Tag: polarization

Polarization and Freedom

A new Pew poll finds that three out of four “consistent liberals” would rather live in a community “where the houses are smaller and closer to each other” but within walking distance of schools, stores, and restaurants. Conversely, three out of four “consistent conservatives” would rather live in a larger home on a large lot even if it means driving to schools, stores, and restaurants.


Source: Pew Research Center. Click chart to download Pew’s 121-page (3.5-MB) report on polarization in America.

Pew says this shows that “differences between right and left go beyond politics,” which Pew claims is one of the seven most important things to know about polarization in America. Yet the left has turned the choice between a traditional suburb and a so-called walkable community into a political issue, so it is no wonder that people’s views on this choice are polarized.

Disappointingly, Pew’s report on polarization defines everything in terms of liberal vs. conservative. Pew’s big news is that the share of Americans who are consistently conservative or consistently liberal has more than doubled since 1994–yet you have to read deep into the report to learn that these groups make up just 21 percent of the country. The report says little about the other 79 percent of Americans, yet you’d think they would be important since they outnumber the consistent ones by almost four to one.

The Iron Grip of Polarization

Like a lot of people these days, the actress Kathleen Turner is very concerned about polarization in Washington. She has a special reason to be concerned: She’s coming to Washington’s Arena Stage to do a one-woman show, “Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins,’ based on the life and writings of the sharp-tongued liberal columnist. She tells the Washington Examiner:

“One of these challenges may be getting a wide enough breadth of people to come, you know, because people are so closed-minded now, that if they think it doesn’t represent their point of view, they’re not interested,” she said. “I’m afraid it will be like – if you’re a Republican, don’t go to the show – it’s a real shame both artistically and as a reflection of our nation’s mentality.”

Fortunately, liberals from Hollywood don’t have that sort of us-against-them mentality:

But while Ivins became famous for mocking former President George W. Bush, nicknaming him “Shrub” and “Dubya,” Turner told us that her approach to dealing with the Bush years was a bit more subtle.

“I had to do some real dodging there once in a while, but I pretty much managed it,” she said, explaining that she “purposely” never met Bush. “I used to be on the Kennedy Center artistic, you know, selection board and those events are always held at the White House, and so then I had to bow out for a few years, didn’t I?”

It’s a real shame when Republicans are closed-minded.