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Political Polarization

     The protections granted to land designated as wilderness within the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS), owe their existence to past legislative acts that authorized legal restrictions on what can be equated to “economic freedoms”.

      Today these restrictions are under attack by political ideologues that consider policies limiting economic power to be an attack on the free market, and in turn, their interpretation of American liberty. The principles that support this agenda ultimately promote environmental and land use deregulation, reduced taxation and funding for federal oversight, and other state policies that restrict “economic freedoms” (Antonio & Brulle, 2011). These political positions prioritize the corporate bottom line and advocate for a system of economic growth that is not sustainable and will eventually result in untold environmental hazards in the time to come. 

     The rhetoric used by the backers of this political philosophy has been steadily escalating in recent years. Through political activism and public outreach, the hyperbole has resulted in serious gains for a consolidation of political power over federal, state, and local governments across the nation (Dunlap, McCright , & Jerrod, 2016).

      The end result in an increasingly polarized American populace, as the rhetoric has reached uncompromising proportions. While a hardline approach to political posturing has been beneficial to those advocating for this agenda, it also has also contributed to eroded public trust in the established institutions that constitute the American system of democracy. 

References

Antonio, R. J., & Brulle, R. J. (2011). THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF POLITICS: Climate Change Denial and Political Polorization. The Socialogical Quarterly, 195-202

Dunlap, R. E., McCright , A. M., & Jerrod, Y. H. (2016). The Political Divide on Climate Change: Partisan Polarization Widens in the U.S. Enviornment.

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