What changed in the American political culture between 2004 and 2012?
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Several changes have occurred in American political culture since 2004. Perhaps the major source of these changes is a direct result of the financial crisis of 2008 and ensuing recession. Another set of reasons for these changes have been the ongoing foreign wars and their impacts on popular sentiments towards foreign policy and the national debt. One major change is the increasing polarization and decreasing possibility of bipartisanship in Congress. Another change is the rise of the Tea Party movement. Finally, the increasing economic disparities in the US, have led many, most notably the Occupy movements, to question a system that allows a small group of rich people to exploit tax loopholes and other inequitable system (like the members of corporate boards with interlocking directorates who give astronomical salaries to each other) while the middle class disappears and the poor cannot afford even basic medical care.
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