Image credit: International IDEA
As the world watches the United States’ elections unfold, the intensity of our polarization is on display. This election was not marked by apathy. On the contrary—citizens turned out in record numbers, some standing in lines all day, to exercise their franchise with powerful determination and the conviction of their choice.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this commentary are those of the author. This commentary is independent of specific national or political interests. Views expressed do not necessarily represent the institutional position of International IDEA, its Board of Advisers or its Council of Member States.
What is notable is how diametrically opposed those choices are, the divergence is not only voters’ visions for America but perceptions of the reality of America. It has long been said that Americans, like citizens elsewhere, increasingly live in parallel universes. Why is this? I believe quite simply it boils down to information.
While there are ample exceptions and complexities, in one universe, people consume a smattering of different news sources, perhaps one or two newspapers, some journals, television and radio broadcasts and podcasts. Many of the sources are considered left-leaning. These Americans tend to hold university degrees and vote for Democrats.
The other universe includes those who primarily get their news from ...