Every nation has divisive issues.  While most are perennials, over time new issues gain salience as others fade.  At times of rising political and social tensions, such as the US since 1990, divisive issues multiply and take on a sharper edge.

If we wish to cope with these issues or even resolve some of them, it is useful to have a shared understanding of what they are as well as at least a sense of their relative importance in terms of content or divisiveness.  Here we group them in buckets, and we suggest a notional relative rank order while refraining from assigning numbered rankings because there is too much uncertainty.  In some cases, interest groups with sway over public policy make mildly divisive debates seem much more divisive than they actually are.  We think that this characterizes the debate over Climate Change, for instance.  In the case of Regulation, a lot depends on what is being regulated.  We take it to refer to regulating businesses to protect public health and well-being.

Here is our list:

 

Bucket 1:  Very Divisive

Abortion

Gun Control

Immigration

Health Care

Military vs Social Spending

Police Conduct

 

Bucket 2:  Somewhat Divisive

Financial Inequality

Affirmative Action

Middle East Policy

Trust in Media

Trade Policy

 

Bucket 3:  Mildly Divisive

Climate Change

Environmental Protection

LGBT Rights

Voting Integrity

 

Bucket 4:  Other Contentious Issues

Campaign Finance

Electoral College

Gerrymandering

Reparations

Prisons

American Exceptionalism/Moral Status of Nationalism

Paid Family Leave

Marijuana/Drugs

Separation of Church and State

Surveillance

Social Security

China

Israel

*****

Kenneth J. Dillon is an historian.  Viktoria N. is a researcher and writer.

 

 

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,
Copyright © Scientia Press, 2020
© 2009 Designed by Sayontan Sinha Wordpress Themes