Trends in US Society and Politics

Date of event: 15.3.2018

On March 15th, 2018 The Prague Centre for Transatlantic Relations arranged another exciting visit by a professor from Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy in Herzliya, Israel. This time Amnon Cavari, the head of the Political Marketing Graduate Program and a co-chair of the Centre for Statistical Consulting at IDC visited CEVRO Institute to comment on the trends in US society and politics.

He opened his speech with an analysis that painted a rather dismal picture of US society. According to Amnon Cavari, American people are divided more than ever and the communication between people, who support opposing political parties, rapidly deteriorates. The hottest issues, where people find themselves at opposing isles, are health care, gun control, immigration, international politics, gay marriage, science in schools, ethnic and racial discrimination.

The divide does not run only inside the American society, but also on the federal level at the highest political field. Up until the end of World War II, the US Congress had been one with a relatively bipartisan voice. But with the US entering the world stage and becoming the global hegemon, the bipartisan voice was on a decline. Now, there is virtually no bipartisan consensus in Congress and the most powerful tool to advance new laws has been the Executive order, which is issued by the President. The 45th President, Donald J. Trump, has been facing a loud critique of basically all the Executive orders he has issued and some of them were even overturned by the local court authorities. He is also the most disliked president in the history of the US as his approval rating is lower by a significant margin than any other US president.

According to Amnon Cavari, the divide runs much deeper than it might seem. There are two sides on virtually every issue, sides that do not see each other in the eye. Some of the sides, that he listed, are Young and Old, White and the Rest, Men and Women, Religious (Christian) and Religious (other) or secular, Urbanized and Rural. Amnon Cavari used great analogies to highlight the struggle. He used statistics from car preferences to fertility rates that help to see the complete picture.

To end his speech, Amnon Cavari read a poem by Oscar Brown called “The Snake,”  which has been paraphrased by US President Donald J. Trump several times in his tenure.