Is America dangerously divided?
June 15th, 2014
03:41 AM ET

Is America dangerously divided?

By Bruce Stokes, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Bruce Stokes is director of global economic attitudes at the Pew Research Center. The views expressed are his own.

If you thought that political polarization in America was bad, think again. Because it’s worse than you thought. And if you’re under the impression that dysfunctionality in Washington is merely a product of partisan political gamesmanship on Capitol Hill, try again. Because a new survey finds that the divisions inside the Beltway actually reflect a deep ideological divide within the U.S. public that manifests itself not only in politics, but in everyday life. Indeed, this polarization is growing – and it has profound implications for economic and security issues that affect the rest of the world.

Republicans and Democrats in the United States are more divided along ideological lines, and the resulting political acrimony is deeper and more extensive, than at any point in recent U.S. history, according to the Pew Research Center survey. And such partisanship is having a greater impact on policy because these partisans make up a larger share of the politically engaged members of their parties.

The share of Americans who express consistently conservative or consistently liberal opinions on a range of issues – on the size and scope of government, the environment, foreign policy, among others – has doubled over the past two decades, from 10 percent to 21 percent. And this shift isn’t just about one party – Democrats have been moving to the left and Republicans have moved to the right. As a result, now roughly one-in-five Americans hold either strongly liberal or strongly conservative views. Meanwhile, the percentage of the American public that takes a liberal stance on some issues and a conservative one on others has fallen from half in 1994 to 39 percent today.

This recent polarization has taken on an unprecedented personal element. Sure, Democrats and Republicans haven’t always liked each other. But today the feelings appear far more hostile. For example, 36 percent of Republicans say the Democratic Party is a threat to the well-being of the country, while just over a quarter of Democrats see the GOP as a threat to the nation.

Moreover, many Democrats and Republicans today don’t even want to associate with each other. More than six-in-ten of consistent conservatives and about half of consistent liberals say most of their close friends share their political views. People on the right and the left also say it is important to them to live in a place where most people have similar political sentiments. And three-out-of-ten consistent conservatives say they would be unhappy if an immediate family member married a Democrat (compared with almost a quarter of across-the-board liberals who voice the same concern about the prospect of a Republican in-law).

Such partisans are increasingly active in their respective parties. In 1994, just 8 percent of politically-engaged Democrats were consistent liberals. In 2014, these strong liberals made up 38 percent of party activists. Similarly, 20 years ago consistent conservatives accounted for just under a quarter of politically-engaged Republicans. Today they represent one-third.

Needless to say, such partisanship complicates political deal-making. When asked about compromise on the most important issues facing the country, consistent conservatives say that congressional Republicans should get two-thirds of whatever they want and that the White House should get only one-third. Consistent liberals are no more conciliatory: 62 percent say that in any deal between Congressional Republicans and President Obama, the White House should get two-thirds of what it wants, while the GOP should only get one-third.

Such partisanship would be political theater for the rest of the world if it didn’t have such serious policy consequences.

For a start, there’s no doubt that Republicans and Democrats typically take broadly differing stances on major international issues. Among the American public, for example, Democrats are more supportive than Republicans of both a free trade agreement with Europe (60 percent to 44 percent) and a free trade agreement with Japan and other countries around the Pacific (59 percent to 49 percent). Republicans are for their part more sympathetic to Israel than are Democrats, while Democrats are more opposed to the U.S. getting involved in the Ukraine than are Republicans. All this suggests that finding compromise will be almost as tricky on foreign policy as it is on domestic.

True, political differences are a fact of life in any country. But a deepening ideological uniformity and partisan animosity in both politics and everyday life challenges one of the premises of a functioning democracy: the ability to make decisions through compromise. The political partisanship now evident in the United States is not politics as usual. It is something different. And we should all be watching it very closely.

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Topics: Politics • United States

soundoff (808 Responses)
  1. obama

    Jesus will save us

    June 15, 2014 at 7:12 pm | Reply
    • Jay

      Was Jesus a white guy like Megan Kelly claimed?

      June 15, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Reply
      • jess

        As white as any Jewish guy from a small middle eastern town 2000 years ago

        June 15, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
      • Frit Frolick

        God is white. He once said to Moses: "I am who I am". If he was black he would have said "I iz what I iz".
        Q.E.D

        June 15, 2014 at 7:48 pm |
    • grinch

      Its ironic. Jesus was jewish which would typically make him a democrat. Therefore republicans worship a democrat.

      June 15, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Reply
      • Lee

        More than that, Jesus was a socialist. His teachings were extremely socialist in nature

        June 15, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
      • puddintane

        Democrats scoff at the idea of worshiping a nice guy like Jesus, though

        June 15, 2014 at 8:15 pm |
  2. Redumblicans

    Not sure the GOP thought out their end game well.

    Give 1% of the people all of the money.
    Give 99% of the people no money but tons of guns....
    What could go wrong?

    June 15, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Reply
    • JJ

      See this is exactly what the problem is, NEITHER party is innocent, BOTH parties have pushed their own agendas and made mistakes. We need to STOP finger pointing and come together to figure how to make this country better

      June 15, 2014 at 7:37 pm | Reply
      • yep

        You are right about the need to stop pointing fingers and come together, but it is so difficult with the politicians engaging in name calling and mean-spiritedness. They flame ideological passions and reinforce the "us against them" mindset. It's horribly frustrating and emotionally exhausting to maintain a balanced posture. I fear most people simply ignore the whole mess in an attempt to maintain a semblance of sanity.

        June 15, 2014 at 7:54 pm |
      • belseth

        I disagree. Only one party is preaching an armed revolt and hate anyone that isn't like you. I hear none of this hate speech on the left side and they most definitely are not called for an armed revolt. The left is against guns. The left wants live and let live and the right wants a return to the 1800s when only white males had rights.

        June 15, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
    • belseth

      Well they keep saying they want an armed revolt. Unfortunately it may end up being against their 1% corporate masters.

      June 15, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Reply
      • Allen

        Both parties serve the 1% you're nothing but partisan talking points and zero logic.

        June 15, 2014 at 8:35 pm |
      • JJ

        but you hate the right because they do not think like you, but that's ok I guess. And just because people want to own weapons does NOT mean we want an armed revolt, most of us just want protection

        June 15, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
    • TiredOfPaying

      Very well put. I, for one, will be selling Pitchforks and Torches on the lawns of the 1%. They are the true enemy.

      June 16, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  3. Joe

    I dont know when all of you are going to figure it out that both dems and rep love the division of this country. It keeps most of the politicions there jobs. Behind closed doors they are probabably laghing at all of you. It is not what is best for this country but what is best for their interests not yours. Wake up people we need to start over for the best of this country.

    June 15, 2014 at 7:17 pm | Reply
  4. MikeC

    The country was in a better state before Obama came around. Obama has divided not just the U.S. He has divided the entire world. From the middle east to Russia to Asia and even out allies feel more distant than ever before.

    June 15, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      LOL...what a joke your comment is. Turn off the Fox and S T F U.

      June 15, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Reply
    • Allen

      That's exactly what we're talking about. ITS BOTH PARTIES FAULT. It's Fox News AND msnbc. Keep pointing fingers, making up childish names and offering no solutions. The media keeps us divided. They run pointless polarizing stories to keep us angry AND YOU KEEP BUYING IT. Just stop

      June 15, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Reply
      • Joe

        Here's the difference, Allen: MSNBC has a TINY audience. Not many Democrats watch it. Contrast that with Fox. Every "conservative" I know, and that's many, not only watches Fox, but gets close to 100% of their news from them. They're the far right propaganda arm of the GOP and a worthy successor to Himmler and McCarthy.

        June 15, 2014 at 8:23 pm |
      • Allen

        I used the two as examples. Sure Fox News has a much larger audience...why? Because their audience is old and is very under represented on the internet which the left OWNS. Sure there are plenty of right wing sites, but most of fox audience doesn't use the computer. They get their news the way they know how.Msnbc has lower amount of viewers but those people are over represented on the internet. Huffpo, reddit, twitter, Facebook all have liberal bias the latter two mostly due to Hollywood marketing.

        June 15, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
      • No .You're Wrong.

        The right wing is rife with fascist yahoos and corporate bullyboys. The left didn't start the trouble–ask Newt and Rush and number of their media stooges–they know. Murdoch is behind much of the acrimony among us–it's his 'product,' his commodity, his job. 'Why can't you Jews just get along with those Brown Shirts? There are two sides to every story, you know.' Is that your argument? The right thwarts the legitimate operation of the democratic process itself. Who sends representatives to Congress who don't believe in governance? whose stated aim is disruption? Who is determined to 'never compromise' ? (You know, that thing upon which democracy rests.) Who works to constantly thwart the expressed will of the majority? Who attacks and dismantles civil rights and voter protections? Who raises their right hands and swears an oath to the Koch Bros–one that supersedes their oaths of office? Ah yes. The Kochs. Daddy Freddy–founder of the John Birch Society (Klansmen in suits); don't leave out Great Uncle Karl-Otto, Commandant of Buchenwald. And hey, let's not forget Auntie Ellsie either–she had the largest collection of items made from human flesh ever assembled when she was arrested for crimes against humanity. Karl was already dead by that time–shot by the SS when he stole several hundred thousand Reichsmarks What a crew!!! Three generations of radical fascists–rolling all the way back to the death camps–and yet we (or, rather, you) wonder why we're divided. It is the right's design & intention to divide us. History shows that they're very good at this; it also shows that they're very bad at keeping the big lie afloat. Swastikas and Samurai swords? Nah–Armani, baby.

        June 15, 2014 at 10:59 pm |
  5. FDR

    "As long as one group of people believes they have the right to work little and live large off of the wealth created by other persons there will always be strife. The selfishness of the average Leftist has yet to be fully exposed.'

    June 15, 2014 at 7:19 pm | Reply
    • gwtars

      "As long as one group of people believes they have the right to work little and live large off of the wealth created by other persons there will always be strife. The selfishness of the average Leftist has yet to be fully exposed.'

      Thank you for pointing out one of the biggest fallacies that the right consistently parrots out. and also its biggest example of hypocrisy. "Leftists" don't want to live large off the wealth of others, they want a fair wage, a fair chance of living life without going into tens of thousands into debt for education, to have a chance at the "American Dream" which has been pretty much destroyed by corporate greed that reaps billions in profits while eliminating millions of middle-class jobs. Those of us that are moderate look at the GOP narrative ans shake our heads in disbelief at the sheer ignorance of its positions, so polarized and myopic that it has alienated millions of Americans.

      June 15, 2014 at 7:28 pm | Reply
    • EMcK

      Let's see. . . work little and live of the wealth created by others? Sounds like the 1% to me. They do nothing that can be called "work", create no wealth, but live of the wealth created by those who are actually doing the work while leaving nothing for the ones who are actually making them wealthy.

      You really should think a little bit more before you spew.

      June 15, 2014 at 8:01 pm | Reply
    • grinch

      "As long as one group of people (this rich) believes they have the right to work little and live large off of the wealth created by other persons (the working class) there will always be strife. The selfishness of the average Leftist (replace with greedy republican) has yet to be fully exposed.'

      June 15, 2014 at 8:02 pm | Reply
    • Bert in UT

      Yes, that's why all the red states send so much money to the blue states. NOT!

      June 15, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  6. Issac

    The typical rightwing Fox watcher is dangerously ignorant.

    June 15, 2014 at 7:24 pm | Reply
    • Allen

      Pointless comment. This exactly the type of division that is dangerous. You just regurgitate your teams talking points.

      June 15, 2014 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  7. toydrum

    Depressing but unsurprising. It is time for the centrists to send the tantrum throwing extremists back to their respective timeout chairs until they can learn to work and play well with others. Here's a clue for the extremists - the toys are not just yours - they belong to all of us and you have to share. Deal with it.

    June 15, 2014 at 7:25 pm | Reply
    • yep

      I wish there was a way to awaken the passions of the masses in the name of fair play. Moderates arise, America needs you to save us from ourselves!

      June 15, 2014 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  8. Logic

    The hilarious thing is that CNN is a pretty big source and instigator of divisiveness. They have taken a side... very clearly... as opposed to simply reporting the news. Since the slant stories, and fail to report the stories that may show the administration in a bad light... they are fueling the divisiveness. They should clean up their own house before pointing the finger.

    June 15, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Reply
    • futbolczarina

      As a former journalist, I will attest that CNN is biased. However it is far more balanced than MSNBC or FOX. I refuse to listen to news that will only share one side of the story. Instead I opt to consider opinions outside of my own. It offers insight that I wouldn't otherwise be exposed to. Our country is painfully divided. There is no single correct vision for the future. Both the democratic and republican parties have value in their perspectives. Maybe it's time to have a moderate, third party thrive for another vision which might compromise the greater portion of Americans.
      This is one of the most well thought opinion pieces that CNN has printed in a long time. Thank you for sharing.

      June 15, 2014 at 7:47 pm | Reply
      • Allen

        CNN is just as guilty of mass manipulation even though they aren't flying flags like the other two. "journalism" is these outlets is DEAD. these people are actors reading scripts. That's all they do. Any "investigative" work done by field reporters is heavily edited and censored, those who do not play ball do not work. It's a joke. These people are just actors, posing as experts, doling out opinion to the masses.

        June 15, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
    • HereWeAre

      If you want your premise to seem plausible – then its all or nothing, meaning you omitted discussing the division Faux Newz does on the other side of bias. You can't have it both ways. You simply validate the context of the report – its your way or the highway.

      June 15, 2014 at 8:27 pm | Reply
      • Logic

        If a similar story were on FOX.. I would have a similar comment... It is typical of small minds to be defensive and point at other bad behavior to justify their own. This is part of the whole divisiveness problem... which you are contributing to.

        June 15, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
      • TiredOfPaying

        Logic: No, you wouldn't make a similar comment on Fox because Fox has disabled comments on almost all of their articles. Just how do you rationalize that censorship from the mouthpiece of the 'Party of Freedom'?

        June 16, 2014 at 2:21 pm |
  9. Merica

    This is rooted in a fundamental difference between the youth of America and the old. The old guard is desperately hanging on to power as long as possible while the massive wave of millennials (20% larger than baby boomers) is making its political impact felt more than ever. This is a a generational change more than anything, in 20 years the countries politics will simply be more liberal because that is the political disposition of the new generation. Who have had to endure the crippling economic policies that Reaganism has imposed on the middle class. In the mean time however, the older generation who still believes in Reaganonmics will do everything in its economic, political, and social power to delay this shift as long as possible. But its impossible to hold off forever because they will die sooner or later, kicking and screaming the whole way there.

    June 15, 2014 at 7:31 pm | Reply
  10. bribarian

    We need to simply face the fact America needs to split up and go our separate ways. It's not going to work as is, many Americans are completely against 0bama's "socialist utopia." And the more he pushes and shoves, the more defiant Americans are becoming.

    June 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Reply
    • Honestly

      I never understand this. How are we becoming a socialist utopia? Do people even know the definition of socialism?

      June 15, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Reply
      • Allen

        People like that have no idea what they are talking about. They only know buzz words and talking points. We have a socialist military and police force! We are supposed to be a dual economy, a mix of capitalism and social programs. We are becoming or have become a corporate oligarchy or a plutocracy.

        June 15, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
      • IWroteMrSoulALetter

        Fringe posts are amusing. At times I wonder if those people are trying to "Convert" voters to their side – which is futile. I was one of those 18 yr-olds in 71 when Congress passed into law the younger voting age. Over the decades I voted for Dem & GOP depending on the candidate and issues. I voted for Bush SR but went Dem with Clinton. I have not voted GOP since 1992. In fact, I don't think I'm done punishing the GOP yet – from the 8 years of pure dumbness of "W." When the GOP tosses out the wing nuts and racists – then I will reconsider.

        June 15, 2014 at 8:46 pm |
  11. JJJ

    Since 2008. The division took on a new life in 2007 with Obama. Never before have people who disagreed with a politician been labeled racist. Then both parties absolute dysfunction with no regard to its effect on the citizens (citizens are those eligible for a US passport)

    June 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Reply
    • EMcK

      Nah, back in that administration before Obama, people who disagreed with the President were just called traitors by all the right-wingers and talking heads.

      June 15, 2014 at 8:03 pm | Reply
    • Allen

      Yes the charges of racism are horrible. It now gives plenty of people the opinion that racism against blacks is prevalent when in fact it is not. I'm pretty sure race was not a factor in the 90s when the right went after Clinton about literally everything. It's partisan politics as usual and is a huge problem.

      June 15, 2014 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  12. Keith

    Thank you, Jerry Falwell and the "moral majority". Your legacy is that you broke the country. I hope you're proud.

    June 15, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Reply
    • Issac

      Reagan and the GOP are at fault for giving Falwell credibility. The unholy fusion of right wing politics and fundamental religiosity (that for the most part is strikingly opposed to Jesus' teaching) has contributed greatly to much of our mess today.

      June 15, 2014 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  13. Bob Harrison

    Is America dangerously divided? That's the same as asking: Is the sky blue?

    June 15, 2014 at 7:34 pm | Reply
  14. steve

    for the Obama-ites. Is there anything he has done that has helped anyone? Serious give me one thing.

    June 15, 2014 at 7:36 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      You know what would be helpful? You to S T F U.

      June 15, 2014 at 7:38 pm | Reply
      • puddintane

        Check out the champion for free spech, getting all vulgar and jihadi

        June 15, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
    • jim

      OK:

      Brought troops home from Iraq which is saving US lives and this country billions of dollars every week. Housing prices are up, manufacturing is up, stock market at record highs, economy on the rebound, unemployment down, oil production up….
      Whew……. well that's for starters, hope that helps you out.

      June 15, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Reply
      • mike

        whatWait, better send troops back.
        Wall Street- what you get with Q1,2,3,4
        unemployment down- what you get when people leave workforce altogether and you use different measure
        Housing-what happens when you leave things alone for a while
        economy rebounding- propaganda
        oil production- not helping my gas tank

        June 15, 2014 at 8:26 pm |
    • TiredOfPaying

      Personally, when he extended unemployment benefits in 2009 it allowed me to save my house from forclosure. See, after I saved one of the companies of a 1%er I was no longer useful, so he fired me to use my salary to hire a salesman to sell what I just wrote for him. In such a bad economy it was difficult to find a new job quickly. Without the extension, my house would have been forclosed on, my life's savings wiped out in the forclosure, and I'd have been homeless.

      But maybe you think that should have happened to me? After all, who was I to expect help from the governement? After all , I had only paid taxes for 38 years at that point. Yeah, sorry I didn't fall flat on my face so your 1% overlords could snap up another economy-caused forclosure at pennies on the dollar, and at my expense.

      June 16, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  15. heyheyheyy

    yes.

    June 15, 2014 at 7:37 pm | Reply
  16. bribarian

    The moment libt@rds and "progressives" decided they were going to hijack the nation and change every aspect of it.....ya, what did you expect to happen?

    June 15, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      You sound bitter. Bet you're going to beat your wife tonight, huh?

      June 15, 2014 at 7:41 pm | Reply
      • bribarian

        I'm bitter that America was hijacked by a bunch of tr4nnies and marxists, ya.

        June 15, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
  17. steve

    When I asked for one thing Obama has done right GIVE me ONE thing not just a yes, yes to what, I've got one and one only Bin Laden but Bin Laden was useless by then.

    June 15, 2014 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • bribarian

      Bin Laden wasnt real anyways, just a front for their 9/11 "pearl harbor" event. "Sea Burial"

      June 15, 2014 at 7:43 pm | Reply
      • Dan

        When are you going to go all McVeigh?

        June 15, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
      • bribarian

        are you getting ready to pull a Lanza? Deeeeeeerp

        June 15, 2014 at 7:47 pm |
  18. chri§§y

    Wrong @ bribarian...americans are NOT united on anything! But ya know what...we are all different for a reason! Can you imagine just how boring it would be if we were all the same! Oh and btw...i like the new name lol.

    June 15, 2014 at 7:46 pm | Reply
  19. jim

    The evil and hate that comes from republicans are truly scary. They hate equal rights, believe the US should be babysitting the rest of the world by sending our troops to their deaths and cripple this country financially. And if you support our troops and want to bring them home, they call you weak.

    I remember when Clinton was Pres and the country was doing amazing. The the GOP started 2 wars that they knew would never end, and the country goes downhill from there.

    June 15, 2014 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  20. JF Trumm

    This is an interesting article, but it seems to ignore the fact that the entire American political spectrum has been wrenched rightward since the 1980s. What, for instance, does it really mean to self-identify as a liberal in 2014? How does that compare to what it meant to self-identify as a liberal in 1974?

    My hunch is that many of the "liberals" of today would seem moderate–or even conservative–by 1974 standards. For example, today many people equate "liberal" with an acceptance of scientific principles such as evolution and climate change; in 1974, even conservatives accepted scientific truths. To take another example, people who support Obamacare may today seem to be "liberal," when in fact Obamacare is a very modest (and indeed fairly conservative) program, one that is far less liberal than the single-payer universal health care enjoyed by citizens in most of the rest of the developed world. And today a "liberal" might be one who advocates a modest increase in the marginal tax rate for the country's most prosperous citizens, a rate that is still less than half of what the highest bracket was in the 1960s.

    What has happened to increase the ideological divisions among Americans in the last 40 years has not been a symmetrical phenomenon, despite the author's insinuations to the contrary. Today's so-called liberals were yesterday's moderates and the day-before-yesterday's conservatives. And as the Cantor defeat shows, yesterday's staunch conservatives are today's squishy moderates.

    It is this rightward drift, rather than polarization itself, that is the more worrisome phenomenon.

    June 15, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Reply
    • Brian Talent

      Spot on!!!

      June 15, 2014 at 8:19 pm | Reply
  21. jrs1972

    Im just waiting for the inevitable 2nd american revolution, I doubt it will go well for the "progressives" can't talk, tax, fee, and regulate your way out of that when it comes

    June 15, 2014 at 7:52 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      Phuk off. I look forward to seeing your body lying dead in the street.

      June 15, 2014 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  22. bribarian

    Everything damaging domestically to America can be traced back to "progressives"

    Detroit? Progressives
    Debt? Progressives
    Illegal immigration? Progressives
    Libgay horde? Progressives

    Dividing America by demanding it needs to change everything? Progressives

    What liberals dont seem to understand is Americans, real Americans kind of liked America the way it was.

    June 15, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Reply
    • tboneitus

      exactly.

      June 15, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      Too bad, tool. You lost.

      Boo hoo. Go beat your fat wife now.

      June 15, 2014 at 8:05 pm | Reply
      • bribarian

        I havent lost anything yet libbaby, btw "tool" is a slur against gays, and all the gays are in your tent remember? =P

        June 15, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
    • Thunderkitten

      You lost me at "libgay horde" can you be more backward and dehumanizing? A swastika tattoo on your forehead would really be the cherry on top.

      June 16, 2014 at 2:21 am | Reply
  23. tboneitus

    Gay pride flag flying over the Embassy in Israel.
    Need I say more as to what causes division in this nation?

    June 15, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      Gays won, you lost.

      Face it. Embrace it.

      June 15, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  24. Klaark

    Ah, the old, "Both parties are bad!" line.

    Conservatives are deeply in love with fascism and theocracy. They're on the same page as just about every tin-pot dictator out there, they just don't understand what the words "fascism" and "communism" mean. Stupidity is another key trait of the modern conservative.

    Sadly, the tumor is too big.

    June 15, 2014 at 7:53 pm | Reply
    • Allen

      Not real conservatives. Both parties ARE bad. They argue over surface issues but nothing ever really changes. We keep feeding the war machine, IT owns both parties, that's why they're both bad. No more of the same. No more bush, Obama, Clinton, Kennedy, families of politicians. People clamoring to elect hillary when she's nothing but more of the same failed bull....she's actually accomplished nothing. We are screwed.

      June 15, 2014 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  25. Not Worried

    America will be fine. The people that work hard and love their country will be the ones who ultimately win control. People who don't care and survive on handouts will rot. You can't live off of the government if it ceases to exist (or runs out of the funds that it needs to survive). In this nation, the resourceful and like-minded individuals (with strong principles) will band together and work towards a common goal. Even if out numbered, the determined will prevail.

    June 15, 2014 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  26. Bubba

    By his own numbers the author says only 20% of Americans are either far left or far right. Those 20% are also far more vocal and politically active than the other 80%. If the moderate 80% of Americans would get more active and vocal maybe we could stop the extremist 20% from hijacking our entire political process and actually do something to fix what's wrong with our government.

    June 15, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  27. Tom

    Yes: America is dangerously divided between the professional democrat and republican politicians who have stacked the deck to make sure they keep a stranglehold on government and independents have no chance, and the 99% of Americans who would gladly vote all the republicans and democrats out of office given a legitimate chance to do so.

    June 15, 2014 at 8:02 pm | Reply
    • Allen

      One unwavering agreement between them is to keep the two party system going strong.

      June 15, 2014 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  28. mickinmd

    "...if you’re under the impression that dysfunctionality in Washington is merely a product of partisan political gamesmanship on Capitol Hill, try again."

    But it's a lot of it. When a GOP Congressmen calls the President of the United States a liar during the State of the Union Address – when it's not clear he was – that stokes the fires. So does Boehner calling Democrat programs that are farther-right than Ronald Reagan's "socialist" or "leftist."

    June 15, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Reply
  29. grinch

    I've noticed the extremism has gotten pretty bad. That's why I've changed my affiliation to independent. I will no longer vote republican or democrat in an election. The only people I will pay attention to are those outside of those two parties. Both are wrong on so many issues.

    June 15, 2014 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  30. Casey

    Of course there is a divide... you are either cold hearted or your now. Period.

    June 15, 2014 at 8:10 pm | Reply
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