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Hostility between major political parties in the US has now reached is greatest level, according to an American analyst.
Large majorities of Americans believe the tone of political debate in the United States has become more negative in recent years and the inflammatory political rhetoric could encourage acts of violence, and President Donald Trump is a major factor in this growing problem, according to a new poll.
PressTV-Americans say Trump has made US political debate toxic: PollLarge majorities of Americans believe the tone of political debate in the United States has become more negative in recent years, a new poll shows.
“It is true that in recent years the rhetoric between political partisans, between Democrats and Republicans, and Liberals and Conservatives, has certainly escalated,” Keith Preston, told Press TV in an interview on Saturday.
“And, on the margin there has been some conflicts in the streets between the far left and the far right in recent years, as well,” he added.
“Research by social scientists will show that the level of hostility between members of the two major political parties is now at the greatest that it has been in at any time in US history since the late 19th century,” Preston insisted.
Some 85 percent of US adults say that political debate in the country is getting increasingly negative and less respectful, according to a survey conducted this spring by the Pew Research Center, a fact tank based in Washington, DC.
The poll found that 55 percent of Americans believe Trump has changed the tone and nature of America’s political debate for the worse, while just 24 percent say he has changed it for the better.
Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents overwhelmingly say the Republican president has changed political discourse for the worse. Eight-in-ten or more Democrats say Trump’s comments often or sometimes make them feel concerned, confused, embarrassed, exhausted, angry, insulted and frightened.
Preston said that “nowadays you have different networks that can appeal to different political constituencies”.
“And also, social media, and the alternative media, the internet media, since that has come into being, that has also fueled partisanship,” he argued.
Preston noted that American society had become a lot more diverse in the past few decades.
“Naturally, there is going to be a wider divergence of opinion on a lot of topics, as well,” he noted.
Despite the heated political rhetoric, the violence is still low-key, according to Preston.
“But, at the same time it has to be viewed in context since the political environment may involve a lot of heated political rhetoric, but it is still fairly low-key compared to what you find in many countries where there is full-blown civil war, or routine acts of political violence,” he concluded.