Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Politics: Perception And Reality

David Frum writes,
Ten years ago, pollsters began to notice a strange phenomenon.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Democrats and Republicans responded fairly similarly when asked to evaluate the performance of the economy. In prosperous years, both acknowledged the prosperity. In bad years, both acknowledged the difficulty.
In the 1990s, however, this seemingly natural connection between perception and reality began to break down. Even in the very prosperous late 1990s, Democrats rated the performance of the economy significantly better than Republicans. Then after 2002, the partisan perceptions abruptly shifted: Republicans rated the economy better than Democrats.As far as anybody could tell, there seemed scant real-world basis for this sudden divergence of perceptions.
It seemed hard to avoid the conclusion: partisanship was overwhelming everything, even direct personal experience. [Emphasis mine]
The bolded part makes perfect sense.  In the US, one's partisan outlook may have an effect on where one chooses to live.
. . . partisans additionally prefer to relocate in areas populated with copartisans, a tendency that is strongest among those who switch parties upon relocation. Whether the role of partisanship is central or ancillary, if it is any part of the decision process, it has the potential to make important imprints on the political landscape of the United States
Partisanship also seems to color how often people go to church; maybe it's the other way around, but religion has become increasingly partisan.

The question that keeps bugging me may be a bit hyperbolic, but I wonder how long it will be before the United States becomes two political nations inside a common border.

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