Old Topic Update: Red/Blue Polarization – The Middle Isn’t Holding

We talked about political polarization several times this schedule.  I thought you might like to know about the latest, grim findings.  The respected think tank just released the findings of its latest major survey of Americans’ political beliefs.  It’s here and well worth a skimming.  It divides Americans into nine groups, from “staunch conservatives” to “solid liberals.”  There’s also a quiz you can take to see which group you fall into.

A major finding that relates to our red versus blue discussions, however, is explained here at the LA Times

A comprehensive new survey of the American electorate by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, however, indicates that the most politically engaged Americans now are fundamentally opposed to compromise, divided on virtually every basic national question and separated from each other by everything from their race to the choice of where they get their news. Moreover, the increasing numbers of independents, who’ve theoretically pushed national politics to the center with their preference for middle-of-the-road policies, no longer are particularly moderate.

So, the middle isn’t holding.  Even independents are being sucked into the ideology vortex, mirroring the rest of the electorate.  The upshot, in the LA Time’s view, is that:

For generations, historians and political analysts have identified a predilection for pragmatic problem-solving over ideology as the defining — and distinctive — characteristic of American political life. Clearly, that’s a thing of the past, and with it, the impulse to bipartisanship.

Ouch.

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