By ESVIN HORBAL Tower Writer
Jonathan Weiler is the author of the book, “Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics” and came to Bethany to engage in a conversation about political figures, discourse and the mainstreaming of Democratic and Republican identity.
Jonathan Weiler is the author of Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics was named one of the most influential books in the last ten years. Mr. Weiler came to speak about the political behavior from the people toward the U.S. government. He posed the importance of understanding why we are so divided. In America, there are now two world views; Republican and Democrat. Why do Americans care so much about politics now than they did in the past?
Not many years ago it was a general understanding that the two parties ideologies would eventually drift to the middle. Yet the current situation within mainstream debates has forced us to fundamentally change our understanding about how politics works, especially between two such oppositional parties.
As a political scientist Mr. Weiler was informing the audience from a historical perspective that ideological politics has increased the level of emotionality within debates and decreased intellectualism. World view visceral “gut level” identity is associated with Democrats or Republicans is a matter of loyalty or allegiance, not logical decision-making. Mr. Weiler was excellent at relaying the information to everybody, which is difficult considering the extent we are so defiant.
In 2016, was awarded the prestigious Philip E. Converse Book Award for Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics, co-authored with Vanderbilt University political science professor Marc Hetherington. Both argue that ordinary Americans have become deeply politically divided as a result of growing polarization of worldviews.