People point at gerrymandering, money, special interests, hyperpartisanship—but that’s to mistake correlation for causation. We are now more insular and more ignorant of the other guy’s thinking. There is greater mutual ignorance than a generation ago between people who live in close proximity. When there’s no habit of compromise, then the very idea of your Congressman reaching across the aisle is apostasy. The politicians in Washington who won’t do that are actually responding to their constituents’ wishes.
Marc Dunkelman on what he believes is the root cause of the political deadlock in the United States: the erosion of our relationships with our neighbors.
What I find interesting about Dunkelman’s ideas is that living side-by-side with people we don’t like makes us better people, better able to listen, understand another point of view and compromise.