Political parties have platforms, and all elected officials who claim to be part of a party are expected to stand for the entire platform. And, there is no room to allow any position offered by the opposite party to survive, meaning the other parties platform is to be denounced totally, regardless of the merits of any issue.
It was not always so. But, some issues are such that there can be no compromise. In the United States abortion is such an issue. One who considers it murder will have no choice but to oppose it. One who wants to focus on equal rights for women gets abortion involved with such topics as equal pay issues. It is not the same thing, but there is a spin put on the issue. Now, two sides are at a stalemate, and neither will give in. Compromise is unacceptable.
There are other issues for which no compromise is possible. In the United Kingdom Brexit was such an issue, one cannot be partially in favor of such a topic, so compromise is not an option.
Contention mounts after no compromise issues add up. These are winner take all issues. Soon, every issue becomes winner take all, even those issues that once would bring harmony.
Consider global warming. Once one side says we need to do something for the environment, the other has to say no. So, how going green might impact the economy gets traction, for there has to be a plausible reason to reject what is a good idea from the opposition. Yes, we could have an impact on saving both the planet and the economy if things are done right, but that would mean compromise, and concession in part from both sides. Working together along a middle path is no longer an option. There is too much bad blood. For it is not just the winner take all issues, but how the debates over them are handled. Rudeness and insults are common, and people who are insulted by each other will be less likely to sit down and work with each other.
Another issue is health care. The plan President Obama pushed is seriously flawed. So is the replacement plan. It would be a good time to work together, but that would detract from President Obama’s legacy. So, one side is insistent on keeping it intact. But, that it must be changed is apparent. There is a question of how. Working together could get many significant oppositions to one plan or the other reconciled, but that seems not likely. This has become a winner take all issue, but did not have to be.
My impression is there is a reluctance to having the opposition party show any credibility, so agreeing on anything posed by the opposition is to be fought.
Sometimes issues are not even there. Pointing out lack of eloquence in speaking or other personal attacks are not issue related, but intended to show up the opposition. I have no doubt President George w. Bush is quite intelligent, but his public speaking was often ridiculed. Another such attack was on President Bill Clinton by one person who pointed out his physical condition when he was photographed jogging. And these attacks were not even from other politicians. Citizens have joined in the attacks, and the object is clearly to discredit.
One issue not being debated by politicians is whether or not the electoral college is antiquated. Of course many presidents in modern time were elected with less than fifty percent of the votes. I remember this being the case for as far back as President Bill Clinton. It is unlikely we will have a fifty percent president as long as there are additional parties, for there is a great dissatisfaction with politics as they currently are. So, in the past United States election neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton had the elusive fifty percent of the vote. But people have made this an issue. Why? It was not an issue to the winning side, but is for the losing side. And the winner with all too few votes shifts back and forth. The inconsistency is accepting victory in one election and crying about losing the next is not very good manners.
What we can conclude is the population is unhappy with the way politicians act, and the way they vote.