July 17, 2018

OUR PARTISANSHIP IS A FUNCTION OF OUR CONFORMITY:

America's cultural divide isn't growing: So what explains increasing partisanship? (Democracy in America, Jul 17th 2018, The Economist)

THE idea of two Americas is a trope of political commentary: a population divided in mutual incomprehension by income, race, religion or region--flyover country versus coastal elite. The idea that cultural fissures are growing is used to explain increasing political rancour and the rise of Donald Trump. But those explanations may need tempering. Two papers on cultural distance, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in June, suggest the idea of cavernous and expanding cultural fissures is over-wrought.

The point, of course, is that, at the End of History, there is no longer an ideological divide, only a party identification one.  On the other hand, the extreme wings of both parties are so far out of the mainstream as to make each party seem an abomination to the other. If you are a Democrat, the Nativism/racism/Islamophobia of the Right tars all Republicans; if a Republican, it's easy enough to justify loathing any Democrat based on the abortion-on-demand mantra of the Left.  Meanwhile, overwhelming majorities of Americans of both parties support open immigration and severe abortion restrictions.

Posted by at July 17, 2018 6:33 PM

  

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