Why Partisanship Is Worse Now

April 13, 2023

And what that means for our democracy.

The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.

What Drives Our Political Behavior

To understand the challenges of this moment, we need to be clear-eyed about the emotional dynamics of partisanship and the dangerous tendencies they’ve fostered—people who care more about their group winning than the greater good, or about policies that would help us all.

On a new episode of How to Save a Country, hosts Felicia Wong and Michael Tomasky welcome the perfect person to explain this phenomenon: Dr. Lilliana Mason, political scientist and co-author of Radical American Partisanship: Mapping Violent Hostility, Its Causes, and the Consequences for Democracy.

“Before the social sorting occurred, the status of our party was the only thing at risk in every election,” Dr. Mason says. “But now that we have all of these other important identities linked to the status of our party, every election feels like it’s also about the status of our religious group and our racial group, and our culture and where we live, and who we grew up with.”

And later, Dr. Mason talks with Felicia and Michael about the threat of white supremacist and anti-democratic blocs, the importance of union participation as a tool for progress, and the need for truth-telling with compassion.

Listen now, and follow for new podcast episodes every Thursday.


Taxing Monopolies

“[E]ven as we’ve seen a revitalized antitrust movement in recent years, the capacity of tax policy to fix some of the country’s deepest problems that stem from the dominance of corporate oligopolies has continued to be overlooked,” Roosevelt’s Niko Lusiani and Susan Holmberg write in a new ProMarket piece.

“[I]t’s time to reimagine the proactive role tax policy can have in enabling fair competition, tackling concentrated markets, and, in turn, driving productivity and innovation, lowering prices, and fueling more and better jobs.”

Learn more in Holmberg and Stacy Mitchell’s issue brief, co-published by Roosevelt and the Institute for Local Self-Reliance: “Tax Dodging Is a Monopoly Tactic: How Our Tax Code Undermines Small Business and Fuels Corporate Concentration.”


What We’re Reading

How Janelle Jones’s Story about Black Women and the Economy Caught OnNew York Times

US Inflation Falls to Lowest Level since May 2021 – CNN

What about Workers?Boston Review

The One Number That Determines How Today’s Policies Will Affect Our Grandchildren – Vox