Red vs. Blue 2010 Polarization

 

By
Mitch Chrismer

February, 2010

A recent article from the satirical newspaper The Onion pretty much summed up the political situation in America these days. The headline read "Congress Forced to Watch Training Video About Bipartisan Cooperation," and the article humorously made light of the inability of the Senate and the House to compromise on key issues pertaining to modern American politics. While The Onion is unquestionably a satire, this article was not too far fetched from reality. In fact, just 10 years ago the House of Representatives conducted several "civility retreats" aimed at promoting a more civil atmosphere between members. These unsuccessful retreats were deemed necessary because the level of polarization between Democrats and Republicans had reached a new high, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to pass legislature in the acrimonious partisan environment.

Political polarization in the United States is at least as bad or worse than it's been for a long time, and the facts supporting this are hard to refute. A very high level of polarization now exists among the electorate; for example a Gallup poll taken in January 2010 found that president Barack Obama's approval rating is the most polarized for a first-year president in the modern era. The 65 percentage-point gap between Democrats (88%) and Republicans (23%) average job approval ratings for Obama easily exceeds the largest gap for any president in his first year of office [1]. Prior to Obama, president George W. Bush's ratings showed historical levels of polarization as well: In May 2004, a Gallup poll found that 89 percent of Republicans approved of Bush, compared to just 12 percent of Democrats. This 77 point gap in presidential approval by party in May of re-election years was by far the largest in the modern era, dating all the way back to Harry Truman [2].

A high degree of polarization also exists among our elected officials in the House and Senate as well. A standard explanation for polarized politics at the elite level is that candidates tend to cater to the desires of political activists, who often represent the far ideological wings of the parties [3]. Politicians, then, are forced to pander to political extremists in order to win elections, as those that try to appeal to the center tend to lose in primary elections. Thus, the extreme candidate is the rational candidate, which makes it very difficult for moderates on either side to get their voice heard. This is often the case in most intractable conflicts [4].

At times our government seems to be locked in gridlock, as major legislation is rarely able to garner the bipartisanship support needed for it to pass. In fact, passing anything controversial these days has come to require sixty Senate votes. The Republican stonewalling of Democrat-led healthcare initiatives and cap-and-trade legislation offer recent proof of this phenomenon. Party-line votes are more the norm than the exception, especially when compared to the early 1970's when congressional parties were so uncohesive that many members of Congress voted more frequently with the opposition than with their own party colleagues [5]. What's more, Democrats have even recently titled Republicans "the Party of No" thanks to their staunch and unified opposition to all Democrat-led initiatives. In today's political climate the saying "Party Trumps Person" has never been truer, as our politicians increasingly pander to their coalitions in what has become a zero-sum game in Washington.

When examining the conflict between Democrats and Republicans, it seems a little ironic that democracy has been proven to reduce conflict. This holds true across borders, perhaps, as democracies rarely ever wage war against one another. But conflict is endemic inside the borders of a democratic nation. This is especially true in the United States, thanks in large part to our two-party system. Political polarization is a byproduct of this system, and even though our politics are fought nonviolently, conflict rages on.

This conflict between parties is nothing new; in fact there have been times in U.S. history when polarization was even more extreme. Perhaps the greatest example of polarization in the U.S. was the build-up to the Civil War. The Republican Party was essentially nonexistent before 1852, but by 1860 they controlled both the White House and the Congress due largely to anti-slavery voters from the north. Southern politicians reacted to the Republican ascendency by quickly seceding from the Union, resulting in the Civil War [6].

While the build-up to the Civil War represents the most extreme case of political polarization in the United States, there are two more recent examples that more closely mirror the situation that is going on today. The first such example occurred during the period of industrial transformation at the turn of the 20th century, when the political parties polarized over whether the government should protect the shrinking rural, agrarian economy, or assist the progression of the urban, industrial economy [6]. The second example happened during the New Deal era of the 1930s, when the parties polarized over the role of the government and which economic policies were most appropriate for lifting the country out of the Great Depression [6]. Both of these polarized periods were "resolved" when the parties whose policies were defeated became uncompetitive in subsequent elections and were forced to gradually shift their stances on key issues, thus regaining competitiveness.

Perhaps we can determine ways to ease the situation at hand today by examining how these earlier periods of polarization were resolved. Here, it is important to note that most intractable conflicts cannot be resolved, but they can be mitigated. Democrats and Republicans will likely never see eye-to-eye on most issues, but at the very least the combative climate can be improved. But before we can mitigate the situation, we must first figure out why things got the way they are today.

There are a number of explanations for why the situation is what it is these days. In an attempt to identify sources of polarization in the United States, the authors of Polarized America focus on the correlation between income inequality and polarization. The results they found were remarkable: When plotting data from the Gini index (an index of inequality) of family income against a polarization index that quantitatively scores politicians by their roll-call voting records, the results show that the two measures correlate almost perfectly [7]. Levels of polarization and income inequality were both relatively low and stable from the 1940s to the early 1980s, when both simultaneously shot up to their respective degrees that we are experiencing today. This graph is represented in Figure 1 in the Appendix.

This correlation may be no more than just a coincidence, however. The authors' central hypothesis is that current polarization was caused by a "move to the right" by Republicans, [7] and the authors repeatedly let their political colors show by lamenting that rich Republicans block efforts to redistribute income, which, in their view, furthers polarization. The truth, however, is that the old adage "rich Republicans" no longer holds true. A recent analysis of Census data found that Democratic members of the House of Representatives now represent the nation's wealthiest people, a major flip compared to years past [8]. Precise explanations for this switch are undetermined of yet, but David Wasserman of the non-partisan Cook Political Report reasons that it is due to Republicans appealing to greater numbers of rural and Southern voters, who tend to be of lower income [8]. Regardless of the cause, this revelation effectively refutes the authors' claim that "the relatively poor are increasingly Democratic and the rich Republican" [7] and quashes their argument that presidential votes are linked to income. Still, despite the bias, the possible connection is interesting.

The changing role of the media might also play a part in the increased level of political polarization in the United States. Media consumers now have so many options to choose from that they often will only select news that reinforces their preexisting viewpoints-Republicans will watch FoxNews, listen to Rush Limbaugh and read the Drudge Report, while Democrats will watch CNN, listen to NPR and read the Huffington Post [3]. The extent to which bias exists in media is debatable, but it doesn't matter. All that really matters here is that the perception of bias which is well documented..

Newsbusters, a conservative website that seeks to expose liberal media bias, rails against The New York Times, CNN, NPR, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, NBC, and the Associated Press. Media Matters, a similarly formatted website coming from the opposite end of the political scale, focuses the majority of its ire against the pundits at FoxNews and Rush Limbaugh.

It can perhaps be argued that the introduction of FoxNews has assisted America's polarization, because before its inception, conservatives had nowhere to turn to receive news on television that was devoid of a liberal tilt. In fact, FoxNews was created with the specific purpose of countering liberal bias in the news. But now it is hard to find news from a cable TV source or talk radio that doesn't have a hard ideological edge to it, which makes it very difficult for moderates on either side to get their voices heard or to get news they trust.

Once upon a time, the news was considered to be the "glue" that held American society together. There were very few national news outlets, and newscasters such as Walter Cronkite were widely considered some of the most trusted figures in the country. But now, increased competition forces media outlets to cater to the prejudices of their audiences, and with greater competition comes even more aggressive catering to those prejudices, as competitors in the media increasingly strive to divide the market [3]. Sadly, this trend of polarized media appears to be here to stay., as it makes money, and that's hard to beat. This phenomenon allowed for the rise of FoxNews, and given its stunning success and overwhelming dominance in the ratings, it shouldn't come as a surprise when more conservative-leaning cable news outlets start popping up. Further, with the rise of the Internet, individuals can now select their their news sources even more narrowly . This will only further polarize matters, as people tend to prefer information that supports their existing beliefs. "We have lost our conversational commons," laments communications scholar Thomas Hollihan. "Common news experiences are fundamental to the formation of a political community [5]." Because of the polarized nature of our news media, those citizens who are not interested in politics may simply abandon the news altogether.

The way that the news covers political events has also shifted; today there is much less focus on substantive policy differences and much more focus on "suspense and speculation about likely winners and losers [6]." Perhaps this causes the general public to lose interest in politics, leaving the voting to only the most partisan of the electorate-and further polarizing matters. In fact, voter turnout in primary elections is typically very low, and those people who do show up to vote are often the most ideologically extreme members of their party [6]. This means that politicians who pander to their extreme base are often the ones who receive the nominations from their parties. Extreme politicians, of course, cause extreme polarity, despite the fact that politicians often move to the center in general elections.

Gerrymandering is yet another possible explanation for our current polarized political climate, as historically low levels of competition exist in today's congressional elections. In the House of Representatives, 99 percent of incumbents standing for reelection were successful in the 2002 and 2004 elections, and not a single Democrat was defeated in the swing back to Democrats in 2006 [9]. What's even more remarkable is that 89 percent of standing Republicans were reelected in this 2006 swing to the Democrats! Because of this, it's easy to draw a link between polarization and the ease of reelection because politicians have no need to move to the center-they must only pander to their bases in order to achieve reelection. The argument can then be made that the redistricting process known as gerrymandering increasingly produces districts that are homogenous with respect to partisanship and voter ideology [9]. But while gerrymandering might be a possible explanation for increased polarization among House Representatives, it cannot explain polarization among the electorate. Nor can it explain polarization in the Senate, which isn't subject to reapportionment or redistricting.

In addition, gerrymandering doesn't necessarily cause polarization in the House. When a majority party in a state tries to maximize the number of seats it wins in future elections by redrawing district lines, this results in the minority party being packed into as few districts as possible, effectively strengthening the minority party's chances of holding on to those seats. In a bit of irony, this results in more electoral security for the minority party and less for individual members of the majority party. "Consequently," conclude McCarty et al., "partisan gerrymandering leads to more competitive districts than non-competitive districts and has an ambiguous effect on polarization [9]."

Another possible explanation for the increase in political polarity is that the Democrat and Republican parties have recently sorted themselves into much more ideologically contiguous groups. After World War II, both parties had what were essentially two wings. In addition to its liberal (northern) wing, the Democrats had a conservative wing, called the Southern Democrats. The Republicans also had conservative and progressive wings; those belonging to the more moderate wing were called "Rockefeller Republicans." The parties often worked together because of the divisions, and the level of polarization was relatively low [10]. But these wings slowly evaporated: The Southern Democrats either switched to the Republican Party or were replaced by Republicans, and the Rockefeller Republicans either dropped out or were replaced by Democrats. As a result, the two political parties are now much more ideologically homogenous when compared to the past, which possibly explains some of the polarization existing today.

A final possible explanation for today's highly polarized environment in American politics is the rise of influence of special interest groups. Special interest groups may also be the reason for the recent homogenization of the two political parties. When interest groups supporting and opposing abortion first appeared on the scene in the early 1970s, it was unclear who their allies and opponents would be. Both Republican and Democrat parties had not yet defined their respective positions on the issue, but over the next three decades pro-life groups became firmly attached to the Republican party and pro-choice groups became attached to the Democrat party [11]. Abortion, despite being a fringe political issue, was a highly polarizing topic in the U.S. in the 1970s and continues to be a polarizing subject today. Moral issues are always hard to compromise on, and after the two parties latched on to their respective sides of the abortion issue, it forced a great number of Americans to choose a definitive political party as well. This phenomenon is known as party sorting, defined as "the process by which voters (align) themselves with the party that better represents their ideological temperament." [6]. Party sorting also forces politicians to abandon certain long-held positions. Republicans John McCain, Mitt Romney and Ronald Reagan all switched from pro-choice to pro-life stances in order to appease their constituencies.

As the Democrat and Republican parties divided over the abortion issue, other special interest groups were forced to align with one party or the other. Staying neutral was no longer a tenable strategy for these groups because of this new split among the electorate [5]. Ultimately, the effect that the abortion issue had on the increased level of polarization between Democrats and Republicans means that religion played a critical role in creating today's divide. The most devoutly religious voters now side more frequently with Republicans, as demonstrated by exit polls after the 2004 election that found that those who attended church more than once a week voted for Republican George W. Bush by a margin of 64 percent to 35 percent, and those who never attended church voted for Democrat John Kerry 62 percent to 36 percent [6]. Here, as we see so often in intractable conflicts around the world, religion has played a crucial part in widening the divide among our population.

Now that the sources of polarization have been determined, it is time to search for solutions. Again, intractable conflicts generally cannot be "resolved," but they can be mitigated. And while one would never expect for the political climate in a democratic nation with a two-party system to be completely civil, one can hope for a less rancorous hyper-partisan environment, wherein legislation can actually get passed without requiring a Senate supermajority.

One possible solution, as offered by the authors of Polarized America, is to reduce income inequality in the United States. According to the authors, the level of polarization would decrease if the United States did a better job of redistributing income. The greatest obstacles standing in the way of income redistribution, according to the authors, are rich Republicans and their political leaders who steadfastly refuse to pass legislation that would allow for this to happen. [7]. Author and political strategist Robert Creamer echoes this position in a recent article appearing in The Huffington Post. He writes:

"To put it simply, Republicans increasingly represent the interests of the wealthiest elements of American society, and Democrats represent everyone else. As the gap between the incomes of these segments of the population grows, so does the gap between their economic interests and the policy proposals they support. So, in other words, if you want to do something about the political polarization of Congress, you have to deal with the underlying cause. You have to reduce the growing level of income inequality in America [12]."

There is but one small problem with Creamer's reasoning: Republicans don't represent the wealthiest elements of society, Democrats do. This, again, is evidenced by recent Census data that found that Democrats now represent the richest regions of the United States. [8]. The authors of Polarized America acknowledge this to some degree; they theorize that the demands for income redistribution have been "tempered" because of the Democratic Party's increased reliance on donations from wealthy contributors [7]. So while income redistribution may be a possible solution for reducing the level of polarization, one must look past coercing Republicans into going along with it.

But even then, income redistribution is not the solution to America's problems, and its very concept is arguably un-American. Our Founding Fathers would spin in their graves if one were to suggest this as a solution to our problems, as writings and speeches from James Madison, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson suggest a serious disdain for wealth redistribution. Madison offered some of the most concise criticisms against the concept, saying, "Charity is no part of the legislative government, (30) [13]" and "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents (31) [14]." The concepts of rugged individualism and self-sufficiency are part of the reason why so many believe that America is the greatest and most prosperous nation on earth, and the American Dream still thrives today, thanks largely to these ingrained ideals. Individual achievement is and always has been paramount in these United States of America, and this concept has underpinned our social and economic organization ever since our nation's conception.

Another possible solution would be to change the structure of the way things are done in Washington. The authors of Polarized America touch on this possibility when they write: "American political institutions are ill-suited to mitigating the economic pressures that lead to greater levels of inequality." [7]. So, a change to the political structure could allow controversial legislation-such as income redistribution-to be passed more easily, which may or may not reduce the level of polarity we are witnessing today. One possible way of altering America's political institutions in such a manner would be to remove the filibuster, a form of obstruction in the Senate that promotes deliberation by slowing the legislative process and "(ensures) that minorities have time to attempt to raise public opposition to a proposal they believe to be unwise [5]."

While removing the filibuster would certainly allow for more controversial legislation to be passed, it would not reduce the level of polarization-in fact, it would only increase it. Barbara Sinclair, Professor of American Politics at the University of California, Los Angeles, explains: "Whatever one's judgment of the desirability of this rules change in the abstract, were majority Republicans to impose their rule on minority Democrats, the consequences for Senate functioning would likely be dire. Partisan rancor would be enormously exacerbated [5]." In other words, if a majority party removed the filibuster to facilitate the passage of controversial legislature, the minority party would become so resentful that it would coalesce even more tightly in opposition to the majority party, effectively increasing the level of polarization. But then again, it is debatable whether the polarized environment can get much worse than it is today.

Ultimately, restructuring the legislative process by removing the filibuster is probably not possible and nor is it practical. Sinclair reasons: "So long as the House functions as a lean, mean partisan legislative machine, changing the Senate to resemble the House does not seem desirable [5]." And besides, the filibuster option is an entrenched institution in American politics that has been there since the very beginning, and the very thought of removing it might be even more offensive to our Founding Fathers than income redistribution. The filibuster was instituted as a means of protecting the minority from the tyranny of majority rule, a concept that was crucial not just to early Americans, but to philosophers Plato, Aristotle, Tocqueville and more. Our government was purposely set up to divide and limit power so that a tyrannical majority would never be able to impose its will on the minority. James Madison explains this concept in his Federalist Papers 48 (emphasis his): "An elective despotism was not the government we fought for; but one which should not only be founded on free principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced among several bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend their legal limits, without being effectually checked and restrained by the others [15]." The removal of the filibuster would directly counter this policy of checks and balances in the government, and it would directly contradict the stated goal of our Founding Fathers to have a government that is incapable of oppressing a minority. And again, the removal of the filibuster would not decrease the level of polarization in American politics today; it would only make matters worse.

A domestic security calamity, though completely undesirable, might also decrease the level of polarization in American politics. This can be called "the rally-around-the-flag effect," and we last witnessed it after the attacks of 9/11 when popular support for president Bush soared across America. The authors of Polarized America, who wrote their book while the Bush administration was in power, believed that an economic or domestic catastrophe would be necessary to wrench power away from Republicans. They write: "Another terrorist attack on American soil could erase the Republicans' electoral advantage on security and foreign policy and thereby expose its weakness on economic policies toward the middle class. Whether a shift from Republican dominance would end polarization depends on whether the Democrats sit on their heels or occupy the middle [7]." Here again, these authors are decrying the fact that Republicans stand in the way of income redistribution, and their solution to polarization is a return to power by the Democrats. They were correct in their assertion that a domestic calamity would bring about political change, as the economic crisis of 2008 most definitely assisted Barack Obama and Democrats across the nation in their ascension to power. But, as previously shown, president Obama is the most polarizing first-year president in history, so the ascendency of Democrats has done nothing to alleviate the situation.

Another possible solution would be to reverse the trend of specialization of news media, but this recourse seems highly unlikely. We now live in the Information Age, and again, people tend to prefer information that supports their pre-existing beliefs. There is such a vast choice of media available that those who are interested in politics have no problem finding sources that align with their views. Those who are not interested in politics, however, might be turned off by the extremist ideologues that dominate the airwaves these days. Sinclair explains: "Part of the problem is that people who are not particularly interested in politics can now almost completely avoid exposure and thus avoid learning enough to become at all interested [5]." Thus, those who aren't interested don't become interested, and those that are interested become increasingly rooted in their ideology, effectively raising the level of polarization. Voter turnout-especially when compared to most other industrialized nations-remains low in the United States, and perhaps the modern media plays a role in this. But this might not be such a terrible thing after all. An informed public is a polarized public, so at least the vast majority of people who do vote are up to date on all the issues.

Perhaps the field of conflict resolution can offer insight into what is needed to alleviate the current situation at hand. For one, William Zartman's theory of ripeness pertains to this conflict. Zartman contends that conflicting parties are keener to cooperate with one another when a conflict becomes "ripe." "Ripeness" occurs when conflicting parties realize that they have entered into a mutually hurting stalemate, and they come to an understanding that the status quo is no longer acceptable [16]. In other words, the parties must realize that things simply can't go on the way they are, and they must realize that they must work together in order to achieve desirable outcomes. In the conflict between Democrats and Republicans, "ripeness" may be akin to the "rally-around-the-flag" effect. Perhaps things do need to get worse before they can get better. Though completely objectionable, a severe jolt to the system such as a domestic or economic catastrophe may be what is needed to get the parties to work together. But perhaps the moment can become ripe for resolution without such a jolt ?

Another concept to be borrowed from the field of conflict resolution is that of reframing issues. Our elected leaders in Washington must come to the realization that politics in America is not a zero-sum game, especially when the wellbeing of millions of citizens is at stake. A win for one party does not have to mean a loss for the other. At the most basic political level, all Americans want the same things: We want a thriving economy, we want to be secure, and we want to see America continue in its role as a world leader. The partisan bickering must then be tempered if we are to come up with solutions to real problems. Simply put, our elected officials must start working together. Crushing the domestic opposition is not the solution to America's problems, rather, bipartisanship is. As is so often the case, the solutions to America's problems lie somewhere between the two parties. Bipartisanship, then, is the answer to America's political polarization. But, as shown, bipartisanship most often occurs in the wake of a domestic catastrophe. The same question then comes up again: Is it possible to achieve bipartisanship without experiencing a calamity?

It is unlikely that political polarization in the United States will ever disappear for good, and it is unrealistic to expect two competing parties in a democracy to ever see eye to eye on everything. Besides, we would no longer have a democracy if the two parties agreed on everything, So, as with all intractable conflicts, it is important to focus on conflict management rather than conflict resolution. Crocker et al. explain: "The very intractability of the conflicts we are dealing with means that they can at best be managed, contained, or de-escalated; they are unlikely to be resolved [4]." Polarized politics, while they may be ugly, are not the source of all our problems. But polarization does matter: It decreases the chance of reform of major domestic programs; it prohibits potential foreign policy solutions from being implemented; it blocks the confirmation of officials; and lastly, it leads to the exclusion of ordinary citizens from the political process [6]. But perhaps the greatest threat that polarization poses is that fewer solutions to important problems are considered or implemented.

While the situation today might appear to be hopeless, there are some positives to be gleaned from the current climate. Americans may be polarized politically, but as a whole we get along well with one another. Of course, among the most partisan of our population there are examples of demonization of the Other, and a there does exist a climate of Us vs. Them. One only needs to glance at reader comments on The Daily Kos or listen to the incendiary comments made on a daily basis by political pundits such as Keith Olbermann or Glenn Beck to know this is true. But unlike other countries, we generally don't shoot each other. We've taken major steps to reverse racism and discrimination in recent years; interfaith and interracial marriages are becoming more commonplace; gay rights are increasingly accepted. America is still seen by most to be a wonderful place to live, and even though the political situation might sometimes appear hopelessly gridlocked, there is still a lot going on here that we can take pride in. While our democracy might not be perfect, it still functions in largely the same manner that our Founding Fathers intended. Barbara Sinclair sums: "Democracy, no matter how structured, cannot guarantee good policy outcomes, for any individual or for the polity as a whole, much less ones that we all find pleasing. It does allow us, if we are willing, to take the time and make the effort, to exert some influence over those outcomes [5]." And the venerable and sagacious Winston Churchill gets the last word: "No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of all government, except all those other forms that have been tried."

Appendix

Figure 1.

 


Works Cited

[1] Gallup. "Obama's Approval Most Polarized for First-Year President"; available from http://www.gallup.com/poll/125345/Obama-Approval-Polarized-First-Year-Pr... Internet; accessed 2 February 2010.

[2] Gallup. "Bush Ratings Show Historical Levels of Polarization"; available from http://www.gallup.com/poll/11884/Bush-Ratings-Show-Historical-Levels-Pol... Internet; accessed 2 February 2010.

[3] Iyengar, Shanto. and Hahn, Kyu. "Red Media, Blue Media: Evidence of Ideological Polarization in Media Use" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, TBA, San Francisco, CA, May 23, 2007.

[4] Crocker, Chester A., Hampson, Fen Olser and Aal, Pamela, Grasping the Nettle (Washington: United States Institution of Peace, 2005), 104, 145.

[5] Sinclair, Barbara, Party Wars: Polarization and the Politics of National Policy Making (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2006), 3, 309, 343-369.

[6] Walker, Richard, "Political Polarization: A Dispatch from the Scholarly Front Lines," in Red and Blue Nation? Characteristics and Causes of America's Polarized Politics, (Washington: The Brookings Institute, 2006).

[7] McCarty, Nolan, Poole, Keith T., Rosenthal, Howard, Polarized America: The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches, (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2008), 6-13, 191-202.

[8] Cauchon, Dennis, "In Major Flip, House Dems Now Represent Richest Regions," USAToday, 14 October 2009.

[9] McCarty, Nolan M., Poole, Keith T. and Rosenthal, Howard, "Does Gerrymandering Cause Polarization?" (February 2006). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1154054

[10] Jon R. Bond and Richard Fleisher, "The Disappearing Middle and the President's Quest for Votes in Congress," PRG Report (Fall 1999), p. 6.

[11] Gerrity, Jessica, Wagner, Michael, Carmines, Edward, "The New Polarization in American Politics: Interest Groups, Mass Media and Contestation of the Abortion Issue," (paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Hilton Chicago and the Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL, September 2, 2004).

[12] Creamer, Robert, "Reducing America's Economic Polarization Will Lead to Political Comity," The Huffington Post, 4 January, 2010.

[13] Speech, House of Representatives, during the debate "On the Memorial of the Relief Committee of Baltimore, for the Relief of St. Domingo Refugees" (10 January 1794), available online from http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/hlaw:@field%28DOCID+@lit%28ed00423%29%29.

[14] Annals of Congress, House of Representatives, 3rd Congress, 1st Session, page 170 (10 January 1794), available online from: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=llac&fileName=004/llac004.db....

[15] Madison, James, "The Federalist No. 48," New York Packet, 1 February 1788.

[16] Touval, Saadia and Zartman, William I., Mediation Research: The Process and Effectiveness of Third-Party Intervention (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1989), 125.