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Political conflict would have been at an all-time high today even if there were different presidential candidates from the initial pool of alternatives. Republicans and Democrats at both the leadership level and their electoral bases differ ideologically more than ever seen in American politics across an enormous range of political issues. This was already associated with partisan disagreement over “facts” and “truth,” well before the 2016 presidential campaign. This talk will review the available—and striking— data that show this, and address directly the question: How did we get here? And much more speculatively: Is there any way out?
|Robert Shapiro is the Wallace S. Sayre Professor of Government and former chair of the Department of Political Science at Columbia University. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has taught at Columbia since 1982. His current research examines partisan polarization and ideological politics in the United States, as well as other topics concerned with public opinion and policymaking.|
|Peter Coy is Economics Editor of Bloomberg Businessweek. He writes on a wide range of economic, social, and financial issues. He is a regular contributor to the magazine's “Opening Remarks” column. Mr. Coy came to BusinessWeek from the Associated Press in New York, where he had served as a business news writer since 1985. Before that Mr. Coy was a correspondent in the AP Rochester bureau.|