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The 2012 election and its aftermath show how sharply – and bitterly – divided we are in America.
Elections are no longer choices between candidates or debates about issues. They are holy wars between Red and Blue America.
Ferrel Guillory at the UNC School of Journalism recommended an excellent book about this split: The Big Sort by Bill Bishop, who once worked at MDC here and now lives in Austin, Texas.
Bishop says we are choosing to live near, associate with and identify with people who share our political, religious and social values. This leads to red and blue states, red and blue neighborhoods, red suburbs and blue cities, red news and blue news, etc., etc. That separation in turns fosters not only a lack of understanding, but outright hostility toward people who are different.
He writes: “The lesson for politics and culture is pretty clear: It doesn’t seem to matter whether you’re a frat boy, a French high school student, a petty criminal or a federal appeals court judge: Mixed company moderates; like-minded company polarizes. Heterogeneous communities restrain group excesses; homogenous communities march toward the extremes.”
I commend the book to anyone concerned about how we became so divided and where we’re headed.


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3 comments on “Sorting Us Out

  1. clarence swinney says:

    Credit Default Swaps
    2000=900 Billion
    2008=30,000 Billion
    Buy house insurance then bet house will burn
    Courtesy:Casino Derivative of America
    World’s largest gambling house.

  2. Carbine says:

    “Heterogeneous communities restrain group excesses; homogenous communities march toward the extremes.”

    And who, or what, is leading this march Gary? Might the emergence of a party and candidate who vows to re-make America in a form alien to its nature have something to do with it?

    There was a time when it would have been inconceivable for a presidential candidate to cut a commercial claiming that his opponenet was “not one of us.” Decent, intelligent people would have condemned such thinking. Now, a great many nominally decent and intelligent people actually voted for the cretin that issued those words. Welcome to the world you and your fellows have helped to create, Gary.

  3. clarence swinney says:

    $250,00 up is the ploy of opponents of President Obama’s tax cut change.
    No one goes Top Down to $250,000. Interesting picture. He removes the tax cut on incomes such
    as $4000 Million—3000 Million-2000 Million-1000 Million, etc. 1% got a cut of $518,635 over ten years . 1% Income “average” $1,400,000. $51,863 per year is no big deal to them.

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