New York Times: The Oppression of the Supermajority

It is common knowledge that we live in polarized time. More and more of us are picking sides and moving farther to the left or the right. The population is more divided than ever before.

Challenging, upsetting, and untrue.

Columbia University law professor Tim Wu writes in the New York Times that, far from being a divided nation, a large majority Americans agree on important policies. He cites examples like higher taxes for the ultra-rich, paid maternity leave, stronger privacy laws, and lower drug prices through medicare.

The problem, according to Wu, is not that the American population is divided:

The defining political fact of our time is not polarization. It’s the inability of even large bipartisan majorities to get what they want on issues like these

Why does the government ignore the wishes of a majority of the population? The Hidden Tribes report, released last October by More In Common, found that an increasing share of the U.S. population is simply no longer participating in politics and political debate. The toxic environment online and in the media, combined with past disappointments, cause people to become frustrated, cynical, or simply to tune out altogether.