In his latest column for CNN.com , John Avlon highlights how hyper partisanship has hurt America. Avlon believes this election will test the future of American politics and asks whether extreme partisanship will be rewarded at the polls. If so, then nothing will change.
America needs to break this fever of hyperpartisanship. The day after the election, we will have to start healing as a nation. Members of Congress will be confronted with a fiscal cliff and serious questions about how to deal with taxes, spending, the deficit and the debt. If they feel that extremism and obstruction have been punished by the voters, they will find a way to work together. If either party feels it has achieved an ideological mandate, it will be tempted to play chicken with the fiscal cliff.
John Avlon is also a CNN contributor and member of the OutFront political strike team.
What's really at stake in election 2012
The stakes in this election go far beyond just who takes the oath of office in January.
Each of us is faced with choices that will have huge ramifications in our nation for decades - and the choice is not simply about Democrats versus Republicans or even Obama versus Romney. The real stakes are this: The political strategies that prove successful in this election will be replicated far into the future.
Throughout this election cycle, we've seen hyperpartisan narratives resonate more than facts, total opposition embraced as a congressional tactic, and unprecedented dark money flow through our airwaves in an avalanche of negative ads.
If those forces are rewarded, we'll see much more of them from both parties going forward. They will become the new normal.
If they are rejected, it may inspire a necessary recalibration and a renewed focus on finding ways to work together in Washington. This won't be just because it's the right thing to do; it will be because it is what is seen as practical and politically expedient.
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