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Why does politics divide a country into "us" versus "them" (using the U.S. as an example)? Why can't people on both sides come together on issues to unify their country instead of dividing it?

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Two words: Toxic tribalism. A group glorifies themselves for their views is acceptable but when you antagonize those who don't share your group's ideals, that's when the division starts. If only people and groups could keep their differences in check, politics would not be seen as dirty as it is

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Because people have different opinions about everything.

History tells you that "Why can't we all just get along"?" is a very forlorn hope.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The only answer to this cliche question would be a cliche answer: divide and conquer. It's much easier to push through a corporate 1% serving agenda that will be to the detriment to a severe majority of people if they are distracted with details and baited into identity politics.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

There is a silent majority, which is normally non-political with conventional views, and a vociferous minority with radical views. The latter continually antagonizes the former by railroading unpopular policies and agendas until the former feels it can no longer remain silent.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

using the US as an example

Because there are no other divided countries in the world worth discussing?

I guess the very nature of the question posed goes someway to showing why some people cannot use their noggins to come together.

They can't see beyond their own backyard and their world view is myopic.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

it's not rich vs poor, it's poverty vs justice. You have justice all the levels of poverty in a society are removed and then it doesn't matter your status because then you have your freedom. As long as justice is denied the rich will continue to rule regardless of a side

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Follow the money. Up until the 70's the wage difference between CEO and lowest worker was 100:1 or less. Now it's what? 400:1? More? As long as that inequity grows it doesn't matter which side is which. If we don't have justice then we don't get to decide

1 ( +2 / -1 )

(using the U.S. as an example) Why can't people on both sides come together on issues to unify their country instead of dividing it?

Because the Democrats can't get over their loss in the 2016 election and are hell-bent on negating the election results according to the Constitution and taking down the elected president. They will not cooperate on something as basic as national security. They would rather see the country fail than see the current president succeed. Unprecedented. And reprehensible.

How about using Japan as an example? They're pretty much divided politically also.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Because the new definition of 'compromise' is something only the other side should have to do. Both sides only will accept the other side bending to their will, but refuse to do any bending of their own. Absolutely no one will meet in the middle.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's the foundation of democracy. Everybody has different opinion, and people should be divided as much as possible, and discuss issues based on different view. If everybody has same opinion then it's called totalitarian regime. We are democratic and free to argue, protest, and divided. People were divided from the beginning of human history, and will be divided forever, and it's healthy state of society.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Everybody has different opinion

Of course, but now if you have a different opinion, you are wrong and a Nazi.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Because the new definition of 'compromise' is something only the other side should have to do. Both sides only will accept the other side bending to their will, but refuse to do any bending of their own. Absolutely no one will meet in the middle.

That's not true. When Trump shut down the government a few months back, the Democrats were willing to compromise, but Trump had set an ultimatum. By definition, there can be no compromise with an ultimatum.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Intolerance of the Left is a major reason. As a Trump supporter, I have witnessed this first hand. I am more than happy to have friends from all sides of the political divide; it doesn't bother me whether someone I hang out with is a Bernie supporter or whatever. I am always open to discourse. However, when people on the left learn I support Trump and am on the right of politics, they really show just how "tolerant" they really are. Highly ironic, when all you hear is how the Left are supposed to be welcoming and tolerant and the right are supposed to be close-minded and divisive. It's the exact opposite in my experience!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

That's not true. When Trump shut down the government a few months back, the Democrats were willing to compromise, but Trump had set an ultimatum. By definition, there can be no compromise with an ultimatum.

What I said works for both sides, I didn't say which.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In the specific example of the US, it is because everything is divided into labels like conservative, liberal, Republican, and Democrat and then people are encouraged to simply follow the official party line without actually thinking about the issues and coming up with their own positions. You can be a Democrat and still hate Obama/Hillary/whoever's view on some thing or lots of things, you can be a Republican and not support Trump's or McCain's or whoever's views either.

I can't remember who, but some people did a voxpop on whether people supported an "Affordable Healthcare Act". Most passers-by said they did. The same people were asked if they supported "Obamacare". Most of them said "no". The "Affordable Healthcare Act" was "Obamacare".

While this has been going on for some time, it must be said that Trump refusing to engage and shouting down all criticism as "fake news" only makes things worse. We've seen "you are with us or against us" type binary nonsense from US politicians for years, but Trump is still worse.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Alternatively, I think the people up top know if you keep the population focused on one thing, they will readily ignore others.

Regardless of the party, the top in USA are under no threat of either party falling, so why not pit the population against each other while they line their pockets. We’re the actual threat that the top would lose their jobs (as was the case in Australia years back) things might be different.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

*Were, not we’re

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At least, there is no dictatorship in U.S. even though that DT wants to be. "Them" is important in the society, weak point of democracy still means majority. Japan has one big problem people don't know "them" in this Abe government...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That's not true. When Trump shut down the government a few months back, the Democrats were willing to compromise,

No, they were willing to compromise as long as it didn’t include the border wall funding for what wanted which wasn’t a compromise, it was petty and it was a sock in the eye to the President. Even when Trump tried to legalize 2 million DACA recipients in exchange for full border funding the answer was NO.

but Trump had set an ultimatum.

As the Democrats set theirs

By definition, there can be no compromise with an ultimatum

I agree.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

American politics are toxic because it's built on a two party system.There's no balance. Always one in power, the other against. Each side blames the other.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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