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June 12, 2004

Red Blue Myth

John Tierney throws a well needed wrench in the Red vs Blue debate. Nota bene:

If you've been following the election coverage, you know how angry you're supposed to be. This has been called the Armageddon election in the 50-50 nation, a civil war between the Blue and the Red states, a clash between churchgoers and secularists hopelessly separated by a values chasm and a culture gap.

But do Americans really despise the beliefs of half of their fellow citizens? Have Americans really changed so much since the day when a candidate with Ronald Reagan's soothing message could carry 49 of 50 states?

To some scholars, the answer is no. They say that our basic differences have actually been shrinking over the past two decades, and that the polarized nation is largely a myth created by people inside the Beltway talking to each another or, more precisely, shouting at each other.

And this in particular:

"The two big surprises in our research," Professor DiMaggio said, "were the increasing agreement between churchgoing evangelicals and mainline Protestants, even on abortion, and the lack of increasing polarization between African-Americans and whites. Evangelicals have become less doctrinaire and more liberal on issues like gender roles. African-Americans are showing more diversity in straying from the liberal line on issues like government programs that assist minorities."

I thought I'd just pass that along without comment.

Posted by mbowen at June 12, 2004 10:25 AM

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Across the Minor Divide from amcgltd
It's a culture war! You're either with us, or against us! If your side wins, it's all over! If your side stays in power, the country's going to fall apart! Polarized rhetoric reflecting a polarized nation, right? Wrong: "The... [Read More]

Tracked on June 15, 2004 07:43 AM