Politics in the US has become more divided than ever. The right and the left have become even more extreme and even less compromising on their views. And Obama sees this as a problem:
What you’ve seen with our politics, partly because of gerrymandering, partly because of the Balkanization of media so people just watch what reinforces their deepest biases, partly because of big money in politics, is increasingly politicians are rewarded for taking the most extreme, maximalist positions. Sooner or later, that catches up with you. You end up not being able to move forward on things we need to move forward on.
Yes, but Obama doesn’t seem to understand that he has played a huge part in that balkanization. Balkanization is all about the fragmentation and diversity of views and power centers. Balkanization occurs when a government centralizes to such an extent that it is no longer able to represent all of the diverse views of its citizens.
The original balkanization came during the breakup of the Soviet Union. Those factions already existed under the massive umbrella of the USSR. Each faction felt that the central government was not representing it. So when the central mechanism for the creation of false unity fell apart—in that case, violent force—all the factions that had already existed became formal and apparent.
Whenever a central government tries to consolidate too much power in itself, it invites factions. Because a consolidated power does violence to the diversity of individual opinions. Local government avoids this problem by allowing diverse local populations to rule themselves in the way that seems right to them. Central governments can’t do that. So factions begin to develop.
Obama has only increased the creation of these factions. The immigration debacle, socialized healthcare, and the crusade against “global warming”—all the things Obama won’t let go of—have created an environment in the US where local communities don’t feel they have a voice anymore. Obama’s all-or-nothing strategy has created the balkanization of politics and the media.
And honestly, Obama can’t do anything about this but back down—which he won’t do. Of course he believes his opinion to be the most reasonable, so he believes it right to force it on everyone else. Socialized healthcare doesn’t work if everyone isn’t behind it. Sanctions against carbon emissions don’t work unless the whole country adopts them. Immigration reform doesn’t work unless the entire border and the entire country bears the burden.
Obama doesn’t have a choice then but to aopt a “maximalist position.” But neither do we. The only way to keep these unilateral measures from affecting every individual person is to resist them uncompromisingly in their centralized forms. This creates balkanization, yes. But the only way to avoid that is for the central government to shrink or for Obama to give up his grand national designs. And that’s just not going to happen anytime soon.