With a presidential election year well upon us, it's pretty clear what a hyper-partisan nation we have become.

It seems everyone is increasingly viewing topics through a lens of Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal. Far worse, many now express their opinions in a knee-jerk fashion, one less about the intellectual rigor of an argument but instead merely an attempt to either reinforce their own ideological viewpoint—or attack someone else's.

To be sure, this trend is not exactly new. There have always been partisans on both sides of important issues. But until recently, they have stayed largely free of the financial services arena.

Amazing as it may seem, when I joined American Banker 12 years ago, the banking committees largely operated on a bipartisan basis. Moreover, the tenor and tone of the debate about various topics – including tough issues like subprime lending, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, financial privacy – were far more dispassionate and reasonable than they are today.

Now, you can hardly write or say anything about banking without riling up somebody. The biggest example of this is, of course, the Dodd-Frank Act. While it was clearly controversial when it passed two years ago, if anything, it has become far more divisive since then.

For the full BankThink piece see "Hyper-Partisanship Has Infected the Discourse in Banking"