As Donald Trump Heads to Congress, a New Polarization Is Hardening

As Donald Trump Heads to Congress, a New Polarization Is Hardening, by Gerald Seib.

Just over a month into his term, Mr. Trump stands as an exceptionally polarizing figure. He inspires intense support among his admirers and equally intense animosity among his detractors, with remarkably few Americans standing in the middle without a strong view.  Everybody appears to have an opinion about Donald Trump, and those opinions already appear locked in. …

He is well on his way to remaking the composition of the two political parties. Out in the country, if not necessarily in Washington, it appears that Republicanism is increasingly defined as support for Mr. Trump, while being a Democrat is being defined as opposing Mr. Trump. …

Almost 9 in 10 self-identified Republicans, and just over 9 in 10 Trump voters, say they approve of the job the president is doing, while almost 9 in 10 Democrats, and just over 9 in 10 Hillary Clinton voters, say they disapprove of his job performance. Usually, at such an early stage in a presidency, a fair number of Americans say they just aren’t sure yet what they think of the job their new president is doing. Yet now, just 8% say they aren’t sure whether they approve or disapprove of the job Mr. Trump is doing.

Bipartisanship on nearly any issue is not possible, because of the animosity stirred up by the media:

If Mr. Trump could find some common ground with Democrats … But it isn’t clear that Democrats, whose grass-roots supporters now demand wall-to-wall opposition to all things Trump, are even interested. Their animosity toward the man, and toward his appointees in areas such as the environment and education, seem to be blocking potential common ground elsewhere.

The bottom line is this: Political polarization helped produce the voter anger that in turn produced President Trump.