Political Gridlock

As the 2012 Presidential elections rapidly approach, we see an uglier side of our nation’s politics. Mudslinging, name-calling, personal attacks…these are all “methods” that our politicians have been using to discredit their opponent and make themselves seem like the more viable candidate. But these “methods” do not only appear in the Presidential election, they continue on into the political stratosphere and reveal themselves in Congress, Political Analysis, Political Advice, Political Talk-Shows, Social Media (Facebook, Twitter), Newspapers etc… it seems that these “methods” have no end and no one forum to contain them. When the Founding Fathers were drafting the Constitution did they intend for politicians to make direct attacks on each other? Did they intend for Politicians to use Facebook to belittle each other? I’m sure my prediction can match yours when we say no, they never intended for political gridlock to go this far!

The Founding Fathers intentionally created a system of political gridlock but they never meant for political gridlock to get so bad that Congress cannot even pass a bill or a budget because no party is willing to compromise.

One of the cases of political gridlock that I would like to examine is the 2011 controversy over the Federal Aviation Administration. Congress had been stuck in gridlock to the point that they could not keep the FAA running because they could not agree on a budget (not to mention a budget for the rest of the country). This political gridlock and intense party polarization is strangling our political system and unless politicians are willing to comprise what part of our government will be the next FAA? I intend to find out…

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2 Responses to Political Gridlock

  1. Katie Smith says:

    Great topic! I can’t wait to hear what you come up with. If you haven’t read the recent Mann and Ornstein book “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks,” it might provide an interesting perspective on your question. They do briefly touch upon the FAA issue.

  2. This sounds really interesting! Will you be incorporating historical analyses of past elections as you study the “ugly methods” we see so often exercised in political campaigns today? I can’t help but think that some of those methods might be older than they seem… (I’m especially considering Andrew and Rachel Jackson and the ad hominem aspects of the 1828 Presidential Election here…)

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