[Dave Anderson] Truth is that US citizens are not polarized

[Dave Anderson] Truth is that US citizens are not polarized

There are two problems with the conventional wisdom about polarization in American society. The first is that it mistakes widespread conflict with one master battle between conservatives and liberals. The second is that it overlooks a large percentage of Americans who do not identify with either the Democrats or the Republicans. The result of these two mistakes is the ongoing, misleading narrative that the people of the United States are engaged in a red vs. blue war. Consider the first mistake. There is no doubt that there is an enormous amount of conflict in the United States. After all, we have 330 million people, making us the third largest country by population in the world. We are, moreover, a very diverse country, with an increasingly large nonwhite population. Experts say that by 2050 we will be a majority-minority country, where Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans and other non-Caucasian Americans will be the majority of the population. We also have considerable diversity from the standpoint of religion and class. We are the furthest thing from a homogeneous society. With so much diversity there is bound to be a lot of conflict. But it does not follow from the fact that we have a lot of conflict that the conflict is divided into two groups of people who are divided along party lines. For example, we have a great deal of conflict over issues of gender, which involves males in conflict with females, and both males and females in conflict with […]

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