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In the 20th century political theorists professors and old men who sit in barbershops have all debated whether a divided government hinders or helps the continued prosperity of our country There is no definitive answer to this debate and it will therefore continue because it is an enduring reality of our time As I sit for my haircut the argument persists around me with one very old barber arguing that before World War II our system of a consolidated government was more conducive to passing substantive legislation Plain and simple things got done My agenda for government the peoples agenda was accounted for and thats just not happening these days the man argued The other really old barber shot back I disagree because a divided government creates gridlock in the legislative process leading to compromise and a final bill that better represents my interests The divided government these men spoke of refers to the situation when the presidency is controlled by one party with its own ideologies and policy positions and the congress is controlled by another party with some competing ideologies and policy positions Since the framers of the constitution had lived through governmental abuse before the thought of divided government surely would have pleased them because it creates a situation where the powers are split to an even greater degree thus further lessening the chance for abuse It wasnt until after World War II that divided government became a factor in this country However since 1946 thirty-four of the fifty-four years were years of divided government One of the best explanations for divided government lies in the fundamental political desires of the people of this country the electorate The majority of the people in this country arent split to either the extreme left or right but lie somewhere in the middle They have some beliefs that are strongly rooted in Republican thought just as they have beliefs that are traditionally Democratic What this
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