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EP 452: Ezra Klein on America's Polarization Problem

Vox co-founder Ezra Klein reveals how America's political system is polarizing us and how we are polarizing it with disastrous results. He explains that the Founding Fathers planned for many things, but they did not designed a system of government that was intended to function effectively in times of hyper partisanship. He points out that politics came into being to represent deep social cleavages, but now politics is the cleavage, and our political affiliation has grown into a mega-identity that is consuming our lives, making us angrier, and destroying friendships and families. We discuss how politicians and voters got stuck in a feedback loop of negative partisanship and how polarization has lead many of our leaders in Washington to conclude that bipartisanship is actually irrational. Plus we discuss how demographic threat is fueling political anger, how the rise of extremism correlates with a decline in the influence of parties, and Ezra offers a few recipes for how to reunite the country and make America more democratic.

Order Ezra Klein's new book Why We're Polarized on Amazon, Audible, or wherever books are sold. Read his political analysis at, follow him on Twitter at @ezraklein, and subscribe to The Ezra Klein Show on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen. Today's podcast was sponsored by Wave.

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