Stephen Melkisethian/Flickr

Amerikas überbewerteter Niedergang

CAMBRIDGE – Im Vorfeld der Kongresswahlen in den USA werden vermehrt Fragen über den Zustand der politischen Institutionen Amerikas und die Zukunft seiner globalen Führungsrolle laut, und manche verweisen auf die parteipolitische Blockade als Beleg für den Niedergang der USA. Aber ist die Situation wirklich so schlimm?

Laut der Politologin Sarah Binder war die ideologische Kluft zwischen den beiden großen Parteien Amerikas zuletzt Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts derart groß. Doch trotz des aktuellen politischen Stillstands hat es der 111. Kongress geschafft, umfassende steuerpolitische Konjunkturmaßnahmen, eine Gesundheitsreform, Gesetze zur Regulierung des Finanzsektors, einen Abrüstungsvertrag und überarbeitete Richtlinien für die Streitkräfte zur Homosexualität zu verabschieden. Ganz klar wäre es verfrüht, das politische System der USA abzuschreiben (insbesondere, wenn parteipolitische Blockaden eine zyklische Erscheinung sind).

Trotzdem wird der Kongress heute durch eine geringe gesetzgeberische Kapazität geplagt. Obwohl sich die ideologische Beständigkeit in den letzten beiden Jahrzehnten mehr als verdoppelt hat – von 10% auf 21% der Öffentlichkeit –, haben die meisten Amerikaner keine durchgängig „konservativen“ oder „liberalen“ Ansichten, und sie wollen, dass ihre gewählten Vertreter einander auf halbem Wege entgegenkommen. Die politischen Parteien jedoch sind seit den 1970er Jahren immer ideologischer geworden.

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