The Gist

Two-Party Problems

Republicans and Democrats dominate political life in the U.S., and that bipartisan division didn’t evolve naturally. It was engineered.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Sen. Chuck Schumer talk outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington in 2016.

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Listen to Episode 997 of Slate’s The Gist:

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On The Gist, Hawaii’s “laze” is some seriously bad branding.

In the interview, our two-party system may seem inevitable, but political scientist Sam Rosenfeld digs into its engineered history, including the 1950 government report that pushed the country “Toward a More Responsible Two-Party System.” Before then, what you thought about health care, guns, or abortion had little to do with where your vote went. Rosenfeld is the author of The Polarizers: Postwar Architects of Our Partisan Era.

In the Spiel, the latest school shooter didn’t raise any red flags or wield an AR-15. But gun control is still what we need.

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