Political Polarization: Does anyone still value compromise?

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Political Polarization
How compromise is perceived across the political spectrum PEW 2014

“COMPROMISE” is a complex process with the current levels of polarization in American politics. Pew offers this chart to suggest that common ground may be possible. CLICK THIS GRAPHIC to visit the Pew website and read the entire report.

“If you want to bring an end to long-standing conflict, you have to be prepared to compromise,” said Aung San Suu Kyi, a long-term advocate for democracy in Myanmar (Burma). (ReadTheSpirit’s Interfaith Peacemakers department has an inspiring profile of this Nobel Peace Prize winner.)

Should Republicans and Democrats compromise? Or, are they too far apart to ever find common ground?

This week, we’ve examined political polarization, drawing on a new report by the Pew Research Center. We considered how Democrats and Republicans have moved farther apart on the political spectrum, their beliefs about the types of communities they prefer, the potential of political intermarriage, and how many live in ideological echo chambers that reinforce their views.

Today, we consider whether compromise is possible. Should Republicans and Democrats compromise, as the Nobel laureate indicates? Or, are these American political parties too far apart to ever find common ground?

Obama and Republican leaders often differ when it comes to the most important issues facing the country. Should Obama get everything he wants? Should the Republicans? Or, should they compromise and split things down the middle, so that each side gets some of what they want?

The majority of Americans across the political spectrum prefer compromise, according to the Pew report. For example, 55% of those who are mostly liberal pick the 50/50 compromise, as do 50% of those who are mostly conservatives. Fifty-four percent of Americans who have mixed political views also prefer 50/50.

Only Americans with extreme political views don’t feel the same way. Only a third of those who are consistently conservative pick the 50/50 compromise, well over half (57%) saying that Republicans leaders should get more of what they want. We see the same on the other side. Only a third of those who are consistently liberal want to split things down the middle, with 62% saying that Obama should get more of what he wants.

Except for the political extremists, Americans generally prefer compromise. Do you want our leaders to compromise?

Should Obama get everything he wants?

Should the Republicans get everything they want?

What’s your view about compromise?

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