Thursday, May 25, 2006

New insights for both parties

Michael Harrington, a political scientist, policy analyst, and writer, writes in the Christian Science Monitor that the current political narrative of red states v. blue states as well as other popular explanations for political divide (its all about race, or religion, or so-called “moral values”). Certainly, each of these theories carries with it empirical support through polling data and election results. But according to Harrington, a better framework to use when thinking about the political divide in this country is not red state v. blue state but 3 other dichotomies:

  • Urbans v. Nonurbans
  • Marrieds v. Nonmarrieds; and
  • Absolutists v. Contextualists (see article for explanation)

These “help illuminate our political differences over a variety of issues such as gun control, social spending vs. taxes, abortion, stem-cell research, education, foreign policy, immigration, and judicial nominations,” according to his analysis of election results by county. A worthwhile read.

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