Polarization has always been a problem in the U.
S especially when it comes to politics. This divide can cause hatred and violence in politics. This does not only affect politics, it also has an affect on perspective. This is always very important in a democracy such as the U.S. This is all explored in “Divided States of America”, which portrays U.S politics and the growing divide from the 2008 elections to the 2017 elections.
The documentary talks about the polarization throughout recent politics. There were many contributing factors to the polarization that occurs in today’s politics. The parties discussed in the documentary were Obama, the democratic party, and the republican party. Each of these parties contributed to the polarization, but the most prominent figure that divides the U.S through politics, race, and other legislative acts was Obama.
The factors that have been most discussed have been race and the lack of bipartisan throughout the past eight years. Obama’s presidency was full of many holes in which other parties could take advantage of. Obama has failed to confront the race issues in the U.S and has also failed to create a bipartisan relationship.Barack Obama struggled confronting issues such as race in America. This was present throughout the documentary.
Race in general has always been a problem, this problem was further exhausted throughout Obama’s presidency. The first incident that was discussed throughout the documentary was in 2009 when Henry Louis Gates Jr. was arrested. This sparked a confrontation between “Black America” and the police.
The incident started when a report was called in that someone was trying to break into his house even though he lived there. This sparked a large controversy between the two sides and put Obama in a predicament. His statement was unsatisfactory to both “Black America” and the police force which he is meant to protect. The speech made people think that Obama was separating himself from the topic, especially when he said, “I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that.” This did not help the situation and frankly outraged both sides since it seemed that Obama was separating himself from the situation. The second incident that further divided the two sides, was the murder of Trayvon Martin.
This further pushed the divide after Obama’s statement, “You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot I said that this could have been my son” This may have seen like a statement that would bring the two sides together, but instead it made Obama sound like he was trying to victimise himself. Additionally this was exacerbated after the fact that the shooter – George Zimmerman, was then let off of all charges. Both of these events just created polarization between the two sides, which Obama did not help in a bipartisan way.
Throughout Obama’s presidency, he failed to work with all parties to come to conclusions that by were appreciated on both fronts. This was especially seen when Obama was first presented with the challenge of the 2008 market crash. Instead of Obama working with both sides to find an appropriate stimulus package, he went with his own party to pass a bill to help bail the banks out. Not only was this bill not supported at all by the republican party, but the money was then used by the banks to give themselves bonuses.
This sparked outrage among the public since it was a loss for Obama and the democratic party. This was a failure not only because the bill was not voted for at all by the republican party, but also because it was easily abused. Another incident that created strife between the two sides was “Obamacare” (Affordable Care Act) was also not passed in a bipartisan way. This is still an issue that republicans are still trying to get rid of since it is viewed in their eyes as a failure.
There were many more events that were not talked about on both sides such as gun control and raising the debt ceiling. These events worsened the relations between Obama and the Republican party.In conclusion president Obama was most responsible for the divide between the two major parties and contributed to the formation of right wing parties such as the Tea party and other radicalists.
This in turn made it harder for the Democratic party and the Republican party to create a bipartisan relationship. A lack of bipartisanship played a large role in creating a divide between the president and the republican party by repeatedly passing legislations without compromise. He also failed to bridge racial gap in a progressive way by bringing the two sides closer together.
Instead Obama, he ended up having controversial speeches that offended certain groups of the public. All of these mistakes led to a great divide between the public and the opposing sides. Obama didn’t help to find a middleground for all people around the political spectrum.