There are certain words that get a warm and fuzzy feeling to the elites in power, bipartisanship, American values, compromise etc etc. However, polarization has been a dirty word for longer than I’ve been politically active. The idea is that if we can’t agree on everything or anything and it causes conflict, this is SO BAD OMG OMG….. (extremely offensive aristocrat voice and fainting)
Here is the dirty secret, polarization has always been with us. Guess what, we will never agree with everyone about everything and there are things on which we will get heated and angry about when discussing them. Politics involves questions that can destroy lives and help mend lives. It has a profound effect on our society and community. See consensus is only helpful if you want to get things done as quickly and as effectively as possible. Now that sounds good right? I mean we all wish Congress was better at their jobs and it surely is well-known how awfully slow Washington is to get things done. However, stuff does get done even at the height of political polarization. The stuff that gets done is often stuff that doesn’t really benefit too many folks. See if the rich assholes who get their feelings hurt at the possibility of having to pay their fair share in taxes, want their tax breaks, it needs to get done as fast as possible, and well division can, sometimes defeat that.
Here is an example of one of the few times this has actually been a good thing, when Obama wanted to cut Social security to raise the debt ceiling, the Republicans being racist pieces of shit, actually abandoned the one reason they ever are in politics to be an asshole to the first black president. The tea party’s true believers often were obstructive even to the rich and powerful who bankrolled their campaigns. See, the rich don’t want to wait for their goodies and yet we are expected to be good and kind and just wait for things they never intend to give us.
Polarization is conflict and guess what, if we aren’t arguing then we aren’t doing the job right. Guess what, disagreements and heated arguments can actually lead to something positive. Yes not everyone argues in good faith and the Republican party certainly never argues in good faith, but the compromising and attempting to be civil doesn’t actually accomplish anything and actually sows more conflict. Do you want to govern and solve problems? Then fight for what you believe in and don’t apologize for caring about the issues you say you care about.