How are political divisions explained? Is it just a divergence of interest or is there something deeper that creates these splits?
There is undoubtedly a dialectic that is built around a core of interests. Indeed, there are few votes of conviction in the primary sense of the term. People vote above all for what they are, their social condition, their profession has a strong influence on their political orientations. Of course, there are real people here and there who are attached to the values and principles that underlie these parties, but they are rare and most of the time we are dealing with ideologues.
How can we explain the polarization and extreme lack of understanding that political supporters have towards each other?
Beyond interest, there is above all the need for division. Democracy is based on the principle of plurality of parties, even if it is often apparent. It is therefore necessary to give choice, or at least the illusion of choice. Then, the other interest is that discord creates distraction, which makes it easier to manipulate the crowds.
More than a sleight of hand, political pluralism bears witness to a different experience and a divergent identity attachment. The sufferings that one experiences and those that one recognizes in the other are the binding identity.
This explains, among other things, why racism is not seen as a problem by everyone, because it is endured by only a portion of the population. The recognition of the suffering of some and the lack of empathy of others are at the root of the main divisions. We want to cling to a party that speaks with our words, sees what we see and ignores what we don’t.
Parties crystallize the multiple identities and sufferings of a society. However, each one sorts them out and retains only a limited number of them in order to stick as closely as possible to its electorate. It will exacerbate these sufferings to draw the contours of an enemy to be shot down who will often be its political opponent.
Thus, the parties are not intended to get along, they are there to take power by using the suffering of some and scorning those of others.