Political Polarization: Where are you headed? San Mateo or Fort Worth?

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Political Polarization

San Mateo California and Fort Worth TexasDo your friends have the same political views as you do? Do you live in a place where most people have the same political views?

Conservatives and liberals are more likely to discuss politics on a daily or weekly basis, compared to people with mixed political views. For many, however, these discussions don’t take place across the political divide.

Almost two-thirds of all consistently conservative Republicans say that most of their close friends share their political views, according to the new Pew report on political polarization. And, half of all consistently conservative Republicans also say that it’s important for them to live in a place where most people share their political views.

Democrats are less likely to say that their close friends share their political views, but half of all consistently liberal Democrats say that is the case. About one-third of consistently liberal Democrats also say that it’s important for them to live in a place where most people share their political views.

The result is that many Americans live in an “ideological echo chamber” in which their own views are reinforced by their friends and neighbors. This is especially true for consistently conservative Republicans.

Some Americans even pick retirement locations based on political compatibility. Democrats may be more likely to retire in San Mateo, CA, while Republicans might be more likely to retire in Fort Worth, TX.

Civil dialogue across the political divided is possible, as I documented in the Belfast Dialogue that took place in Maine earlier this year. I wrote about this on OurValues.org, with a longer piece in Sojourners.

The problem is that you can’t have a civil dialogue across the political divide if all your friends and neighbors have the same political beliefs that you do.

Do most of your close friends share your political views?

How important is it for you to live in a place where most people share your political views?

Do you think civil dialogue across political lines is possible? Desirable?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Series Navigation<< Political Polarization: Should Republicans and Democrats avoid intermarriage?Political Polarization: Does anyone still value compromise? >>
Comments: (0)
Categories: Critical Patriotism