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Is Partisan Politics Killing America?

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Conservative Primetime

Here's the real wake-up call: Americans are more divided about partisan politics right now than they are about race, class, gender and age. That's right: Forget the original sin of slavery and the longstanding fights over civil rights -- those old divisions now seem small compared with perceptions of whether a person is a Republican or Democrat.Welcome to the new bigotry, where a person's partisan identification is a source of prejudice, seen as a reflection of fundamentally different values, representative of an alien America.

 
Like any form of prejudice, this is learned behavior, exacerbated by the daily drumbeat of partisan media. Conservatives are led to believe that liberals are essentially less patriotic and secretly socialist, while some liberals believe that conservatives are bigoted Bible thumpers. The mutual distrust leads members of different parties to feel unfairly judged by the other side, further fueling polarization -- and so fellow Americans divide into warring camps, us against them.
 
Partisan difference didn't always seem like an unbridgeable divide. But over the past 25 years, the split on basic values between Republicans and Democrats has skyrocketed.
 
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