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Polaraization of America visualized

1harderthanyouthink
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2/28/2016 9:54:34 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
I don't think it's all too scary when they say over 90% of the Democrats are more liberal than the average Republican. That actually sounds like, you know, how parties with contrasting ideologies look like.

In regards to "consistently (...)" - how liberal? How conservative? Are we talking most people either being Marx or Rand? Or are we talking about most people being moderately left of right on most issues?
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dylancatlow
Posts: 12,242
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2/28/2016 10:25:54 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/28/2016 9:54:34 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
I don't think it's all too scary when they say over 90% of the Democrats are more liberal than the average Republican. That actually sounds like, you know, how parties with contrasting ideologies look like.

That particular statistic doesn't scare me. I was very surprised to learn that in 1994, 1/3 Republicans were more liberal than the average Democrat, and 1/3 Democrats were more conservative than the average Republican. That seems like a fantasy today. The point is that Democrats and Republicans are drifting apart from one another, which can have a corrosive, harmful effect on democracy in a number of ways. For instance, the split into two distinct ideological camps makes politicians more rigid in their thinking, fearful to deviate from the party line, even when it's in the best interest of the people. It also makes passing legislation - any legislation - much harder. The increased tensions just makes the whole democratic process that much more irrational and ineffective.

In regards to "consistently (...)" - how liberal? How conservative? Are we talking most people either being Marx or Rand? Or are we talking about most people being moderately left of right on most issues?

I'm guessing it just means how often someone sides with liberals/conservatives on a given issue.
1harderthanyouthink
Posts: 13,098
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2/28/2016 10:39:19 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/28/2016 10:25:54 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/28/2016 9:54:34 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
I don't think it's all too scary when they say over 90% of the Democrats are more liberal than the average Republican. That actually sounds like, you know, how parties with contrasting ideologies look like.

That particular statistic doesn't scare me. I was very surprised to learn that in 1994, 1/3 Republicans were more liberal than the average Democrat, and 1/3 Democrats were more conservative than the average Republican. That seems like a fantasy today. The point is that Democrats and Republicans are drifting apart from one another, which can have a corrosive, harmful effect on democracy in a number of ways. For instance, the split into two distinct ideological camps makes politicians more rigid in their thinking, fearful to deviate from the party line, even when it's in the best interest of the people. It also makes passing legislation - any legislation - much harder. The increased tensions just makes the whole democratic process that much more irrational and ineffective.

In regards to "consistently (...)" - how liberal? How conservative? Are we talking most people either being Marx or Rand? Or are we talking about most people being moderately left of right on most issues?

I'm guessing it just means how often someone sides with liberals/conservatives on a given issue.

Then it's too vague for me to think much about.
"It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here,
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear - that I'm not here."

-Syd Barrett

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dylancatlow
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2/29/2016 1:48:21 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/28/2016 10:39:19 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
At 2/28/2016 10:25:54 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
At 2/28/2016 9:54:34 PM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
I don't think it's all too scary when they say over 90% of the Democrats are more liberal than the average Republican. That actually sounds like, you know, how parties with contrasting ideologies look like.

That particular statistic doesn't scare me. I was very surprised to learn that in 1994, 1/3 Republicans were more liberal than the average Democrat, and 1/3 Democrats were more conservative than the average Republican. That seems like a fantasy today. The point is that Democrats and Republicans are drifting apart from one another, which can have a corrosive, harmful effect on democracy in a number of ways. For instance, the split into two distinct ideological camps makes politicians more rigid in their thinking, fearful to deviate from the party line, even when it's in the best interest of the people. It also makes passing legislation - any legislation - much harder. The increased tensions just makes the whole democratic process that much more irrational and ineffective.

In regards to "consistently (...)" - how liberal? How conservative? Are we talking most people either being Marx or Rand? Or are we talking about most people being moderately left of right on most issues?

I'm guessing it just means how often someone sides with liberals/conservatives on a given issue.

Then it's too vague for me to think much about.

You're probably overthinking it lol
imabench
Posts: 21,205
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2/29/2016 2:18:14 AM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/28/2016 8:29:28 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
- http://graphics8.nytimes.com...
- http://www.people-press.org...
- http://www.people-press.org...

Anyone else think this is pretty scary?

It appears that the gap began to wide after 1994.

https://en.wikipedia.org...
https://en.wikipedia.org...

Fox News entered the airwaves in 1996, MSNBC began the same year 6 months later.

I believe its the media that is driving people to be more partisan
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2/29/2016 5:05:35 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/29/2016 2:18:14 AM, imabench wrote:
I believe its the media that is driving people to be more partisan

It is definitely a large factor, I agree. People are free to choose media sources that reinforce their ideological views, which aggravates them over time. And there isn't much we can do about this because it is a constitutional right.
"The solution [for Republicans] is to admit that Bush was a bad president, stop this racist homophobic stuff, stop trying to give most of the tax cuts to the rich, propose a real alternative to Obamacare that actually works, and propose smart free market solutions to our economic problems." - Distraff

"Americans are better off in a dynamic, free-enterprise-based economy that fosters economic growth, opportunity and upward mobility." - Paul Ryan
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2/29/2016 5:08:32 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
I agree OP that this is scary. I would go as far as saying that congressional gridlock/ partisan warfare is the worst problem in the US today.

Ideological competition can be healthy, but it has morphed into personal attacks that add nothing to the debate and make us despise our brothers and neighbors. Demagogues have persuaded people that liberals are "baby-killing, tax-and-spending liberals" and conservatives are "greedy" and "hate poor people". It is disgusting and I hate it. Both sides contribute something to the debate, damn it.
"The solution [for Republicans] is to admit that Bush was a bad president, stop this racist homophobic stuff, stop trying to give most of the tax cuts to the rich, propose a real alternative to Obamacare that actually works, and propose smart free market solutions to our economic problems." - Distraff

"Americans are better off in a dynamic, free-enterprise-based economy that fosters economic growth, opportunity and upward mobility." - Paul Ryan
imabench
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2/29/2016 5:34:12 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
Do you think gerrymandering may have something to do with this?..... Districts with far more republicans than democrats or vice versa could encourage those voter bases to support more radical candidates to represent them since they know that they could elect whoever they wanted and have them win
Kevin24018 : "He's just so mean it makes me want to ball up my fists and stamp on the ground"

7/14/16 = The Presidency Dies

DDO: THE MOVIE = http://www.debate.org...
http://www.debate.org...

VP of DDO from Dec 14th 2014 to Jan 1st 2015
1harderthanyouthink
Posts: 13,098
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2/29/2016 7:06:38 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
Something did bother me recently when watching Megyn Kelly's town hall on Saturday night. When Kasich was speaking, he stressed the importance of setting the agenda but bringing the other party in on changing the country for the better. Everything he said was positive, yet they panned to someone in the front row shaking his head in disgust. Those people should not be politically active to say no to as positive a message for working together as is possible.
"It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here,
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear - that I'm not here."

-Syd Barrett

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2/29/2016 7:32:07 PM
Posted: 9 months ago
At 2/29/2016 5:34:12 PM, imabench wrote:
Do you think gerrymandering may have something to do with this?..... Districts with far more republicans than democrats or vice versa could encourage those voter bases to support more radical candidates to represent them since they know that they could elect whoever they wanted and have them win

Gerrymandering is a contributing factor, but isn't *the* factor behind polarization. I've read that it is responsible for perhaps 1/5th of the polarization.

The most important factor behind polarization is the extremism among party activists and donors. Republicans are terrified of being "primaried" by Tea Party Republicans, so they harden their rhetoric and refuse to compromise. Democrats mirror this (albeit they seem a little less pronounced).

The decline in ticket-splitting is also a factor. A growing percentage of voters vote straight Republican or straight Democrat, and the "middle" segment of voters shrinks relative to the size of the electorate. Republicans and Democrats increasingly have to fire up their primary supporters to win their elections, and their partisan supporters dislike compromise and moderation.

And the consequential gridlock leads voters to elect even more extreme candidates, worsening the process. Hopefully this gets better soon, and I have some hope for the long run.
"The solution [for Republicans] is to admit that Bush was a bad president, stop this racist homophobic stuff, stop trying to give most of the tax cuts to the rich, propose a real alternative to Obamacare that actually works, and propose smart free market solutions to our economic problems." - Distraff

"Americans are better off in a dynamic, free-enterprise-based economy that fosters economic growth, opportunity and upward mobility." - Paul Ryan