“Asymmetric Polarization” Is Back, and It’s Still Wrong

Source: Commentary
by Noah Rothman

“In the last decade, Brookings Institution scholar Thomas Mann and American Enterprise Institute’s Norm Ornstein set out to ‘prove’ that the Republican Party had self-radicalized. In 2012, the pair set out to stigmatize the common observation that ‘both sides’ had succumbed to their fringes. ‘Democrats have become more of a status-quo party,’ they wrote of the governing party, which was at the time trying to convince the public to ratify the status quo. By contrast, ‘Republicans are now more conservative than they have been in more than a century.’ By mid-decade, this observation crystalized into the aforementioned notion of asymmetric polarization. If journalists didn’t uncritically promote the idea that polarization and radicalization were Republican phenomena, Ornstein wrote, they would abdicate their responsibility to properly inform the voting public about existing political trends.” (04/29/22)