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America Is Two Countries, Not on Speaking Terms

Home - by - November 7, 2012 - 13:30 America/New_York - 14 Comments


You know who won the election (or whether we face another Florida 2000), and as I write I don’t.

But whether Barack Obama is re-elected to a second term or Mitt Romney is elected the 45th president, the contours of their support during this fiercely fought campaign show that we live in Two Americas.

The culturally cohesive America of the 1950s that some of us remember, usually glossing over racial segregation and the civil rights movement, is no longer with us and hasn’t been for some time.

That was an America of universal media, in which everyone watched one of three similar TV channels and newscasts every night. Radio, 1930s and 1940s movies, and 1950s and early 1960s television painted a reasonably true picture of what was typically American.

That’s not the America we live in now. Niche media has replaced universal media.

One America listens to Rush Limbaugh; the other to NPR. Each America has its favorite cable news channel. As for entertainment, Americans have 100-plus cable channels to choose from, and the Internet provides many more options.

Bill Bishop highlighted the political consequences of this in his 2008 book, “The Big Sort.” He noted that in 1976 only 27 percent of voters lived in counties carried by one presidential candidate by 20 percent or more. In 2004, nearly twice as many, 48 percent, lived in these landslide counties. That percentage may be even higher this year.



h/t  Doc


  1. Carlos The Jackal

    November 7th, 2012

    So can we go ahead and send the divorce papers? I cite “irreconcilable differences.”
    You can have the blue states and we’ll keep the red ones.

    Thumb up +5

  2. persecutor

    November 7th, 2012

    If I wanted to live in Europe, I’d move there.

    Thumb up +3

  3. F.D.R. in Hell

    November 7th, 2012

    What a New Deal! Thank the Anti-Christ’s re-election.

    You’ll now see what Hell is like without having to die first.

    Thumb up +7

  4. Menderman

    November 7th, 2012

    Two Americas indeed. The White house just emailed me this:

    Watch Live: President Obama Returns to the White House

    Join us at WhiteHouse.gov/Live to watch Marine One bring President Obama back to the White House to continue his work behalf of the American people. The Presidential helicopter will land on the South Lawn today at 5:20 p.m. EST.

    Watch at 5:20 p.m. EST on WhiteHouse.gov/Live, or stream from anywhere with our official apps for iPhone and Android.

    Thumb up 0

  5. Edith McCrotch

    November 7th, 2012

    If I were the marine flying that ‘copter and truly believed in the creed of “loyalty and dedication to God, Country, Corps, Family, and Self”…then I’d slam that sucker 20 feet into the ground.

    Thumb up +2

  6. Xavier

    November 7th, 2012

    I don’t speak to ‘em cuz I don’t want to go to prison.

    Thumb up 0

  7. Toaster

    November 7th, 2012

    FDR, did you hear about your son James’ book A Family Matter ? He spilled the beans about you giving Stalin information about the Manhattan Project.

    Thumb up +1

  8. Cynic

    November 7th, 2012

    Two Americas: One works and earns its’ living, the other takes it away.

    Thumb up +3

  9. F.D.R. in Hell

    November 7th, 2012

    @ Toaster

    That’s old news. There were Russian spies throughout our scientific community. Granted, I let a lot of Communists into my Administration, but we needed Russia on our side in WWII.

    Hell, Uncle Joe always saves me a seat at breakfast.

    Thumb up +4

  10. Tim

    November 7th, 2012

    We didn’t need Russia – Russia needed us.

    I’m beginning to think we shoulda sat that one out.

    Thumb up 0

  11. Mountain Dog

    November 7th, 2012

    Goodbye America how dare you
    Used to know you, now I’m your bastard son
    I rode your train they call the city of Gomorrah
    Now I’ll be gone five thousand miles before this term is done

    (apologies to Steve Goodman and Arlo Guthrie)

    Thumb up +1

  12. [...] To me, it has always said two things.  First, Republican.  There’s no talk around here of third parties or “throwing out the baby with the bath water.”  We’re righting this ship or we’re going down with it.  Period.  Second, Redefined.  While I’d take the shortcomings of this Party over the other choice any day of the week, and twice on Sunday, we do have out fair share of shortcomings.  We have our flaws.  We have our weaknesses.  We have our hypocrisies and we have our contradictions.  If you’re a Republican and you haven’t realized that by now, maybe Tuesday will serve as a wake up call. [...]

    Thumb up 0

  13. Tim

    November 7th, 2012

    Well if there was any doubt that the parasites and rat-people are in the ascendancy – THAT can be put to rest.

    Fuck it – just open the floodgates to every rat bastard on Earth – let em find out what really happens when they eat the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    Thumb up 0

  14. Eric

    November 7th, 2012

    Divorce sounds great, except.. We’ll have to pay so much alimony we’ll be broke anyway, might as well stick around for the screwing.

    Thumb up 0