Saturday, April 24, 2004

Note to Blue - you're getting bluer

From the Greatest Newspaper in the Civilised World, The Washington Post:
At the same time, more and more Americans in a highly mobile society are choosing to live among like-minded people. University of Maryland political demographer James Gimpel has documented the rise of a "patchwork nation," in which political like attracts like, and ideologically diverse communities are giving way to same-thinking islands. A recent analysis sponsored by the Austin American-Statesman, comparing the photo-finish elections of 1976 and 2000, made this clear. While the nationwide results were extremely close, nearly twice as many voters now live in counties where one candidate or the other won by a landslide. Person by person, family by family, America is engaging in voluntary political segregation.

I plead guilty to this. I love being in the red part of the map again.
For voters in the middle, this election may aggravate their feeling that politics no longer speaks to them, that it has become a dialogue of the deaf, a rant of uncompromising extremes.

Guilty as charged. Philosophically, I no longer see the point in compromise. Everytime my side gave an inch, the other took a yard.

The only part of this analysis that I disagree with (at this time, 1/3rd of the way through the series) is that there was a Peace dividend to politics. I see the break from the 1989 collapse of the USSR to the start of 1991 Gulf War as historically insignificant. I've always felt that our war with Radical Islam began on Thanksgiving, 1979 when the Tehran Embassy was taken over. If in 1960 both Republicans and Democrats agreed on the need to contain the Soviet Union, I don't believe that belief was there for the left in 1968.
Not slow in the N'woods, just a few days of intense news and politics that cannot be ignored.


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