Saturday, July 17, 2004

Rocky Mountain News: Columnists: "Look at any poll. I'll pull out the one from the Pew Research Center on the 2004 political landscape, headlined: 'Evenly Divided and Increasingly Polarized.' If that's too subtle for you, the report makes the point that since the 50-50 Bush-Gore election, we've had a recession, a significant business scandal, the 9-11 cataclysm and two wars, and yet we remain, through all the ground shocks, a 50-50 country.
Need more? Here's Matthew Dowd, the president's pollster and strategist, in the Los Angeles Times: 'You've got 80 to 90 percent of the country that looks at each other like they're on separate planets.'

What the divide means or how enduring it might be has inspired a cottage industry for the writing set, not to mention hours of talk in the slow hours on cable-TV news.

Here's a thesis: People from the two sides look out the window at the same tree, for lack of a better metaphor, and see it entirely differently. But they believe, because it is so obvious - it's an oak tree, OK? - that the other side must see the tree the same way they do.

And whoever says differently must be a liar. "

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