Furman Professor Weighs in On American Political Divide

  • By cvbizz
  • November 13, 2020
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american political divide
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With voter turnout projected to above 60% and the prospect of almost 70 million people voting for both candidates, it is expected that nearly half the country will not be happy with the Presidential election result. We wanted to see what political scientists thought about our current political situation and the path forward for the country.

Toward that end, we asked the following 2 questions:
Is there a political solution to the divide we are experiencing in the United States? What can the future president do politically to bring the country together or is this highly polarized politic situation here to stay? Here is one response from Furman Professor Brittany Arsiniega.

The highly polarized public is likely to stay. Polarization is deeply rooted psychologically, and there are deep divisions that have existed in this country since its founding — especially along racial lines.

What we are witnessing is largely the result of white backlash — unexamined and enduring white supremacy. It takes remarkable insight and vision from leadership to steer a country away from these divisions, instead of directly towards them. It also takes a robust public educational system. We have neither. Trump eagerly fanned the flames of division, especially along racial lines.

The United States invests remarkably little in public education, instead focusing spending on things like military and police. Until we 1) do a better job of teaching our children about the inequities of American history and about human tendency towards division and 2) actively teach skills necessary to build inclusive communities, the electorate will continue to select leaders who represent the worst, not the best, in us.

Brittany Arsiniega, JD, PhD (she / her)
Assistant Professor, Politics and International Affairs, Furman University

Here’s What Other Political Scientist Had to Say

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