For more than two centuries, America’s political culture has been polarized between the left and the right, between a party of progressive ideologies and one of conservative. Two experts explore the roots of American political order through the men who represented each side of the left/right debate at its outset—Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine—and consider how their views continue to shape our current political discourse.
When Barack Obama was elected President, people across the globe anticipated the coming of a new age of American liberalism and bipartisanship. Yet two years after his inauguration, the nation is experiencing a conservative resurgence of dramatic proportions. With Republicans consistently opposing the president’s main platforms and Democrats accusing the president of being too conceding, political disharmony is crippling the legislative process.