Monday, February 23, 2004

Due to their overwhelming support of the Democratic Party in Presidential elections, New Yorkers play an important role. Because the state’s Electoral College votes can reliably be counted in the Democrats’ win column, the party is freed-up to devote resources to other states in which the outcome is not in the bag.

Unfortunately, this reliance provides the breeding ground for the polarization that is purported to afflict our nation. When one party controls the political levers of a particular state (New York, California, Texas), it also controls the news cycle. Its politicians and policy-shaping interest groups put forth their policy interpretations without any dissent.

In time, the residents of these single party states can only see one point-of-view. (Can anyone in lower New York understand the opposition to gay marriage?) As we hold high opinions of our own ability to be “fair and balanced”, we defend to the end our beliefs with little recognition that these points-of-view are informed only by one group of politicians and special interests.

It is this very human attribute that polarizes us politically, and, unfortunately, socially. When will there arise a person, party and/or movement that recognizes that New Yorkers, Californians, and Texans are better served by two-sided debate?

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