The New Segregation

Interesting news snippet in Salon today, taken from the from the Austin American-Statesman newspaper, which shows that while the Red-Blue dichotomy is true on the national level, locally, most Americans don’t live near people who are politically different from them.

“… There is little competition in presidential contests between the parties in most U.S. counties, according to an Austin American-Statesman study of election returns since 1948. American democracy is based on the continuous exchange of differing points of view. Today, most Americans live in communities that are becoming more politically homogenous and, in effect, diminish dissenting views. And that grouping of like-minded people is feeding the nation’s increasingly rancorous and partisan politics.”

“By the end of the dead-even 2000 presidential election, American communities were more lopsidedly Republican or Democratic than at any time in the past half-century. The fastest-growing kind of segregation in the United States isn’t racial. It is the segregation between Republicans and Democrats.”

Speaking as a resident in one of the two “blue” counties in the overwhelmingly “red” state of Kansas, this appears to be at least anecdotally true…and the point made about homogenous communities leading to a lack of discourse is troubling.


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