America’s polarization

Marianne Bertrand and Emir Kamenica (Chicago): Coming Apart? Cultural Distances in the United States Over Time. America’s founders vs. Trump: In the early years of the American republic, James Madison warned his fellow countrymen that their chosen system of governance would only survive if they adhered to the principles of representation and kept factionalism in check. Left economy, Right economy: Republicans and Democrats are looking at the same set of facts and suddenly seeing very different things. From Democracy, why is Trump driving liberals berserk? John T. Jost on mass psychology in the age of Trump. Martin Longman on how “owning the libs” has always been with us (and more).

Kristin N. Garrett (Wheaton) and Alexa Bankert (Georgia): The Moral Roots of Partisan Division: How Moral Conviction Heightens Affective Polarization. Both side­–ism: Isaac Chotiner interviews Amy Chua, author of Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations. America has local political institutions but nationalized politics — this is a problem. Never Trumpers will want to read this history lesson: In the 1850s, disaffected Democrats made the wrenching choice to leave their party to save American democracy — here’s what happened. Scaachi Koul: “I went to a conference full of conservatives who hated my guts — and told me so”.

Christopher Bail, Lisa Argyle, Taylor Brown, John Bumpus, Haohan Chen, M.B. Hunzaker, Jaemin Lee, Marcus Mann, Friedolin Merhout, and Alexander Volfovsky (Duke): Exposure to Opposing Views can Increase Political Polarization: Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment on Social Media. Far-right voices are frothing about a looming civil war. John Holbo on epistemic sunk costs and the extraordinary, populist delusions of crowds: “As a result, there is no way to conceptualize the red-blue divide except as a red pill-blue pill divide, so to speak”. Democrats and Republicans belong to increasingly homogeneous parties — can we survive the loss of local politics?

Why Americans can’t get along: Nine experts explain our deafening divide. One country, two radically different narratives: A new poll finds that Democrats and Republicans have wildly divergent views on core democratic issues, including Russian election interference. 34 years ago, a KGB defector chillingly predicted modern America. Stop making second American Civil War clickbait: Dylan Matthews on the rise of apocalypse punditry. Thread: “This interactive map is terrific. It really helps to visualize what I call the partisan density divide”. How the right wing convinces itself that liberals are evil. We are no longer capable of forgiving our enemies.

America’s polarization has nothing to do with ideology: We feel less strongly about policy and ideas than you think — so why the divide? Forget a new civil war — we need a new American revolution. Beware the friend/enemy binary of politics. Bold versus old: How the new political fights transcend the old left-right paradigm. What we buy can be used to predict our politics, race or education — sometimes with more than 90 percent accuracy. Don’t let them win: Politics is never-ending war and silence will not protect you. You can download Who Wants to Run? How the Devaluing of Political Office Drives Polarization by Andrew Hall.

United we fall: The more homogenous the parties become, the uglier the divide between them. Yascha Mounk on the conversations we need to have: A new forum for cross-partisan dialogue sparks a tiny bit of hope for the Trump era. Sorry, Mr. Obama — unity is not coming, and one side has to win.