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ck4829 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-02-07 01:52 PM
Original message
"Why is America so divided?"
Partisanship is at a record high, and we have people in the media and politicians asking this question.

Why?

The answer may not surprise you.

It's all about the wedge issues.

This divisive strategy is what is driving America apart.

Ironically, the vast majority of these wedge issues are pushed by the 'christian' Right, those who claim to follow a religion of brotherhood and loving your enemies.

Wedge Issues are a break from the normalities of Democratic Government and "I believe this and if you don't then we just have a disagreement" and turns it into "I believe this and if you don't then you are wrong/immoral/evil."

One only needs to take a look at the abortion debate, a wedge issue so that some follow so passionately that it has spawned violence and 7 people have even been killed.

If we want to fix the divide in America, the only way to do it is by dulling the wedge issues that the 'christian' Right is throwing at the American People.
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cassiepriam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-02-07 02:02 PM
Response to Original message
1. Rove's strategy: divide and conquer. Create a psychological civil war
in America. He did a great job didn't he?
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Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-02-07 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
2. Don't you remember a "Uniter" was selected to office
:shrug: Explains it all I think
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Bonhomme Richard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-02-07 02:57 PM
Response to Original message
3. It is divided because there is good and there is evil and
all the rest in between.
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Serenades Donating Member (282 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-02-07 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
4. really
I don't think it's divided. No one cares about anything. I rarely hear anyone talk about anything I read on this board or see on TV unless it has to do with Rosie O'Donell or whatever her name is.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-02-07 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. True, however those that do pay attention are very divided. n/t
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Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-02-07 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. So you have never heard anyone ever mention Gay Marriage or Abortion
or War in Iraq or Social Security or Medicare or School Vouchers or Global Warming or unwarranted spying on US citizens or Bill clinton or ????????? Do all you and your friends ever talk about is what is on Surviver or American Idol? Even simpsons or South Park mention some of the things I did..
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Hamlette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-02-07 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
6. there is no way to dull the wedge issues without giving in. We need our own wedge issues.
show those who have left us over abortion or gay marriage that the GOP is corrupt and not looking out for them.

Privacy seems to be one we might use. The Mormons were the ones who brought suit to stop school prayer at high school football games because they didn't like the fundamentalist prayers offered in Texas.

And who hasn't faced a right to die issue. Should Bill Frist decide via video tape whether you pull the plug on your dying father? He wants to.
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ck4829 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-02-07 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. I have to disagree
There is a way to dull the wedge issues IMHO.

Wedge Issues force people to look at politics in an absolutist light. Just black and white and no compromise, which is a cornerstone of Democracy IMO.

Abortion - You are either Pro-Life or Pro-Choice, when I say that I am Pro-Life "and that means I support protecting the environment and increasing the minimum wage", the RW'ers kind of get quiet and try to avoid the debate. "Pro-Life" CAN be reframed.

Gay marriage - For some reason, the Righties don't even want gay people to have civil unions. Know why? Because that would be dulling the wedge issue, once again people are forced to be absolutist.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-02-07 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
7. There are always wedge issues.
There's something much deeper not being addressed.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-02-07 03:14 PM
Response to Original message
8. If gay marriage and abortion were as divisive as slavery, there'd be another civil war.
The only consolation is that these issues are nowhere near as explosive as issues in the 1800s.
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-02-07 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
11. He who cast the first stone probably didn't.
We have a great article, under glass on our kitchen table, written by Daniel Gilbert back in July 2006.

http://www.randomhouse.com/kvpa/gilbert/blog / (the article starts about half way down the page)

The author talks about fighting with his brother in the back seat of the car. His mother would intervene leading to the inevitable, But he hit me first, one of us would say, to which the other would inevitably add, But he hit me harder.

"In virtually every human society, He hit me first provides an acceptable rationale for doing that which is otherwise forbidden." "Thats why participants in every one of the globes intractable conflicts from Ireland to the Middle East offer the even-numberedness ("my punch is the second punch, the retaliation") of their punches as grounds for exculpation."

"The problem with the principle of even-numberedness is that people count differently. Every action has a cause and a consequence: something that led to it and something that followed from it. But research shows that while people think of their own actions as the consequences of what came before, they think of other peoples actions as the causes of what came later.

Studies have shown that people remember what caused them to do or say something and they remember the consequences on them of what their opponent did or said. But they tend not to be aware of or remember what caused their opponent to do or say something to them or the consequences of their own action from the perspective of their opponent.

"What seems like a grossly self-serving pattern of remembering is actually the product of two innocent facts. First, because our senses point outward, we can observe other peoples actions but not our own. Second, because mental life is a private affair, we can observe our own thoughts but not the thoughts of others. Together, these facts suggest that our reasons for punching will always be more salient to us than the punches themselves but that the opposite will be true of other peoples reasons and other peoples punches."
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