(National Sentinel) Politics & Culture: A striking new survey reveals just how intense the divide between conservatives and liberals really is in America, following the election of one of the most divisive presidents ever — which came after eight years of the most divisive president in history, up to that point.
A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey of social trends has found that Washington’s division is manifesting itself in the American hinterlands as well:
The findings help explain why political divisions are now especially hard to bridge. People who identify with either party increasingly disagree not just on policy; they inhabit separate worlds of differing social and cultural values and even see their economic outlook through a partisan lens.
The wide gulf is visible in an array of issues and attitudes: Democrats are twice as likely to say they never go to church as are Republicans, and they are eight times as likely to favor action on climate change. One-third of Republicans say they support the National Rifle Association, while just 4% of Democrats do. More than three-quarters of Democrats, but less than one-third of Republicans, said they felt comfortable with societal changes that have made the U.S. more diverse.
What is more, Americans’ view of the economy, the direction of the nation and the future has even come to be closely aligned with their feelings about the current president, the survey found.
“Our political compass is totally dominating our economic and world views about the country,” said GOP pollster Bill McInturff, who conducted the survey with Democratic pollster Fred Yang. “Political polarization is not a new thing. The level under Trump is the logical outcome of a generation-long trend.”
One measure of how much more polarized the electorate is than a generation ago can be found in views of the president. Eight months into the 1950s presidency of Republican Dwight Eisenhower, 60% of Democrats approved of the job he was doing. That level of cross-party support for a new president remained above 40% until Bill Clinton, when only 20% of Republicans approved of his performance after eight months in 1993. For Barack Obama, Republican support dropped to 16% at this point in his presidency in 2009.
Under Mr. Trump, that trend has continued and intensified. His job-approval rating among Americans overall has remained in recent months at about 40%, but just 8% of Democrats approve of the job he is doing, the survey found. By contrast, 80% of Republicans approve.
The last time Americans were this politically polarized, we killed nearly 700,000 of us. And while there isn’t one overarching political, social, and cultural ill — slavery — to divide us, there are large, overarching issues, as reflected in the WSJ survey.
Culturally, we have sizeable, competing pluralities who are simultaneously trying to change and preserve traditional American history and culture. From Confederate monuments to football, Leftists who can’t control and dominate anything simply want to ban everything.
As such, there are bad political, cultural, and social actors — like this schmuck — who are doing all they can to exacerbate the divide.
This isn’t going to end well if we don’t come to the understanding that not only can this divide not be bridged, tens of millions of Americans have decided they don’t want it bridged.
A sensible, peaceful divorce is the only way to prevent turning America into one giant Syria.
We have to stop pretending that there is any other solution.
We’ve been here before as a country. Hell, we’re still fighting that civil war in many respects.
Do we really want to fight another one?
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