Stayin ‘Alive: Polarization


Robert P. Jones of the Public Religion Research Institute convincingly demonstrates that many people have overly complicated the political moment. The reason for the clear polarization of American politics is unitary and damn simple. (This is a sub entry and starts with a couple of passing notes before getting to the main entry, so don’t get confused when you click the link. But click it.) Here’s a picture that’s worth a thousand words:

It goes on to show that racial attitudes are more predictive than voting for Republicans, including Ronald T. Dump, abortion or gay rights, and far more predictive of economic issues that don’t actually motivate conservative voters at all. puts it:

In recent years, public opinion polls have clearly told us that our two political parties are polarizing not on competing economic views, but on disparate views of American identity. Today, parties are more divided on the demographic changes in the country and the place of the former white Anglo-Saxon Protestant ethnoreligious majority in it, than on economic policy.

And he concludes:

If we really want to heal the soul of the nation and reach our country, we cannot continue to cover up racial injustice with economic policy. “It’s culture, stupid” – or less euphemistically, “It’s white supremacy, stupid” – must be the new mantra of today’s political analysts.

And so back to the previous post What Bonhoeffer labeled stupidity was anti-Semitism and support for Nazism. So what do you think I meant by referring to stupidity in 21st century America?


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