At The Liberal Patriot, John Halpin fingers the role of party cues in blowing apart public issue consensus:
"Partisan polarization has been fingered as the cause of any number of problems in contemporary politics from the rise of divided government and ideological extremism to beliefs in conspiracy theories and the spread of misinformation. A less examined aspect of how partisan sectarianism degrades democracy involves the role of party cues in turning issue agreement among Americans into issue warfare.
This isn’t simply an instance of Democrats and Republicans disagreeing on an issue, and looking for points among base voters, so nothing gets done. Rather, it’s more that Americans themselves often agree on many issues but then this consensus blows apart once political elites on both sides indicate that “it’s not our issue” or that someone they hate likes this issue so our side can’t agree to it anymore.
Primary examples of this trend in recent decades involve health care and immigration."
Read the rest at The Liberal Patriot!