Is America Really So Divided?
A Polarized Nation?
Wagner says he wants to continue examining what it is that explains people’s ideology, potentially going beyond political questions and looking at how personal traits may drive their positions on issues. “There’s a greater diversity of opinion than we’re led to believe,” Wagner says. “People’s political differences come from deeply held and honestly held positions.”
Though Republicans are the anti-abortion party, writes Chapman, one-third of Democrats are closer to the GOP position than to that of their own party. “Another reason for the acidic climate is the rise of cable TV networks that thrive by taking ideological sides, day in and day out. Twenty years ago, they didn't exist. Today, watching Fox News, you get the impression that huge numbers of Americans regard Obama as a Stalinist. Switch on MSNBC, and you would assume that most people want Dick Cheney sent to Guantanamo.
You would be mistaken, writes Chapman. America is still a nation of moderates.