In America, partisan fighting has led to an increasingly polarized populace. Conservatives’ irrational paranoia and liberals’ observation of conservatives’ effect on our nation — the government shutdown, repeated efforts to deprive Americans of health care, etc. — have led both sides to the belief that all of our nation’s problems rest with their ideological opposites.
A recent PEW poll sheds light on exactly how polarized America has become. The survey samples 10,000 adults nationwide.
The poll finds that we are becoming increasingly polarized as fewer Americans are defined as “middle of the road,” and people on both sides have grown more and more “ideologically consistent over the years.
Around 27 percent of all Democrats and 36 percent of Republicans view the “other side” as a direct threat to our nation — with the number increasing by level of political involvement.
Everything from voting to contacting one’s Congressman to making political donations is affected by a person’s feelings toward the “other guys.”
The poll also revealed that conservatives prefer to live in areas where most people think exactly like they do — 50 percent of the “ideologically pure,” in fact, with 63 percent viewing it as a requirement that their friends think like they do, as well.
Only 35 percent of liberals require ideological consistency when choosing a place to live, with 49 percent preferring friends who share their viewpoints.
This shows that while everyone, to some degree, likes a little bit of uniformity, liberals are more accepting of ideological differences.
The more conservative a person is, the greater their longing for the “country.”
A very telling difference between liberals and conservatives is how they feel toward people who don’t necessarily “look like” them. The more conservative a person is, the less they want to deal with “diversity,” and the more they gravitate toward areas in which people blindly echo their religious beliefs.
Marriage is an interesting topic when looking at the differences between liberals and conservatives. Belief in God is surprisingly important to both sides, with 24 percent of “consistently liberal” people saying they would be unhappy if an immediate family member married a non-Christian. However, conservatives are more likely to become entirely incensed at the idea, with 73 percent saying they would be unhappy.
However, once again, liberals are the more accepting bunch. 66 percent of “consistent” liberals say that it just doesn’t matter if someone believes in God or not. Only 24 percent of “consistent” conservatives feel the same way.
A whopping 23 percent of “consistent” conservatives say they would not much like it if a family member married outside their race, while only 1 percent of “consistent” liberals feel the same way.
Conservatives are, of course, more focused on guns, with 49 percent of “consistent” conservatives say they would be absolutely ecstatic if a family member married a gun owner, compared to 5 percent of “consistent” liberals.
One area where liberals and conservatives are almost polar opposites is in their negative views of MSNBC and FOX News. Around 70 percent of both “consistent” liberals and “consistent” conservatives view FOX News and MSNBC as unfavorable, respectively.
However, 74 percent of “consistent” conservatives have a favorable opinion of FOX while liberals tend to blindly follow their ideologically-themed news quite a bit less. Only 45 percent of “consistent” liberals say they have a favorable view on MSNBC.
One segment of the poll reveals exactly why our political system is a mess. 82 percent of “consistent” liberals say that they like politicians who are willing to compromise, while only 32 percent of “consistent” conservatives feel the same way.
Conservatives, of course, prefer people whose preconceived notions and ideas can weather the storm of facts, information, and logic, with 63 percent of “consistents” prefering politicians who stick to their positions, no matter what.
Guns, of course, are a largely partisan issue. 34 percent of conservatives believe there should be no restrictions whatsoever on guns, so rocket launchers and uzis for everyone!
Liberals, on the other hand, overwhelmingly believe that most people should be able to own guns, with reasonable restrictions — 81 percent of ideologically consistent liberals, in fact. So much for the “gun grabbing” myth!
How we treat people coming into America is also different across party lines, with 45 percent of consistently liberal people feeling that if citizenship requirements are met, people who are in America illegally should be able to become citizens immediately.
However, 41 percent of ideologically pure conservatives favor just “kicking them out.”
Abortion, as we have discovered if we pay even a minor amount of attention to the news, is also an issue on which liberals and conservatives conflict. 43 percent of ideologically pure liberals favor zero restrictions on what a woman does with her own body, while only 5 percent of conservatives view the difficult decision to have an abortion as a woman’s choice.
Now that we have taken a look at the regressive attitudes of the right wing, we just want to remind you that 78 percent of the most conservative people in America always vote, compared to 58 percent of their more liberal counterparts.
h/t: Liberals Unite