In the case of present-day America I'm afraid this has become a weasel word -- a way for political commentators to safely bemoan our sad state of affairs without actually saying anything that could be construed as "partisan." The term "polarization" erases differences in power, places dominant and marginalized groups on the same plane, and implies a false equivalence between violent movements and vulnerable people trying to defend themselves. It is an intellectually dishonest way of looking at our current situation, one that has been ruthlessly exploited by those very extremists who would destroy the press that insists on normalizing them.
When you look at historical examples of fascism, it seems more than a bit simplistic to describe those societies as “polarized.”
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