Large Majorities of Americans Agree on Issues Such as Legal Abortion, Gay Equality, Drug Legalization, and More. Why Can't Our Political Discourse Acknowledge That?


The "bulk of the American citizenry," [Stanford Political Scientist Morris P.] Fiorina cheekily suggests, "is somewhat in the position of the unfortunate citizens of some third-world countries who try to stay out of the crossfire while Maoist guerillas and right-wing death squads shoot at each other." That's a pretty good description of channel surfing between Rachel Maddow and Sean Hannity or flipping between a White House presser and a John Boehner speech, isn't it?

That's from a piece I wrote for Time.com on Friday. It looks at how Americans agree on a wide variety of social and political issues. For instance, large majorities believe that pot should be legal, that gay and lesbian relationships are moral, that pot should be legal, foreign intervention, and that government is too big and too powerful. Yet our political and media discourse generally refuses to acknowledge that basic fact.

I use Fiorina's invaluable work to explain that disjuncture. Check out the whole column for poll data and the explanation.