The concept of political polarization has become virtually synonymous with any discussion of U.S. politics in the 21st century. In its most general sense, polarization refers to the highly dichotomous relationship between the two major political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans. This dichotomy is predicated on the idea that political parties are more clearly distinguished by a fervent ideology. There is a general agreement that liberals are most closely, if not exclusively, associated with the Democratic Party and conservatives are most closely, if not exclusively, associated with the Republican Party. While such an assessment may seem obvious, the degree of homogeneity within the two parties greatly increased over the past two decades. This homogeneity is rooted in more extreme and entrenched ideological politics.

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