Animated graph shows how USA has become more polarized in last 20 years

Pretty astonishing to see how close together median Democrats and Republicans were in 1997.

From Sociological Images:

A recent Pew Report reported that in 1994, 64% of Republicans were more conservative than the median Democrat on a political values scale. By 2014, 92% of Republicans were more conservative than the median Democrat. Democrats have become more consistently liberal in their political values and Republicans have become more consistently conservative. And this has led to increasing political polarization.

You might think ideological commitments naturally come in groupings. But there are lots of illogical pairings without natural connections. Why, for instance, should how you feel about school vouchers be related to how you feel about global warming, whether police officers use excessive force against Black Americans, or whether displays of military strength are the best method of ensuring peace? The four issues are completely separate. But, if your Facebook feed looks anything like mine, knowing someone’s opinion about any one of these issues gives you enough information to feel reasonably confident predicting their opinions about the other three. That’s what ideological consistency looks like.

Notable Replies

  1. "I wish we had . . . "

    it is sort of in XKCD #1127

  2. Shuck says:

    "how you feel about global warming, whether police officers use excessive force against Black Americans, or whether displays of military strength are the best method of ensuring peace"
    Wait, so acknowledging and being alarmed by global warming, police violence against Black Americans, recognizing discrimination against gays, immigrants, etc. is a sign of being a leftist? In other words, reality - and acknowledging and being alarmed by negative aspects of it - shows a liberal bias? This seems to indicate not that there's polarization, but an increasing extremism on the part of the right and a rejection of evidence and basic decency.

  3. Hence the absurdity of conservatives calling liberals hypocrites for not tolerating conservative intolerance. The conservatives tend to have (and desperately want) a black and white view of the world. Trump good. Clinton bad. Money good. Taxes bad. Christians good. Muslims bad. Business good. Government bad.

    We're supposed to treat the sides as equals but how do you treat someone with respect who won't respect you? It's like trying to hold a conversation with a screaming bratty child who doesn't speak the same language as you and is prone to throw things.

  4. Bingo.
    See also:

    Sometimes people use “respect” to mean “treating someone like a person” and sometimes they use “respect” to mean “treating someone like an authority”

    and sometimes people who are used to being treated like an authority say “if you won’t respect me I won’t respect you” and they mean “if you won’t treat me like an authority I won’t treat you like a person”

    and they think they’re being fair but they aren’t, and it’s not okay.

    From here: http://brennatwohy.tumblr.com/post/118161877479/stimmyabby-sometimes-people-use-respect-to

  5. eyeroll False equivalence fallacy and false balance fallacy again? Is it Tuesday? You're going to have to define who the "crazy extremists" are on the Left, Max, because, last I checked, there wasn't anyone like Bannon or Trump at large in the Democrats, much less running the place.

Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

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