The Political Ideological Divide

The Imagined Ideological Divide.

“American polarization is largely exaggerated,” says Leaf Van Boven of the University of Colorado Boulder, “especially by people who adopt strong political stances.” When people perceive a large gap between political parties, they may be more motivated to vote.”

I’ve been interested in organizational politics for forty years, ever since I was appointed to the board of the American Mental Health Counselors Association in the 1970s.  Having been trained in sociology before I achieved my clinical license, I suppose I was prone to more objective (or jaded) p.o.v.), both of the professions and their practitioners.

Another of my interests is in Conservative political movement.  I’ve been reading Johnathan Haidt (SUNY-Stony Brook and UVA) and Timothy Grosecloss (UCLA), both of whom agree about the discrimination in academia with those in the Conservative persuasion.  Grossclose seems more passionate in his conservatism, Haidt more scholarly.  But the results?  The same.

The UC-Boulder professor seems to take a middle ground, believing that the “polarization” is “exaggerated”.   Evidence is anecdotal.  Scientific research is inconclusive.  Still, in the 2008 Presidential election,

  • people who strongly supported either Obama or McCain perceived Americans as more polarized than did people whose support for either of the two candidates was more moderate, and
  • people who perceived Americans as more polarized were more inclined to vote in the presidential election compared with people who perceived less polarization – independent how strongly they supported Obama or McCain.”

My own progress towards Conservatism goes on.  I try to stay away from the extremes and believe that voices other than ‘the usual suspects’ must be allowed in the political multi-logue.  My personal conclusion:  listen better -and- question authority.



    • Sorry for the slow response. I think what you’re curious about is the stereotypical bigot who says, “My way, or the highway”. I believe that traditional conservatism has good answers to America’s problems, and I am trying to find them in little known sources, and share them in this blog. I’m 70 years old and not looking to replace Don Quixote, quixotically tilting at windmills. I’m just learning; for my grandchildren perhaps, so they’ll know there is an OTHER way than the failing liberal state.

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