Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Wedge Issues

Wedge issue is a social or political issue, often of a divisive or otherwise controversial nature, which is used by one political group to split apart or create a "wedge" in the support base of an opposing political group, with a view to enticing voters to give their support to the first group.

Both the Republican and Democrat Parties have been accused of using social issues as wedge issues to divide the opposing voting base. For example, some Republican strategists hoped that African Americans, a traditionally liberal voting bloc yet also one that possesses some of the most conservative views on matters of homosexuality, may be more inclinded to vote for the Republican Party because of their opposition to the gay marriage issue. Likewise, Democratic strategists have hoped that the issue of stem cell research could be used as a wedge issue against the right, since some Republicans support the research, while others are morally opposed to the use of fetal cells in research. --Wikipedia

It's that time of the year again! When Congressional recess is around the corner and members roll out wedge issues to divide the opposing party in the upcoming November election. While both parties may do them, the Democrats frankly suck at them (which may be a good thing fundamentally but bad electorally). The wedge issue du jour is flag burning. Is there anything less relevant to our country right now? Never mind the war, economic woes, poverty, even high gas prices. We're really debating flag burning...something that's happened publicly 2x in the past 5 years?

So here's your time to post which wedge issue you think is most ridiculous...and if you're really bored, give your reason why. For me, gay marriage is #1 and flag burning is #2 (my reason can be found here). What's yours?

1 comment:

nikhil said...


my favorite wedge issue is when John Kerry tried to use stem cell research as a wedge issue towards the end of the 2004 election, because that was soosooo effective.