Public Agenda

If you think American politics is best practiced in a steel cage in which Democrats and Republicans battle things out, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Things are going to get worse, according to a poll released April 27 by Public Agenda, which is dedicated to creating a more inclusive and informed US democracy.

The survey found that Democrats and Republicans agree on about only one thing these days: divisiveness and the ensuing gridlock is a major problem facing the nation.

Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Americans believe politicians deal with disagreements in more destructive than constructive ways.

Few expect things to get better anytime soon. Forty-four percent of the poll’s respondents expect more divisiveness over the next decade, while 28 percent see more unity ahead.

Respondents view divisiveness as a top-down problem. National public leaders (62 percent), social media outlets (61 percent) and journalism/media companies (59 percent) take the top three slots for promoting divisiveness.

On the bottom: ordinary people at 20 percent.

What to do about divisiveness? Empowering ordinary people may help fix the problem.

Eighty-four percent agree that “giving people a greater voice in the decisions that affect their lives” would reduce divisiveness.

The poll also found a link between the economy and divisiveness.

More than three-in-four (77 percent) of Americans believe the economy is rigged to benefit the rich and powerful. That view is shared by 88 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of Republicans.

A significant majority (83 percent) say that “improving economic opportunity and security for all people regardless of race, ethnicity, or where they live, would be an effective way to cut destructive disagreements and divisiveness.”

That sentiment is held by Democrats (91 percent), Independents (88 percent), Apoliticals (77 percent) and Republicans (75 percent).

For a guy who graduated from Princeton and Harvard Law, Rafael Edward Cruz is not such a smart fellow.

In his April 28, Wall Street Journal op-ed piece in which he took on “watch-me-woke-it-up CEOs” for opposing Georgia’s racist election laws, the Texas Senator admitted the Republican party is a cesspool of corruption and in the bag of Big Business.

Republicans fight tooth and nail against corporate tax hikes, defending Big Business as job creators, wrote Cancun Cruz.

No mas, warned Texas Ted.

“This time, we won’t look the other way on Coca-Cola's $12B in back taxes owed. This time, when Major League Baseball lobbies to preserve its multibillion-dollar antitrust exemption, we will say no thank you. This time, when Boeing asks for billions in corporate welfare, we’ll simply let the Export-Import Bank expire.”

Ted announced he will no longer use his political seat to sell access to Big Business.

He has sworn off corporate political action committee cash and wants his GOP colleagues to join him in cleaning up Capitol Hill corruption.

Sleazy Ted wants to remake himself as honest Ted.

More likely, phony Ted wants to lead the GOP crusade against what it views as political correctness.