My political ideology is best described as left-leaning and liberal. This result would naturally position me as a Democrat, but party identification is something in which I do not believe. The idea of party identification and the exploitation of that idea by political agents and media outlets is the primary reason the United States is so severe divided right now. We live in a culture in which all publicity is good publicity. This is best exemplified by popular personalities such as Kim Kardashian, Lavar Ball, and Donald Trump. Essentially, if a person, group, or their publicity manager(s) is able to garner strong polar reactions from the viewing public (i.e. controversy) they can then leverage that controversy as a concept of public interest. The media, on both side of the news aisle, has contributed to the rise of this polarization. The media is intended to serve as the communicator between the government and the citizen. However, a single story can be painted a thousand ways through selective quoting or slanted headlines. Thus, we have all been malformed in some way, some more than others, due to our lifelong exposure to the media.
Political agents and parties play the polarization game as well. This is why Republicans deride Democrats at every chance and vice versa. Buying into this mentality and declaring loyalty to an individual party allows one to hone the natural human tendency of justification, which in this case are small acceptances of laws and policies throughout the years. After year of loyalty to a specific party, a person is naturally inclined to drone along with changing views of that party despite what those changes are. For example, if a person had the ability to live from the antebellum period of American society until the late 20th century and identified as a Republican, he or she would have seen their chosen party completely shift from extremely progressive to conservative. It is important to forge personal political ideologies; a person must liken their ethical foundations to the law of the land. But that same person should not allow external influencers to edge away those foundations through political attrition.
- Patterson, T. E. (2013). The American democracy (11th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.