Study: "The Real Divide in America Is Between Political Junkies and Everyone Else"

M

Mr._Clark

Full Audioholic
From the article:

>>>What we found is that most Americans — upward of 80 percent to 85 percent — follow politics casually or not at all. Just 15 percent to 20 percent follow it closely (the people we call “deeply involved”): the group of people who monitor everything from covfefe to the politics of “Cuties.” <<<

I'm in the 80% that is not a political junkie, and the never-ending quest by the partisans for a "gotcha" that will finally slay the evil partisans on the other side reminds me of children squabling in the back of mini van while the adults are tryig to get to work. The partisans may view themselves as being on the side of truth and justice, but the bickering in normally over some talking points that almost no one really cares abot

>>>For partisans, politics is a morality play, a struggle of good versus evil. But most Americans just see two angry groups of people bickering over issues that may not always seem pressing or important. . . . Each day, partisan Democrats wonder whether that day’s “outrage” will finally change how people feel about President Trump. Partisan Republicans wonder the same thing about Joe Biden. But most “regular” voters are not paying that much attention to the daily onslaught. It turns them off.

And the major scandals that do break through? Well, to many of them, that is “just politics.”<<<

 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
From the article:

>>>What we found is that most Americans — upward of 80 percent to 85 percent — follow politics casually or not at all. Just 15 percent to 20 percent follow it closely (the people we call “deeply involved”): the group of people who monitor everything from covfefe to the politics of “Cuties.” <<<

I'm in the 80% that is not a political junkie, and the never-ending quest by the partisans for a "gotcha" that will finally slay the evil partisans on the other side reminds me of children squabling in the back of mini van while the adults are tryig to get to work. The partisans may view themselves as being on the side of truth and justice, but the bickering in normally over some talking points that almost no one really cares abot

>>>For partisans, politics is a morality play, a struggle of good versus evil. But most Americans just see two angry groups of people bickering over issues that may not always seem pressing or important. . . . Each day, partisan Democrats wonder whether that day’s “outrage” will finally change how people feel about President Trump. Partisan Republicans wonder the same thing about Joe Biden. But most “regular” voters are not paying that much attention to the daily onslaught. It turns them off.

And the major scandals that do break through? Well, to many of them, that is “just politics.”<<<

Not this thread, but I replied what I think of things in the voting thread.

https://forums.audioholics.com/forums/threads/for-the-love-of-god-or-whoever-…-vote.119463/page-2#post-1427083
 
M

Mr._Clark

Full Audioholic
Here's another article (albeit 3 years old) to the effect that Americans are not more polarized now than in the past, but (due to "party sorting") the two political parties have become more uniformly liberal and conservative.

>>>Are voters more polarized than ever?
No. Although pundits and politicos make that claim every day, it’s not true. If we take the electorate as a whole – without slicing it by partisanship, region or anything else – the public doesn’t look any different than it did in 1976. Polarization is the grouping of opinion around two extremes. No matter how we measure public opinion, this has not happened. . . .

What is causing our current political turbulence?
A process that is widely mistaken for polarization: what political scientists call “party sorting.” The overall distribution of public opinion has not changed, but specific dimensions of it have become more highly correlated with partisanship. When I was in graduate school there were liberal Republican presidential candidates and U.S. senators and representatives. There were conservative Democratic presidential candidates and U.S. senators and representatives. Environmental protection was not a partisan issue in the early 1970s. Even in the 1980s, there were Democratic members of Congress who were pro-gun, and Republican members who were pro-choice. Today the issues align with partisanship and ideology – there has been a significant decline in cross-cutting cleavages, to use the older sociological terminology.

We can call this “partisan polarization” as long as we don’t forget that there is still a big middle ground that is not part of it. . . .

What is the role of media, polls, swing voters and independents in the rise of populism or other political movements?
In my book, I argue that the current electoral instability reflects the fact that we have two highly sorted parties, each of which tries to impose its narrow vision on a big, heterogeneous country. . . .<<<

 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
I reached my high point of political anger during the administrations Of Cheney/Rumsfeld (George W.) and Obama. The polarization and racism that took place during the Obama administration was particularly demeaning to the American Way, imo. Trump, of course, has thrown everything out the window and needlessly started driving the bus, back and forth, over 'it.' :p

While I try not to focus on what divides us, rather what should bring us together, it gets difficult. Just like the NRA being the loudest minority, that 15-20% is equally loud. That too many media outlets are now pandering to the poles rather than maintaining objectivity and neutrality in reporting only serves to amplify the 'message' and emotion of the minority and confuse the issues that really matter.
...And this doesn't even begin to take into account the spread of dis- and mis- information through social media platforms.

Sometimes being an existential utilitarian is difficult. o_O;):cool:
 
davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic Field Marshall
I reached my high point of political anger during the administrations Of Cheney/Rumsfeld (George W.) and Obama. The polarization and racism that took place during the Obama administration was particularly demeaning to the American Way, imo. Trump, of course, has thrown everything out the window and needlessly started driving the bus, back and forth, over 'it.' :p

While I try not to focus on what divides us, rather what should bring us together, it gets difficult. Just like the NRA being the loudest minority, that 15-20% is equally loud. That too many media outlets are now pandering to the poles rather than maintaining objectivity and neutrality in reporting only serves to amplify the 'message' and emotion of the minority and confuse the issues that really matter.
...And this doesn't even begin to take into account the spread of dis- and mis- information through social media platforms.

Sometimes being an existential utilitarian is difficult. o_O;):cool:
Hmmm I never had a problem with the Obama admin concerning racism. I also liked George W until we invaded Iraq instead of going after Bin Laden. That said I did vote for both for at least one of their terms.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
Hmmm I never had a problem with the Obama admin concerning racism
You mean you were OK with the way the GOP did everything possible to deligitimize him as president, from fostering the absurd birther claims to denying a sitting President his duty of nominating a Supreme Court Justice and giving that person a vote? Lets not forget the Monkey Jokes, either. Even the ACA was largely based on a former Republican plan, IIRC, but then after dubbed ObamaCare and decried.

And just to be clear... I am in no way trying or wanting to start anything here. :)
 
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Swerd

Swerd

Audioholic Spartan
Ever since I voted on Sept. 29th, I've lost patience with political arguments. It's time to vote and be done with it. On the other hand, Mr._Clark's original post struck a note. I'm not a political junkie, but I also don't think of myself as one of the 80% that the NY Times article describes.

I've lived in the Washington, DC area since 1983, and the daily newspaper here is the Washington Post. It's a good paper and most people here read it. It's main focus is national news and the workings of the national government. Other places I've lived, the local news and workings of the state government are the main focus – national news and the nation's government often don't appear on the front page. There are a few notable exceptions to this, the NY Times is a good example. But in most other newspapers I've known and read in the past, there may be some focus on national politics (as in who's leading the political horse race), but much less focus on the federal government itself. Naturally, people who regularly read those other newspapers know much less about the national government, and they don't seem to care about it, other than during election years.

There's a difference in following politics and following the workings of the government. It's the extreme partisan politicians who muck up the working of the nation's government. I have a strong dislike for them because they make their living trying to block the nation's government from accomplishing anything. They appeal directly to voters in their home districts who know little and care little about the workings of the national government.

As an example, think of Anthony Faucci and his nemesis Donald Trump. Dr. Faucci is a leading expert on infectious diseases. He has led the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases since the early 1980s when AIDs and HIV were first getting headlines. He has a sizeable budget and directs medicine and research nationwide in those fields. He has effectively led that branch of of the NIH for decades without politicizing anything, including HIV or SARS-Cov-2. Donald Trump noticed him only because of the corona virus pandemic, and his failed effort to turn it into a political pie fight.
Clowngress.png


This next photo is of a clever Halloween lawn decoration. I'm not sure what I can say to make it relevant to how ugly politics is now, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway. I think of it as an illustration of how the GOP tends to treat it's own if they stray from the party line. YMMV
Lawnmower skeletons.jpg
 
M

Mr._Clark

Full Audioholic
You mean you were OK with the way the GOP did everything possible to deligitimize him as president, from fostering the absurd birther claims to denying a sitting President his duty of nominating a Supreme Court Justice and giving that person a vote? Lets not forget the Monkey Jokes, either. Even the ACA was largely based on a former Republican plan, IIRC, but then after dubbed ObamaCare and decried.

And just to be clear... I am in no way trying or wanting to start anything here. :)
When you refer to "the GOP" do you mean a typical Republican (one of the 85% or so who is not a political junkie) who is concerned about divisions between Democrats and Republicans?

From the NYT article:

>>>Partisan Republicans were most likely to say drug abuse was the most important problem facing the country. But less-attentive Republicans ranked it second to last, and they were also concerned about the deficit and divisions between Democrats and Republicans.<<<

I've concluded that it is not possible for the 80% who are not political junkies to discuss politics with the 20% who are.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
When you refer to "the GOP" do you mean a typical Republican (one of the 85% or so who is not a political junkie) who is concerned about divisions between Democrats and Republicans?
In this instance, I speak of the Governmental Republicans (elected or appointed officials in local, state or national positions) and any of the citizenry that espoused the same cynicism and/or racism...

...which at the time this was occurring (as I mentioned before), I was experiencing my visit within that liberal vocal minority of the 15-20%.

Well asked, Mr Clark. (I think I like you.) :)

Regardless, it takes more than 15% of the most vocal political hobbyists to rubber stamp wing nuts on either side into office. ;) If there really is an 80% Center... we should be able to salvage this for the good of all! :D
 
M

Mr._Clark

Full Audioholic
In this instance, I speak of the Governmental Republicans (elected or appointed officials in local, state or national positions) and any of the citizenry that espoused the same cynicism and/or racism...

...which at the time this was occurring (as I mentioned before), I was experiencing my visit within that liberal vocal minority of the 15-20%.

Well asked, Mr Clark. (I think I like you.) :)

Regardless, it takes more than 15% of the most vocal political hobbyists to rubber stamp wing nuts on either side into office. ;) If there really is an 80% Center... we should be able to salvage this for the good of all! :D
My post was probably a little snippy. I'm going to blame it on being bombarded with political attack ads.
 
M

Mr._Clark

Full Audioholic
Ever since I voted on Sept. 29th, I've lost patience with political arguments. It's time to vote and be done with it. On the other hand, Mr._Clark's original post struck a note. I'm not a political junkie, but I also don't think of myself as one of the 80% that the NY Times article describes.

I've lived in the Washington, DC area since 1983, and the daily newspaper here is the Washington Post. It's a good paper and most people here read it. It's main focus is national news and the workings of the national government. Other places I've lived, the local news and workings of the state government are the main focus – national news and the nation's government often don't appear on the front page. There are a few notable exceptions to this, the NY Times is a good example. But in most other newspapers I've known and read in the past, there may be some focus on national politics (as in who's leading the political horse race), but much less focus on the federal government itself. Naturally, people who regularly read those other newspapers know much less about the national government, and they don't seem to care about it, other than during election years.

There's a difference in following politics and following the workings of the government. It's the extreme partisan politicians who muck up the working of the nation's government. I have a strong dislike for them because they make their living trying to block the nation's government from accomplishing anything. They appeal directly to voters in their home districts who know little and care little about the workings of the national government.

As an example, think of Anthony Faucci and his nemesis Donald Trump. Dr. Faucci is a leading expert on infectious diseases. He has led the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases since the early 1980s when AIDs and HIV were first getting headlines. He has a sizeable budget and directs medicine and research nationwide in those fields. He has effectively led that branch of of the NIH for decades without politicizing anything, including HIV or SARS-Cov-2. Donald Trump noticed him only because of the corona virus pandemic, and his failed effort to turn it into a political pie fight.
I remember hearing a discussion on a Metro shortly after I moved to DC. The first oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme court involving RBG were the day before, and the people on the Metro were quite excited about the fact that she had asked several questions even though it was her first oral hearing as a Supreme Court justice. I guess you could say I knew was not in LA anymore.

The clown cartoon reminds me of the quote attributed to Mark Twain: "Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself."
 

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