Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Bitter Meter

Guess what? We're more polarized now in terms of political values than ever. Surprise, right? I heard this on the NPR News Hour yesterday. Today I found the data to show you. Not that you did not know this before. Hell, if you've paid any attention at all to what's been going on in this country, you know that you have never seen it so bitter. Each year it seems to get worse. Here we are, over three years into to Obama's term, and we measure that length of time since anybody had real hope--remember that campaign slogan?--that government could effect real change--and remember that one: change you can believe in?

A state legislator in New Hampshire declares that state in a state of virtual civil war. (source) I just got back from a conference in Louisiana where we spent a couple of days talking about our country's real shooting Civil War 150 years ago . . . I don't think we're there in New Hampshire. But I don't think the notion of political paralysis such as the country endured in the years leading up to the Civil War is all that far-fetched an idea. I do think we're pretty much there on the national level and in any state with a strong enough party grip on the government.

Here are some charts from the Pew Trust poll on partisanship. You'll find the whole article here. The second one bears particular scrutiny. We drifted dangerously apart in some critical areas. None of this bodes well. For example . . . how bad do you think it will be if Obama manages to win reelection? Now consider Romney in the White House? I think the country's in serious trouble no matter who wins.

6-4-12 V #2

How Partisan Divides Have Grown

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