(A)fter a few cycles of mutual recrimination, it eventually becomes clear both sides are better off cooperating within the system.Axelrod’s computer tournaments showed that Tit-for-Tat eventually rooted out the defectors, making it possible for everyone to default for cooperation. …However, the computer competitions showed this arrangement was unstable, too. Once everyone defaulted to cooperation, the system became too trusting and open to exploitation by defectors.
It’s easy to point fingers at the GOP, but the blind ideology of the Democrats and the media are equally to blame for its steady drift to extremism. Democrats never tatted. And the media let the former boundaries of acceptable politics and discourse slide by defaulting to narratives of “both sides do it.”
Note: This is also a good argument for parliamentary government or, at the minimum, some proportional representation seats off of a "national list" in the U.S. House, never mind reforming the U.S. Senate. Third parties having an easier foothold make it easier to force cheaters to be punished.