State governments face new and daunting challenges. How has the intense competition in state politics impacted the ability of statesmen to meet these challenges?  

As state governments face new and daunting challenges, the intense competition in state politics has made it more difficult for statesmen to meet all these challenges. This is exemplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Intense competition in state politics, exacerbated by bipartisan division, has put increased pressure on statesmen to not only meet challenges in their own states but to also fulfill personal promises to the constituents of a state while staying true to the platform of their party.

Even before COVID-19 began affecting states, many challenges existed for each state of the union. Statesmen were already challenged to strengthen or maintain economic success, improve infrastructure, reduce crime, protect the people, stop riots, sustain job growth, secure state and national borders, reduce unemployment, improve and provide quality education, reduce taxes, offer sufficient medical care, and much more. As every citizen can recognize, COVID-19 has exacerbated each of these areas of need in every state; the pandemic has strained both intrastate politics and interstate politics.

Statesmen who are elected must try to meet and resolve these challenges to the best of their ability while staying true to the promises they campaigned on, or they will probably not be reelected. This balancing act becomes problematic when there are internal party politics or bipartisan conflicts which deadlock decision-making or prevent forward momentum toward resolution.

It appears that each year, there are very stark differences between the two main political parties, their platforms, and their approaches. There is divisive rhetoric in Congress both in Washington, D.C. and in states. Quick bipartisan agreement is increasingly rare. Parties can demand more visible loyalty to the party line, as well as national work and results; when this occurs, statesmen can be torn in regard to time, energy, and loyalty to their own constituents. For example, political party leaders may expect a bipartisan measure to be passed, but if that measure compromises a statesman’s promise to folks back home, then one will be torn between loyalty to the party or the people.

During election years, statesmen are even more challenged, as they must raise money, be out in public, be accessible, and be responsive on social media. Social media has become more and more time consuming, as statesmen and their teams must make sure information about them or their policies is clear and accurate.

As life keeps growing faster and intrastate conflict increases, statesmen find it increasingly difficult to meet the growing list of challenges in their states.

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