Ideological inflexibility is an inability to make compromises and to agree on mutually acceptable terms. It prevents legislators from engaging in constructive negotiations and thus makes it impossible for them to reach an agreement that is in the best interests of the American public. This is especially true when it comes to negotiating on matters of the budget or to resolve political conflicts.
There are numerous examples of the destructive consequences of ideological inflexibility. In the US, for example, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will shut down a host of government services and will not be able to pay for existing spending without borrowing. The shutdown cost the government over $1.6 billion in the first week. As a result of the shutdown, 800,000 public sector employees were furloughed.
A similar phenomenon occurs in the US Senate. Senator Jeff Sessions says that Senator Harry Reid’s unwillingness to compromise on Obamacare is indicative of his ideological inflexibility.
Another problem that results from a lack of flexibility in the US Congress is the failure to pass good federal cybersecurity legislation. For example, the Equifax hack was made possible by a broken US political system. Since then, several attempts have been made to address the problems of cyber security. Yet, congressional representatives have refused to negotiate on these issues. They have refused to compromise on their extreme positions and have refused to work with legislators who disagree with them.
Inflexibility is also a defining characteristic of the American political right. When conservatives campaign against debt, they use the premise of the deficit as a rationale. Yet, the deficit has been increasing at a rapid pace and Congress has done nothing to address it. If the GOP continues to campaign against the deficit and refuses to engage in any constructive negotiations with Democratic lawmakers, the country will continue to face the burden of debt.
Inflexible partisans are hammered by both sides in the media. Their opponents are often seen as irrational, racist, or out-of-control. However, this stereotype does not accurately represent the reality of the political landscape. Rather, it represents the views of the mainstream American media. People are also more likely to perceive the political left as intolerant and partisan. These perceptions are reinforced by the fact that the mainstream American media portrays these liberals as politically inflexible.
Research on the causes and consequences of ideological inflexibility has traditionally focused on demographic factors and economics. Researchers have not taken into consideration the implications of individual differences in implicit cognition. Such a focus may be necessary to determine how people acquire deviant beliefs and behaviour.
Defeated ideological inflexibility may be a factor in the defeat of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). In addition to the failure of AQI’s campaign, the AQI has experienced a grave setback in the aftermath of its defeat. Furthermore, AQI has exhibited a penchant for indiscriminate violence. This reflects their lack of flexibility in addressing the sensitivities of their hosts in the Middle East.