Politics

Americans Agree More Than They Realize

An exaggerated emphasis on differences obscures the degree to which Americans still agree

|

Some days, it can seem as if half the country has come down with rabies. A lot of people seem willing to tear your head off over the smallest thing.

Part of it probably comes from the disinhibiting effect of social media—where the lack of filters or personal contact makes it easy to fire off a nasty personal attack in the heat of the moment… which only encourages people to respond in kind.

Part of it probably comes from the fact that Americans increasingly sort themselves into like-minded communities. That means they're less apt to get to know people who think differently, and therefore less likely to understand where they're coming from.

Part of it might be attribution error: I cut you off in traffic because I'm late for a meeting; you cut me off in traffic because you're a big fat jerk. I support my candidate because I've studied the issues; you support yours because the candidate lied to you and you bought it.

Part of the reason also could be simple weariness. Many people these days might be suffering from what addiction specialist Abraham Twerski has called "emotional sunburn." A physical sunburn makes you hypersensitive to minor physical affronts, such as getting bumped in an elevator. An emotional sunburn works the same way with other kinds of affronts.

And part of it also probably has to do with the fact that both parties have grown more extreme in recent years. Congressional Republicans certainly have. Congressional Democrats tend to be more moderate, relatively speaking. But among the public at large, "the overall share of Americans who express consistently conservative or consistently liberal opinions has doubled over the past two decades," the Pew Research Center reported three years ago. A more recent study from earlier this month produced similar results.

Left and right are pulling further and further apart. Both sides look at the other and wonder, "What in God's name is wrong with those jerks?"

Many media outlets only make matters worse. Take a look at The Daily Caller or The Huffington Post—watch a late-night comic or tune into cable "news"—and you will be presented with an endless litany of outrages committed by Those Awful People.

This is, unfortunately, a successful business model. It works because it ratifies the viewers' existing prejudices and makes them feel superior. Nothing like a little dopamine squirt to brighten your day.

But this exaggerated emphasis on differences obscures the degree to which Americans still agree. And on some topics, the public is of one mind, or as close to that as you can get. A few examples:

Universal background checks. Nine out of 10 Americans think a background check should be required for every firearm purchase. That includes three-fourths of all NRA members.

Dreamers. These are undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as young children, grew up here, and have little or no connection to their countries of origin. Eighty-five percent of Americans agree that they should not be deported.

Civil asset forfeiture. This practice allows the police to confiscate property—cash, cars, homes—from people they suspect might be involved in criminal activity, even if the individual is never even charged with a crime, let alone convicted. Across the ideological spectrum, 84 percent of Americans disapprove of the practice.

Medical marijuana. Eighty-three percent of Americans agree that doctors should be able to prescribe cannabis for their patients.

Extremist bigotry. Eighty-three percent of Americans think it's unacceptable to hold neo-Nazi or white-supremacist views. Nine percent think it's OK, and 8 percent aren't sure (!).

Sanctuary cities. In contrast to attitudes on Dreamers, 80 percent of American voters disapprove of sanctuary cities and agree that local authorities should report illegal immigrants to federal authorities.

On other questions Americans are less united, but still lopsided. For instance:

Handgun ban: 76 percent of Americans oppose one.

Euthanasia: 73 percent favor allowing doctors to help patients who want to die do so.

Alternative energy: 73 percent of Americans want energy policy to favor alternatives over oil and gas.

Gay marriage. Pew finds that 62 percent of Americans support letting same-sex couples wed, up from 42 percent just seven years ago.

The point here isn't that these widely held views are the correct ones. A show of hands does not make slavery or lynching right, and much social progress entails convincing the majority of the public to change its mind.

Also worth noting: Polls aren't perfect. They're snapshots, and they can be manipulated. ("Americans Overwhelmingly Support Wearing Bow Ties, Finds New Poll Sponsored by Bow Tie Manufacturers Association.")

Still, for people tired of constant snark and contrived controversy, it might be comforting to know that in many ways America is not nearly so divided as it's sometimes made out to be. Maybe that guy who cut you off in traffic is just running late. And maybe, despite his annoying bumper-sticker, the two of you actually agree on quite a bit.

This column originally appeared in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Advertisement

NEXT: Short Circuit: A roundup of recent federal court decisions

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Your blog has nice information, I have good ideas from this amazing blog. TuTuApp Download

      1. I Make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $70h to $86h.. Go this site and start your work..

        Good luck…>>>> http://www.webcash20.com

        1. No you don’t.

        2. The job obviously isn’t being a copy editor.

  2. And part of it also probably has to do with the fact that both parties have grown more extreme in recent years. Congressional Republicans certainly have. Congressional Democrats tend to be more moderate, relatively speaking.

    I have no idea which universe’s Congress this is referring to. I can pull charts saying the exact opposite, and which don’t come from WaPo either.

    1. It’s an easy conclusion to reach once you accept that obamacare is a moderate, centrist program, and that 73% favor renewables at the same time that EV sales are going nowhere.

    2. Yeah, I followed the WaPo link and basically saw what I expected. First, no definition or standard for declaring what was the “center.” If the center that’s defined in their chart is something that’s actually shifting further left (regardless of whether or not that’s an accurate assessment of the average population), Then it’s reasonable to think that Republicans are getting further away from it.

      But, I would also note that neither article seems to notice the other trend from the WaPo graph. While it does show Republicans turning away from the center around 1975, it also shows that Republicans had been trending towards the center from about 1900 until 1975. In contract, the Dems turned toward center around 1900, but turned away around 1940. So, after 35 years (1940-1975) of trying to be more centrist while the democrats acted more partisan, Finally the Republicans said “fuck it” and decided they weren’t even going to try anymore since the democrats were just running the other way.

      That’s one way to read the chart.

      1. And, on a related note, “Nine out of 10 Americans think a background check should be required for every firearm purchase. That includes three-fourths of all NRA members.”

        Do they? Do they really?

        Do they support background checks for transfers among family members? Do they have a reasonable estimate of the scale of the impact of this? I figure that most imagine that the percentage of gun sales w/o background check would drop from about 50% to 5% or so. More realistically, it would probably drop from 20% to 18% or so. Do they (especially the NRA folks) appreciate the fact that (based on the standards for the background check) they would probably fail the background check if the government had slightly better spying and info sharing capability?

        Or, did someone simply ask if they support this?

        1. It’s a commonly cited statistic that demonstrates that most NRA members are in favor of gun safety and not just maximizing gun sales like the NRA is singularly focused on to the exclusion of all else literally including preventing the mass murder of toddlers.

          1. So, it’s not clear exactly what the nine out of ten really thought. But, it’s a good number that both the left and right can point at as evidence that they’re on the correct side of the issue.

            Meanwhile, what kind of sales/transfers make up the 20% or so that occur without a background check? The left would suggest that’s almost entirely made up of gun show sales to freakish weirdos who can’t wait to participate in the mass murder of toddlers. The left would celebrate a non-sale to someone who failed background check for using some weed as one fewer gun out in the public. The right would suggest that’s almost entirely made up of gun sales that are already illegal and will continue to occur regardless of a new background check law. The right would say the others are just examples of handing down granddaddy’s shotgun.

            I suspect they’re both wrong. I’d love to find useful info on the topic, but I haven’t been able to. But, either way, I suspect that such a law would have roughly zero impact on crimes or mass shootings.

            1. The skeptic would also wonder what % of the 20% who bought without a background check actually didn’t buy without a background check. Where do the various estimates at that number come from? Does it include people who didn’t have to get a background check because they have a CCL and don’t need one each time they buy a gun?

            2. I’d guess that most of the sales without background checks are between private individuals who either know each other or found each other through classified ads. Which I believe is legal in many or most states. IT certainly is where I live. I’ve bought and sold a number of guns that way.

          2. The NRA favors “law and order” gun owners. Typically people who are willing and able to suffer through a background check in exchange for an SBR.

            This is not a civil liberties organization. It is not one that gives a fck about poor people.

            1. The NRA strongly opposes any new restriction on the private transfer of firearms.

            2. Based on their latest video (before you flame me, know that I am a CC permit holder and therefore not a “gun grabber”), what the NRA supports is apparently the belief that “the right” needs to prepare to gun down their “leftist” neighbors who might dare to criticize the current President.

              This of course makes sense once one is convinced that there are only two kinds of people, “patriots” or “Antifa” in this country.

              Sigh.

              1. what the NRA supports is apparently the belief that “the right” needs to prepare to gun down their “leftist” neighbors because the death toll from leftism is already high enough and ending them now would be a net positive for the US and the world

                FTFY

        2. Most respondents think they are supporting current law. If they knew private transfers have always been legal (under federal and most states’ law) and that banning them would entail enforcing criminal penalties against otherwise law-abiding citizens I expect support would drop significantly.

          1. And murder laws punish people who would “otherwise (be) law-abiding citizens!”.

        3. That belief is the number one reason why the second amendment is under attack. If Congress is allowed to restrict guns for ANY purpose (such as background checks), why can’t they restrict them for others?

          I believe the concept of background checks in general is one of the major problems in our country.

          While you may be saying that a criminal would be more dangerous with a firearm, I agree, but wouldn’t you rather that criminal have a firearm that is registered than one that is not?

          Background checks in general should either be eliminated or restricted. There’s no wisdom in denying opportunities or even a firearm to a 40 year old man that committed a crime at 19. They should be limited to no more than 7 or 10 years similar to credit issues.

          1. Don’t forget, the right to bear arms is not absolute, since no rights are absolute, Fundamental rights are all precisely co-equal. if they are in conflict, That’s what unalienable means, For too many on the right, they make as little sense as too many liberals demanding a right to abortion right up until birth.

            Both extremes crave government power to mandate THEIR choice in such conflicts .Statism.

            1. It is absolute as long as you have a firearm and ammo. As long as you can fire back, they can’t take that right away.

              1. What part of “unalienable” sailed over your head?
                How would you fire back to more people, with better arms? Which has WTF to do with rights?

                But, hey, thanks for proving my point.

                For too many on the right, they make as little sense as too many liberals demanding a right to abortion right up until birth.

                Both extremes crave government power to mandate THEIR choice in such conflicts .Statism.

      2. Hinkle’s article listed about ten particular examples where the public agree on things. I’d say that six are examples of the public agreeing on a liberal position, two are the public agreeing on a conservative position, and two don’t really fit squarely on one side or the other.

        This could just be the random issues he chose to include. Or, it could show a general shift of the overall “center” moving further left. If the republicans and democrats hold the same views that they always have, but the “center” of the general public moves left, does that mean republicans got more extreme? I’m not sure it works that way.

        1. Left and right are obsolete. Over 60% of Americans would self-define as fiscally conservative and socially liberal liberal …. aka libertarian.

    3. “Congressional Democrats tend to be more moderate, relatively speaking.”

      I laughed so hard I farted.

      1. I farted in your general direction

      2. I laughed so hard I farted.

        Did the gas come out of your ears? A brain fart?.

    4. Really? Come on now.

      Modern Democrats may have added a line or two to their platform that is somewhat more progressive than the nadir of their progressiveness in the 90s. Republicans can’t openly disagree with a racist fat grapefruit who ran on a Nazi-lite platform for fear of losing their seats.

      No wonder there’s no hope. We don’t see plain reality the same.

      1. If you think you’re standing in the center, everyone else looks like extremists.

        1. I can see the Berniecrats just fine. They are our “extremists,” and in Europe they’d probably be considered center-right.

  3. When the proles are busy fighting with each other, they tend to overlook all the crimes being committed by the ruling class. Typically a foreign enemy has been used to distract the masses, but they have just turned us against ourselves to great effect. It’s sad, but quite genius in a way.

    1. Divide and conquer….

    2. I agree.

    3. We’ve already got ‘foreign enemies’ now, and bigger ones are no doubt on the way as soon as the neo-cons can cook them up There always seems to be a good supply, or at least enough to keep the money flowing to the Pentagon..

      1. The United States of America is the greatest threat to world peace due to the deep state, the mindless neocons, and the politicians who do not vote to quit and stop all the wars currently being fought.

  4. Extremist bigotry. Eighty-three percent of Americans think it’s unacceptable to hold neo-Nazi or white-supremacist views. Nine percent think it’s OK, and 8 percent aren’t sure (!).

    So only nine percent are Republicans? Wow, Hillary got even more of the popular vote than I realized

    1. Yeah, but 8% are libertarians, which is a lot higher than i would have thought.

    2. Also, almost 100% of Americans agree that the other side is wrong.

      1. No one agrees with me.

        1. Agreed.

      2. Not just that either. Close to 100% vote for the lesser of two evils. Which means that the other side that they didn’t vote for is not just wrong but is actively working to bring about evil. Close to zero % actually get told by God that they screwed up and actually voted for the bigger evil – so pretty much everyone thinks they are the last remaining hope for good in the world.

        1. so pretty much everyone thinks they are the last remaining hope for good in the world

          Which is odd since, as you point, out close to 100% vote for someone they think is evil.

          1. Well that 100% just views that as proof that they themselves are realistic and tolerant while also being insightful and nuanced. The other 100% never were very good at math and think all these numbers are part of a damn conspiracy.

            1. Very funny comment JFree.

              But here’s the part that’s not funny: Approximately 92% of Congress, both the Senate and the House, are re-elected each time their term is up.

              So if we wonder why we vote and vote, but nothing ever changes, how corrupt Congress is and worsening, not to mention the complete lack of concern the governing elite has for the citizens, we have no one to blame but the voters.

    3. Eighty-three percent of Americans think it’s unacceptable to publicly espouse neo-Nazi or white-supremacist views, but passing affirmative-action legislation that implies that minorities can’t cut the mustard without gubmint help is a-okey dokey.

    4. So where is the statistic on how many American’s find Black Panthers, BLM etc etc unacceptable? Or is that racist to even suggest they are the equivalent of neo-Nazis or white supremacist?

      1. The “New Black Panthers” are virulently racist, antisemitic AND anti-white. The liberal “leftist” SPLC agrees:

        https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/
        extremist-files/group/new-black-panther-party

        As for BLM- it’s a lot of over-sensitive black college students along with pissed-off black people who have been harrassed by cops, along with liberals and libertarians on both sides who think cops have too much power. They really aren’t white-haters in general. Look at their web site. It’s nothing like the “New Black Panthers”.

    5. Eighty-three percent of Americans think it’s unacceptable to hold neo-Nazi or white-supremacist views

      I suspect that a lot of those people don’t really think about what they are saying. I don’t like that some people hold such views, but I accept it. What else can I do? What the hell am I going to do about it? Kill them all? Argue with people on the internet until no one is a racist or Nazi anymore?

      1. My guess is that a lot of those people know what they’re thinking, but that they are interpreting the question in a certain way. The problem with the poll is they ask for a small set of responses to encapsulate a variety of thoughts about it.

      2. Never trust reported responses to individual questions in a poll. Polls are not designed to be read that way — at least the well-done ethically and honest polls which have no systemic flaws.

        Polls should be read as a whole, as a snapshot in time, and never read or reported as a series of individual responses to single questions.

      3. Well, according to the latest NRA video, they are supposed to be gearing up to kill you if you dare call out Nazis, seeing as how criticizing Nazis is being twisted into “undermining Trump in a historically vicious fashion.”

    6. I kept wondering about how this question was asked to the respondents.

      While it may be considered unacceptable to hold those views, I would be willing to wager that the split happens when you ask if the government should restrict people from holding those views, i.e. hate speech.

      While most of us can disagree with the message of hate groups, I also think most of us can agree they have a right to speak it.

  5. Alternative energy: 73 percent of Americans want energy policy to favor alternatives over oil and gas.

    I went to the link, didn’t see how the question was phrased, and noted that it’s based on cold-calling. Who on earth responds to these?

    1. I do, I was wondering why I’ve been getting so many lately.

  6. Why the fuss over unity or lack thereof?

    Unity, schmunity.

    1. Diversity, duh.

  7. I’m right and you’re wrong because SHUT UP!

  8. This reads like something torn from the pages of 1984.

    1. You mean the assassination of Indira Gandhi?

    2. Yup, pretty creepy.

  9. If people perceive we’re more different from how they are, it probably has a lot to do with those who buy into news media narratives.

    It’s like people’s perception of the middle class being influenced by what the see on TV. The King of Queens could somehow afford to live in a multi million dollar home–while working for UPS. See that on television enough, and you start to think that’s the norm.

    Same thing with the news media. They project that you’re either a redneck or a latte swilling progressive, and people come to imagine that’s the way it is.

    1. You are absolutely correct. We have no concept of reality, only what the media shows us and tells us.

  10. “You live in an echo chamber!”

    “No, you live in an echo chamber!”

    “No you!”

    “No you!”

    .
    .
    .
    .

    1. Spoiler alert: Sarcasmic’s echo chamber is made out of porcelain.

      1. No, you’re a towel!

    1. Would you care to fundamentally transform that into something clickable?

      1. Dick Puller fundamentally transformed into SugarFree.

        1. I am most definitely not looking forward to the inevitable depraved stories, albeit with an alt-right flavor.

  11. The point here isn’t that these widely held views are the correct ones. A show of hands does not make slavery or lynching right, and much social progress entails convincing the majority of the public to change its mind.

    Or maybe convincing them that liberty produces the most good and therefore dedication to such principles is more important than their team acquiring/holding power.

    …yeah…

    1. I think any chance of turning people away from the concept of teams is nil. A new strategy might be necessary.

      1. Does said strategy involve tar, feathers, and lamp posts?

    2. Who is this guy? Get the hell out of here.

  12. Fuck it…

    http://www.amerika.org/politic…..formation/

    1. Thanks. Interesting read.

    2. where we decided that the human individual was more important than natural order or social order

      I could have stopped reading there, but was morbidly curious what other nuggets of shit this asshole could come up with.

    3. Huh, blocked as ‘intolerance/hate’ by my firewall. Luckily, I’m the administrator…

  13. BAD STUFF IS BAD!!

    Reason’s razor-sharp take is duly noted

  14. Know what else Americans favor?

    Government spending money on stupid shit.

    I don’t see Reason championing the wisdom of the masses there.

    And who SUPPORTS white nationalism? Noting that “You know, antifascists are ALSO terrible” is not “defending” white nationalists. Both sides are bad.

    1. I think it has more to do with politicians making decisions and the People just going along with it than people actively wanting more spending.

      Without being able to print money, most people are naturally conservative. There are just finite resources and people save according to their discretion.

      By being able to print money to buy votes thru special interest schemes, politicians just get away with this until the loans come due.

      I made out like a bandit during the Great Recession by buying up property and other valuables which are now returning profits. I will make out during the next economic bubble bursting when junk bonds that governments are issuing are exposed for the fraud they are.

  15. Congressional Democrats tend to be more moderate, relatively speaking.

    Based on what? Total open borders? Abortion on demand until the head emerges from the womb? Single payer healthcare?

    Universal background checks. Nine out of 10 Americans think a background check should be required for every firearm purchase. That includes three-fourths of all NRA members.

    Hell, I even advocate it for voter registration as well.

    Dreamers. These are undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as young children, grew up here, and have little or no connection to their countries of origin. Eighty-five percent of Americans agree that they should not be deported.

    Was the question worded like this? Because that result demonstrates nothing more than emotional questions generate terrible responses.

    Extremist bigotry. Eighty-three percent of Americans think it’s unacceptable to hold neo-Nazi or white-supremacist views. Nine percent think it’s OK, and 8 percent aren’t sure (!).

    All other types of bigotry are cool, apparently.

    1. All other types of bigotry are cool, apparently.

      Bigotry without violence is unacceptable. Violence without bigotry doesn’t exist. Even if it did, being entirely without motivation means it’s unassailable.

      1. I’m just saying — you can name folks like Coates who are BRUTALLY racist and people applaud them for it.

        Go to most any “ethnic studies” course and you’ll hear rather consistent bigotry,

        At this point, why should I bemoan how awful “white nationalism” is when ALL other types of “ethnic nationalism” seem to be OK?

        1. Bigotry by non-whites isn’t actually bigotry or racism because white people have all the power. Only white people have the power to act on their bigotry, so they are racists. If you don’t have power over the ethnicity(s) you hate, then you can’t be racist. Seriously, that’s how they define it now.

          1. True. I often forget that.

            I know some dolts who think my two boys have more privilege than Obama’s daughters. I ask “How, exactly?” and they revert to skin color.

          2. Only white people have the power to act on their bigotry, so they are racists.

            Not just whites, some of the most culturally inclusive and racially tolerant whites. Truly insular white regions/nations, less tolerant of foreigners and ethnic diversity, get a pass as long as they are otherwise sufficiently progressive-y.

            1. You mean like spain, germany, and Italy who actively, and incredibly frequently (just last weds A.S. Roma fans made “ooh ooh” monkey noises at my team, chelsea’s, black players) chant racial slurs, throw bananas, and make monkey noises to intimidate black players on the soccer field?

              To the point fifa has forced several teams in those countries to play matches in empty stadiums and actively pushes for prosecution if they can identify perpetrators.

        2. At this point, why should I bemoan how awful “white nationalism” is when ALL other types of “ethnic nationalism” seem to be OK?

          Because white nationalism is awful, as is other types of ethnic nationalism. All you can control is yourself, and just because others are giving into base and vile ideology doesn’t mean you should as well.

          1. No offense, but the entire premise you’re arguing against is bullshit.

            Why are so many libertarians so easily duped into combining nationalism with race? Why is it always “white nationalism” and not just nationalism?

            Because trump wants to restrict Mexican illegal and middle eastern legal immigration? Are libertarians really ignorant enough to make the jump that a majority of people who favor these policies MUST also be racists?

            I favor cutting back Mexican illegal immigration because i have family who came from both Italy and Argentina (escaping socialism both times lol) and I’ve seen the process first hand, and how hard it is to maintain the required standards for education, employment, and finances to maintain visas and then apply for citizenship. As far as I’m concerned every illegal is fucking over people like my relatives, consuming time, space, and resources that should be devoted to their process.

            And i favor restricting middle eastern immigration because as our own security agencies have said, most of these countries on the ban don’t maintain criminal records or histories to the extent we could verify if these people are pedophiles or domestic abusers, let alone wannabe terrorists. And if they did their govts/our diplomatic ties are in such shambles we either don’t get them, or they take long amounts of time and aren’t always complete or accurate.

            Tbc..

            1. I’ve said it before, i think this country needs more nationalism. Far too many are ignorant of their opportunity here, and of our positive impact on the world. We have done more in our countries short time to promote individual liberty, property rights, and quality of life than any other nation, or group of nations, has in a thousand years, if not all of history. The ideas this country was founded on and the documents written to numerate them are, in my opinion, the pinnacle creations of man kind.

              I don’t just believe America is the best because its America and i was born here, i think it’s the greatest invention in human history. And without it, us libertarians wouldn’t exist. At least not as anything more than a few pockets of philosophers in the otherwise socialist, communist, and theocratic oher nations of the world.

    2. Was the question worded like this? Because that result demonstrates nothing more than emotional questions generate terrible responses.

      The way I see it, deporting those kids is punishing them for the sins of their fathers.

    3. Why do you want to restrict voter registration based on background checks? Wasn’t it Paul Henry that said, “No taxation without representation”? So, do you advocate not taxing former convicts that are denied voting rights?

      Furthermore, what objective do you aim to achieve by denying voting rights? Do you think that former convicts are more likely to vote one way or the other? If you do, then you are mistaken. Former convicts fall into all areas of the political spectrum just like any other American. Denying voting rights serves absolutely no purpose.

  16. Euthanasia: 73 percent favor allowing doctors to help patients who want to die do so.

    Are any of the possible problems with this mentioned in the question?

    Alternative energy: 73 percent of Americans want energy policy to favor alternatives over oil and gas.

    Are the higher costs involved with “alternative” energy mentioned?

    I ask because I don’t see the benefit of widely supported ideas with no knowledge behind the stances.

    Still, for people tired of constant snark and contrived controversy, it might be comforting to know that in many ways America is not nearly so divided as it’s sometimes made out to be. Maybe that guy who cut you off in traffic is just running late. And maybe, despite his annoying bumper-sticker, the two of you actually agree on quite a bit.

    And maybe people who want to deport Dreamers aren’t inherently racist…nah, that’s a bridge too far…

    1. Clearly “they” should have called you for the correct answers to all of these phoney baloney poll questions.

      1. A publication that has basically called anybody who disagrees with their stances as being bigots has little room to stand on the issue of “We’re more alike than you think”

        1. Sorry, the byline says something other than Shikha Dalmia.

          1. She isn’t the only one who does that.

            She is, by far, the worst — but she’s hardly alone in doing that.

            1. Libertarians all look the same to me too.

  17. No one wants to ban handguns. They just want to limit you to one handgun with a 3 round magazine that is locked at all times and stored at a licensed gun range.

    I wouldn’t object to requiring background checks if they were free.

    1. I oppose background checks because they are de facto registration.

      1. I oppose background checks for a simpler reason- the 2nd Amendment strictly prohibits any infringement of the People’s right to keep and bear arms.

        Background checks infringe on people’s right to keep and bear arms.

        1. That too. In practice I buy all my firearms from private parties. Not because I would fail a background check. I wouldn’t. I just don’t want there to be a permission slip with a receipt attached to it in federal hands. Not that I think they’re going to come after my guns. Not in my lifetime anyway. It just isn’t their business. The only bummer of my doing that is that all my firearms are used.

        2. So is a ban on owning grenades, tanks, and nuclear weapons, by your interpretation.

          1. So is a ban on owning grenades, tanks, and nuclear weapons, by your interpretation.

            The only barrier to purchasing military grade equipment should be the cost. The idea was that wealthy people could buy tanks, but they’d have to use them on behalf of the militia if Congress declared war. This country was never intended to have a standing army.

            1. “The only barrier to purchasing military grade equipment should be the cost. ”

              So if this principle is so good and the more absolutist the better, we should probably not do anything to prevent ISIS from buying a nuke, right? It’s a natural human right to bear arms, and they have the cash. Free markets yay!

              1. we should probably not do anything to prevent ISIS from buying a nuke, right?

                Last time I checked ISIS weren’t covered by the 2A. I could be wrong.

                1. But you are expressing that the 2A is not only good policy, but an absolutist interpretation is necessary for basic natural human rights. Aren’t ISIS members human?

                  1. But you are expressing that the 2A is not only good policy, but an absolutist interpretation is necessary for basic natural human rights.

                    Um, no. I wasn’t.

                    1. So it’s only good for Americans? Other people can’t handle guns as well as we can? Or are you suggesting that circumstances are the same as when well-ordered militias were a relevant thing?

                      If owning a gun isn’t a natural human right, why can’t we get rid of it with minimal fuss?

                    2. So it’s only good for Americans?

                      Yes. The whole “US CONSTITUTION” thing indicates that.

                      Other people can’t handle guns as well as we can?

                      They are free to manage their own rights in their own countries.

                      Or are you suggesting that circumstances are the same as when well-ordered militias were a relevant thing?

                      Yes, small, less well-armed forces have never been able to beat our military…

                      If owning a gun isn’t a natural human right, why can’t we get rid of it with minimal fuss?

                      It is one. We just do not advocate invading countries and forcing them to allow it.

                    3. Fat, old goobers who watch too much Glenn Beck aren’t exactly the Viet Cong.

                    4. Talk about moving the goalposts. Jeesh.

            2. RE: This country was never intended to have a standing army.

              Not really practical in today’s world though, is it? War is no longer fought between farmers with hunting rifles. Modern soldiers are highly trained professionals. It’s completely impractical to not have a standing army.

              1. Especially if you want to invade foreign countries.

                But if you want to defend the homeland, a 50-million-man militia will do just fine.

              2. Modern soldiers are highly trained professionals.

                Militias can be highly trained. “One weekend a month, two weeks a year”

                It’s completely impractical to not have a standing army.

                Depends on what you want to do with it.

              3. The purpose of the 2A was to prevent the federal government from undermining the state militias through the disarmament of the people.

                So whether or not I can buy a nuke should be up to Texas.

                1. I don’t even want to think about what 50 independent state run militias would behave like today. It would be constant civil war with a handful of “superpowers” lording over the rest.

                  1. I don’t even want to think about what 50 independent state run militias would behave like today.

                    Who said they were state run? To be called upon by the state in need, and follow rules set by the state, does not necessarily mean run by the state.

                  2. It would be constant civil war with a handful of “superpowers” lording over the rest.

                    That’s a pretty dark and dismal view of humanity you have there. Mexico and Canada have their own armies, yet we haven’t gone to war with either one in well over a century and a half.

                    Why is that?

                    1. Give Trump time.

                    2. *eyeroll*

                    3. “Why is that?”

                      Good question. My take: The U.S. has been the western hemisphere’s hegemon for years post Monroe doctrine, and we’ve made it clear that we’ll intervene in the case of interference. For the past 100 years Canada has been an ally both culturally and geopolitically.
                      With Mexico I’m not sure. They had a chance to get some territory back during WWI had they allied with the central powers.

                    4. With Mexico I’m not sure. They had a chance to get some territory back during WWI had they allied with the central powers.

                      Exactly. Short answer: they depend on us for trade. It’s hard to imagine the conflict that would start between states that wouldn’t be massively counter to the interests of both.

      2. It is a paper form at a gun shop. There is no practical way to assemble that into a useful list. And I applaud republicans for keeping it that way.

        It is effectively no different than any other inventory paperwork they are likely to keep.

        I might feel different if I didn’t have a CHL. And if 1/2 the houses didn’t have guns.

        A registration list adds no practical value. They are still going to have to go door to door and search.

        1. It is a paper form at a gun shop. There is no practical way to assemble that into a useful list.

          Impractical does not mean impossible.

          As it is, the government can trace a serial number to an original point of sale. And similarly track transfers. It isn’t rocket surgery to connect the permission slips to receipts. You’ve got time stamps, credit/debit information. Cash transactions would be harder to trace.

          1. Transfers as in the ones they do at a gun shop with a background check.

        2. It is a paper form at a gun shop. There is no practical way to assemble that into a useful list.

          Optical character recognition can handle turning a bunch of paper into a searchable database. I was doing that for an insurance company back in the late 90s and the accuracy was surprisingly good back then. In the 18 years that have since passed, OCR has gotten even better.
          Drop a whole bunch of forms on a scanner and voila, instant database.

          Yes they are technically forbidden by law from doing such a thing, but then again they are also technically forbidden by the Constitution from conducting a search of someone’s person, papers, and effects without an individualized warrant describing the particular place and items to search and or seize but they are currently considering a bill that continues to allow them to do so without actually obtaining an individualized warrant.

      3. Background checks processed through FFLs (as all the proposed laws would require) are de facto registration, not because of the background check itself, but because of the other requirements on FFLs (IE form 4473)

        A background check law could be passed that avoids this and other pitfalls, but those who push for it aren’t interested in background checks without all the other baggage

    2. If background checks were actually effective and the goal was actually to keep out the bad guys, it’d be a smartphone app by now so private parties could use it for private transactions.

  18. So we’re essentially united against Trump. There may be hope!

    But how can self-proclaimed conservatives be up so much, at the same time social tolerance is up, virtually across the board? Might there be a reawakening of Goldwater/Reagan/Buckley conservatism — the libertarian wing that denounced, ignored and/or defeated the extreme social conservatives … across the board?

    Left – Right = Zero.

    1. They kept a lid on it for cocktail party purposes, but they never really, truly denounced them. They needed their votes.

      1. That’s Hihn, Tony. Just a heads up.

        1. Does Hihn post actual content? Instead of memorized tribal slogans?

  19. What might be the biggest reason for the apparent widening gulf today wasn’t mentioned: A good deal of the populace believe that far too many people want something for nothing and/or want to be treated as a special class, and are increasingly seeing their desires fulfilled. Much more so than in the past. And a good deal of the populace believe that far too many people are unwilling to adequately help out those who have not received their fair share of our increasing wealth and/or to provide special treatment to those who have been (or are) disadvanted. Much more so than in the past. The truth between these opposing views is irrelevant – this is what they believe.

    1. I know this is likely a right-wing lamentation of the coddling of minorities et al. However, I like to think that you’re also talking about the coddling of veterans and cops as well.
      So, taken literally I agree with you. Almost everyone is a member of the special class now, depending upon your point of view.

      1. It wasn’t a lamentation of mine. It was an attempt at characterizing what I hear from both sides. I’m AARP age now and it’s my opinion that in my lifetime the gulf between these groups has gotten much wider. Where I stand was not the point of the post.

    2. What might be the biggest reason for the apparent widening gulf today wasn’t mentioned: A good deal of the populace believe that far too many people want something for nothing and/or want to be treated as a special class, and are increasingly seeing their desires fulfilled.

      No.

      The reason for the apparent widening gulf is that the people who identify with one or the other of the two Teams don’t ever listen to one another even a little bit. To do so would be to pollute your mind with the Lies of the Enemy.

      Each of the two Teams hysterically tilts at windmills of their own design that have little relationship to the other Team. They have no interest in what the other Team thinks, only in proving the other Team wrong, and if that involves making up something wrong and pretending the other Team said it, so be it. If the other Team says something sensible, you are to immediately distort into something hateful that you can condemn them for.

      1. Plus … as a growing majority abandons loyalty to ANY team, both teams shrink which leaves each with a growing percentage of screeching wackos. Winning the nomination now means catering a shrinking minority of wackos. Nominees no longer move toward the center for the general, which would piss off their base. So we’re increasingly governed by a minority, two teams of goobers fighting to get total control for their own 30%

        That’s how Republicans created Obamacare, by refusing the bipartisan deal, that forced Obama — who had run center-left — to his own externe left. Even worse, what the dumbass Republicans refused was literally an alternative to single-payer! — and would have likely killed single-payer for good.

        By comparison, look at Kennedy’s tax cuts — later copied by Reagan, identically — strongly opposed.by the AFL-CIO and the far-left in Congress. Kennedy pitched to the right, never needed to cut deals with his left. Reagan did likewise with Tip O’Neil. It helped that he was repeating Kennedy’s cuts — which even Teddy voted for!

        Reagan and Kennedy launched what are still the ONLY peacetime booms since the 1920s. Nearly a cenntury.
        It can’t happen now because the extreme right and left are screeching about … extremism … beating their chests and bellowing … . they each want POWER, not results, so that’s what we get.. Massive failure, from both tribes.

  20. Universal background checks. Nine out of 10 Americans think a background check should be required for every firearm purchase. That includes three-fourths of all NRA members. Politifact website in partnership with a lefty Austin media publication. As with most “factcheckers” they are full of crap.

    Dreamers. These are undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as young children, grew up here, and have little or no connection to their countries of origin. Eighty-five percent of Americans agree that they should not be deported. Politico story. Skeptical of anything that comes off their lefty keyboards.

    1. You’re right to only trust news with a conservative bent. Much safer that way.

  21. I’m skeptical that any of those polls mean all that much. People’s answers can change dramatically based on how the question is worded. The result might show a strong majority for a certain phrasing, but support for an actual law might be a lot different.

    Also, the devil is in the details. It’s relatively easy to find consensus on broad ideas, but it might be impossible to do so when it comes to more defined action plans.

    Case in point, the Democrats generally hold positions that are much closer to what these polls supposedly say voters want. If one were to compare these polling results to the stated policies from each party, it’d be easy to conclude that Democrats are the far more popular party. The entire current political reality, with Republicans in power at all levels, tells a very different story.

    1. Don’t get too smug. All that GOP power and all they get is massive failures. Every item in Trump’s agenda is opposed by 70% or more of voters. Keep in mind, Obamacare was never popular until it became obvious the GOP did NOT have an alternative.

      The real problem is that both parties have backed themselves into a corner, without the slightest clue what to do next. Tweedledum, and Tweedledummer

  22. Remember when every poll had Hillary Clinton as a cinch for President of the United States? What makes these polls more predictive?

    1. No comparison!
      Remember when she won the popular vote? Or how Trump won the Electoral College by 80,000 votes in three states COMBINED? How much effect did Comey and Putin need to swing such an infinitesimal number of votes?

      1. How much effect did Comey and Putin need to swing such an infinitesimal number of votes?

        They made her not campaign in Wisconsin? They are powerful.

        Even Mark Penn has said the Russia woes are bullshit. It was all an excuse by Hillary to explain losing.

        1. Or how Trump won the Electoral College by 80,000 votes in three states COMBINED? How much effect did Comey and Putin need to swing such an infinitesimal number of votes?

          They made her not campaign in Wisconsin?

          WHOOOSH.

  23. Been saying this for years. Money and power aren’t made in the middle ground. They’re made on the extremes. The media, politicians and pundits all make their living on the edges, dividing us and pitting folks against one another. Most of us agree on more than we disagree and hold reasonable positions on most issues. But that’s not how it’s portrayed. We’re all out to get one another, take each others freedom and subjugate the other side. Fear and hate make the world go around.

    1. “Political tags ? such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth ? are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.”

      ? Robert A. Heinlein

      1. He rejects labels and then divides all of humanity into two labels.

        1. He points out the two labels that exist within the existing labels.

        2. By his definition, I am a more comfortable neighbor than you. No?

          1. His argument is dumb. Everyone wants other people to be controlled to some degree. Some delusional few might think that they should be exempt from the rules they want imposed on everyone else, but that’s what small huts in the woods are for.

            1. Everyone wants other people to be controlled to some degree.

              No. Actually. That just shows what I already know, which is that you cannot comprehend not wanting to control people. It simply does not compute.

              You feel that liberty is tyranny because liberty requires controlling the people who like to control people (you), and forcing them to not control people. Which means liberty is control and force on those who want to initiate control and force. That makes liberty tyranny.

              Or something.

              1. So you don’t think other people should to some degree be prevented from murdering and raping and stealing your shit?

                1. Do you know the difference between proactive and reactive?

                2. Government doesn’t prevent very well. It reacts.

                3. You want a proactive government. I want a reactive government.

                  Do you know the difference between those two words?

                  1. So laws against murder don’t do anything to prevent murder? What about laws against mere physical assault? Nobody’s fist was ever stayed because of the threat of prison?

                    That’s some pretty fucked up shit you believe.

                    1. So laws against murder don’t do anything to prevent murder? What about laws against mere physical assault? Nobody’s fist was ever stayed because of the threat of prison?

                      Like I said, you don’t understand the difference between proactive and reactive. Threat of reaction can have an effect, but it is not a proactive action.

                    2. So that means we can’t have protective orders. Those are about what might happen in the future as much as they are about what happened in the pat.

                    3. So that means we can’t have protective orders.

                      Again you fail to comprehend the difference between proactive and active, cause and effect, action and inaction, etc…

                      It’s like you’re a philosophy major who never learned to think.

                    4. I understand the difference, just not how you justify a government that only does one of them. And what happens in cases where the chain of events are unknown? A guy shoots a guy. It could have been an accident, self-defense, or murder. If it was self-defense, should cops be psychic and know that they’re not allowed to react to a perfectly lawful action?

                      The problem is you need things to be simple so you can understand them, so you have convinced yourself that everything actually is simple.

                    5. I understand the difference, just not how you justify a government that only does one of them.

                      Government has one tool: force. Proactive government is an initiation of force. Libertarians are not opposed to force, so long as it is in response to force. What’s left is cooperation.

                      A guy shoots a guy. It could have been an accident, self-defense, or murder. If it was self-defense, should cops be psychic and know that they’re not allowed to react to a perfectly lawful action?

                      Have you been drinking?

                    6. I know you’re not opposed to force. You’re gleefully in favor of it as long as it suits your purposes (rather, the purposes of the billionaire whackadoos who underwrite your silly little cult).

                      Government is tasked with protecting the right to even the most frivolous luxury of the richest person–and to spare no expense doing so.

                      Government must not pay any attention to the most dire basic need of the poorest person.

                      It’s a good thing the moral axiom underpinning this is so airtight, otherwise this would be some horrific, psychotic shit.

                    7. Government must not pay any attention to the most dire basic need of the poorest person.

                      Tug on the heart strings much?

                      Government is force. They are the people who do violence without consequence.

                      I’d rather them react to robbers than take over the Red Cross.

                    8. So laws against murder don’t do anything to prevent murder? What about laws against mere physical assault? Nobody’s fist was ever stayed because of the threat of prison?

                      I think that more fists are stayed by threat of your friends and family thinking less of you than fear of the cops. Society defines law. Government codifies it.

              2. You feel that liberty is tyranny because liberty requires controlling the people who like to control people (you), and forcing them to not control people. Which means liberty is control and force on those who want to initiate control and force.

                Tony has explicitly argued this in the past. So, for that matter, has John.

                1. Which i guess proves the article’s thesis that Americans agree on stuff!

                  1. “You not forcing me to do things is you imposing my will on me!”

                2. Tony has explicitly argued this in the past. So, for that matter, has John.

                  Similar to the “not taking is giving and not giving is taking” idea.

                  If you’re not using force you are being forced, and if you’re not being forced you are using force.

                  Or something.

                  1. Because every interaction involves force. I’m forcing you to do something or you’re forcing me. Nothing is cooperative. There is only force.

                  2. All of this horseshit depends on the fallacy that only human agents are worthy of any social attention, as if nature or circumstance cannot cause harm. As if you didn’t learn in remedial bong philosophy sessions about how in some situations, not acting can be as active a choice to do harm as acting.

                    If you seriously expect me to believe that the person at the controls of the trolley problem always, every time does the right thing by doing nothing, then you’re barking up the wrong tree, and you should learn to think a little harder.

                    1. Government isn’t a trolley driver.

                    2. The agent in the trolley problem isn’t the driver, you dumbfuck. The trolley has no driver.

                    3. As if you didn’t learn in remedial bong philosophy sessions about how in some situations, not acting can be as active a choice to do harm as acting.

                      Heavy!

                  3. And we’re going to pretend, right, that this isn’t all so much rhetorical flimflam that you attach to your personal political beliefs that says: “cannot be questioned, because I say so.”

                    1. What is “this” in your comment?

                    2. The claim that his political beliefs stem from a very simple set of axioms. Well, one apparently.

                      Since the axiom barely makes sense, he’s at liberty to claim that property rights do not entail any proactive behavior on the part of government, for example.

                    3. he’s at liberty to claim that property rights do not entail any proactive behavior on the part of government, for example.

                      They don’t. Property rights entail reactive behavior on the part of the government. Like they react when someone commits theft or starts squatting.

                      Unless theft is not an act. And reacting to an act of theft is an initiation of force instead of a reaction.

                    4. How do you claim something as property to begin with? (After the part where we kill all the original owners and taking their land, I mean.)

                    5. How do you claim something as property to begin with? (After the part where we kill all the original owners and taking their land, I mean.)

                      How did the “original owners’ claim it as property?

                      The property I live on I bought from a guy who bought it from a family who bought it from a real-estate developer who bought it from a train company who bought it from a California Ranchero who held it in grant from Governor Mariano Vallejo after the Mexican government confiscated the land held in “trust” by the Order of the Franciscans on behalf of California natives who abandoned it voluntarily when they joined the Mission in San Francisco.

                      Who’s the villain in my story, oh Opponent of Simplistic Views?

                    6. I didn’t say there had to be a villain, I said calling that all the government involvement in those exchanges a mere reaction to events a bit of a stretch.

                    7. I didn’t say there had to be a villain, I said calling that all the government involvement in those exchanges a mere reaction to events a bit of a stretch.

                      Well – let’s see. The Mexican Government was the only entity in this chain of events that did anything in which any of the participants were participating involuntarily, so there’s that. I suppose you might call that “pro-active.”

                      Is this the part where you pretend that libertarians are anarchists, or is this the part where you pretend that libertarians only like property rights because enforcing property rights sometimes leads to violence by the government and/or property owner?

                      Because you don’t believe in property rights, right? Or do you today?

                      Each of the two Teams hysterically tilts at windmills of their own design that have little relationship to the other Team. They have no interest in what the other Team thinks, only in proving the other Team wrong, and if that involves making up something wrong and pretending the other Team said it, so be it.

                    8. How do you claim something as property to begin with?

                      Let’s see. As a general rule you work for people engaged in business, you help them create wealth, they give you a portion of what you created for them in the form of currency, you trade that currency for wealth created by someone else, and that is your property.

                      (After the part where we kill all the original owners and taking their land, I mean.)

                      Um, sure. Yeah. I killed the people who sold me this house. Or something. What the fuck? Have you been drinking?

                    9. I’m going to repeat this down here because it’s important. You believe:

                      That government is tasked with protecting the right to even the most frivolous luxury of the richest person–and to spare no expense doing so.

                      That government must not pay any attention to the most dire basic need of the poorest person.

                      And you believe this psychotic nonsense because of some flimsy little fortune cookie platitude? Do what the man says and check your premises.

                    10. Dude, I’ve been homeless. I’ve rotated between shelters and churches and the couches of my friends. I’ve used a parka as a blanket and a backpack as a pillow. The lady who owned one of the restaurants where I was working let me stay in her basement for a few nights.
                      I’ve been the poorest person, or pretty close by American standards. Walking around with everything I own in a shapeless bag on my back.
                      Government didn’t help me. Government was the cops who harassed me every time they saw me walking around.
                      I worked, therefore I was ineligible for help.
                      So don’t give me any bullshit about government helping the poor and needy.

                    11. Shitty governments ignore the poor and needy and focus all their attention on looting countries for the plutocrats. In other words exactly the system you endorse.

                    12. You believe:

                      That government is tasked with protecting the right to even the most frivolous luxury of the richest person–and to spare no expense doing so.

                      That government must not pay any attention to the most dire basic need of the poorest person.

                      And you believe this psychotic nonsense because of some flimsy little fortune cookie platitude?

                      Each of the two Teams hysterically tilts at windmills of their own design that have little relationship to the other Team. They have no interest in what the other Team thinks, only in proving the other Team wrong, and if that involves making up something wrong and pretending the other Team said it, so be it.

                    13. Can I just remind everyone that my original point was that “You want other people controlled to some degree” and you have agreed with that.

                    14. Can I just remind everyone that my original point was that “You want other people controlled to some degree” and you have agreed with that.

                      No different than you!

                      But don’t confuse this commentariat with libertarians. It’s among THE most authoritarian in America. Popehat is probably THE top website for civil liberties. They just said it better than most others,

                      pophat.com (a major site defending civil liberties)

                      DOJ is targeting Reason.com, a leading libertarian website whose clever writing is eclipsed only by the blowhard stupidity of its commenting peanut gallery. Why is the government using its vast power to identify these obnoxious asshats, ….

                      Probably why Reason.com is the ONLY major political website with sharply declining visitors. A death spiral.

                    15. and you have agreed with that.

                      No. We have been mocking you.

                    16. No. We have been mocking you.

                      Childish hissy fits, just like the wacky left.

    2. Been saying this for years. Money and power aren’t made in the middle ground. They’re made on the extremes.

      Will that actually happen. in the next 50 years or so?

  24. “Extremist bigotry. Eighty-three percent of Americans think it’s unacceptable to hold neo-Nazi or white-supremacist views. Nine percent think it’s OK, and 8 percent aren’t sure (!)”

    On the other hand, it’s 100% CONSTITUTIONAL to hold those views. And, it’s 100% UNCONSTITUTIONAL to force someone from having or expressing those views. If we are all expected to hold the same socially accepted (and government regulated views), then how different are we from Orwell’s 1984.

    We are not a democracy, not because our founding fathers failed us, but because they anticipated us. REASON, the alleged bastion of independent and free thought, would do well to not attempt to gain credibility by suggesting that government should be run by the tyranny of the majority.

    1. For example, think of what kind of lunatic might get elected president if we let the majority decide.

      1. You mean Hillary, am I right?

        1. Considering he’s been the loudest voice here asserting that HRC won the popular vote and is therefore the rightful President, it’s hard to see what else he could mean . . .

          1. it’s hard to see what else he could mean

            Only to the Trumptard cult, who are … tards.

  25. Extremist bigotry. Eighty-three percent of Americans think it’s unacceptable to hold neo-Nazi or white-supremacist views. Nine percent think it’s OK, and 8 percent aren’t sure

    Except when posed the views held by supremacists, significant more say that they share those views.

    http://www.centerforpolitics.o…..remacists/

    Handgun ban: 76 percent of Americans oppose one.
    And yet Republicans constantly claim that Democrats want to ban all guns.

    Most of these are pretty useless when it comes to determining which candidate someone will choose. That is when the divide is. On partisan lines.

    Which is why if you look at a different stat, the hollowness of this agreeance strength becomes obvious.

    Some 20% approve of Congress. But there is 90% incumbency.

    Which means a substantial majority of us are disgusted with Congress, except for our own candidate(s).

    People say immigration was a concern. 85% do not want to deport the dreamers. Drumpf wanted to, at least a LOT more vocally than Hillary wanted sanctuary cities. Guess what?

    1. Handgun ban: 76 percent of Americans oppose one.
      And yet Republicans constantly claim that Democrats want to ban all guns.

      Self-identified Democrats = 31% of the population.

      How many of that 24% that does believe in a handgun ban do you suppose are Republicans?

      Which is why if you look at a different stat, the hollowness of this agreeance strength becomes obvious.

      You mean – like – despite people generally agreeing on things they still vote along partisan lines and imagine themselves on opposite sides of an unbridgeable gulf?

      Keep huffing, buddy!

      1. Self-identified Democrats = 31% of the population.

        Well; that was meaningless. ,Only slightly below self-identified Republicans.

        Keep huffing, buddy!

        He should make unsupported assertions, on blind faith alone,
        based solely on tribal loyalty?

        despite people generally agreeing on things they still vote along partisan lines and imagine themselves on opposite sides of an unbridgeable gulf?.,

        Like you just did!

        1. In real life, they often chant the same slogans and soundbites, in unison, as they’re puppetmasters beam with pride. Just like their equivalents on the left.

          Left – Right = Zero

    2. Handgun ban: 76 percent of Americans oppose one.
      And yet Republicans constantly claim that Democrats want to ban all guns.

      Some Democrat voters are surely good-old boys who hunt, etc. and do not hold those beliefs.

      But when Sec. Clinton and other Party leaders come out in favor of an “Australian solution” — which was confiscation — we take them at their word.

      If Democrat Party leaders and members of Congress were asked “You can vote to all guns right now and it will pass, to be followed by house-to-house confiscation, what will you do?” I’ve got a pretty good idea what I think Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, etc. would do.

    3. Except when posed the views held by supremacists, significant more say that they share those views.

      Never provide a link when you’re lying.

      Guess what?

      You imagine a false equivalence in your tribal fantasies..

  26. Anybody go to the trouble of clicking on the links provided? 9 out of 10 want background checks? One dikwad from Chicago tweets this and all of the sudden it’s true?

    Heck, I know more than 20 people and only one of them wants more background checks, etc.

    1. Well you weren’t here to contradict the data with your personal experience until now.

    2. We’ll your anecdotal poll of your peer group is good enough for me.

  27. REALLY? This writer would have us believe the democrats have moderated? This is laughable. What has Hinkle been smoking?

    1. It’s odd this would be anyones conclusion when theyve been smoked in 3-4 elections straight. We keep getting told how shitty repubs are and how great dems are… Yet they keep losing elections.

  28. Did the questions involve telling people that “alternatives to oil and gas” need big subsidies in order to compete? When was the last time a new hydro-electric dam was approved? When was the last time a Nuclear Power Plants was commissioned? This poll is nonsense.

  29. Most of the inner city “educated” Leftists I was exposed to only saw the world through the “I hate the USA” filter and there was really no way of finding common ground on that level or irrational hatred.

  30. The average age of Members of the House at the beginning of the 114th Congress was 57.0 years. Average age of of Senators, 61.0 years. Senators Feinstein, Hatch, Nelson, and Sanders, geezers all who won’t give up command to a qualified mentee. Could it be these “old-guard” ideologues have dug themselves so deep into their respective trenches it’s now personal and no longer about what is good or bad for the country. http://blog.quorum.us/the-115t…..-history-1

  31. Background check approval polling is useless when asked outside of policy context.
    Like most, I don’t worry about failing a background check but I don’t want to see government cross reference that gun owner database against a list of people with restraining orders issued against them and then start confiscating stuff.
    But they do, so I answer no to background checks when asked.

  32. “Universal background checks. Nine out of 10 Americans think a background check should be required for every firearm purchase. That includes three-fourths of all NRA members.”

    How about if I give my nephew a .22 for his 15th birthday? Is that a purchase for which he should go through a background check? What about firearms I inherited from my father when he died? Can I buy a used deer rifle from my brother?

    A “universal background check” needs to not necessarily apply to any and ALL transfers, especially not temporary transfers. There needs to be exceptions for things like: I go hunting with my brother-in-law and say “Here hold my rifle while I climb over this fence;” or “I like your new shotgun, can I try a few traps with it?” (assuming of course that the person in question is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm).

    1. The background check applies to sales, not gifts. If your selling you probably don’t know the person intimately. If you sell to your neighbor you might not know he recently got out of jail for beating up his girlfriend. What’s wrong with waiting for your new gun a few days.

  33. Meh. A lot of this is how the question is phrased.

    Do you support this super nice sounding thing? Are you against this bad sounding thing?

    And a lot of these are inherently loaded by the terminology. “Dreamers” is much better than illegal immigrants

  34. “Extremist bigotry. Eighty-three percent of Americans think it’s unacceptable to hold neo-Nazi or white-supremacist views. Nine percent think it’s OK, and 8 percent aren’t sure ”

    But one cannot legislate away bigotry, nor should we even try.

  35. Nice fantasy. Now read the comments. It isn’t “the media” or “social media” or any other media for that matter. It is *the people* Both sides *hate* each other. And the issues are too big and too systemic now so the middle ground is shrinking. Richard Spencer goes on TV and says he wants to install a “white ethno state”. White right wing conservatives (the types who post here) *cheer* for him and, if challenged, erect bullshit straw men and throw up a fog of rationalization and misdirection.

    Conservatives have made it clear what they’re all about by electing, and continuing to worship, Trump.

    There is some extreme opinion on the left too… But many one time moderates are now faced with the choice of someone screaming about a white ethnostate and a corrupt billionaire president of the United States equivocating as assholes march with Nazi armbands in a US city while pushing through tax cuts for the top .01%, and an old hippie who wants to bring in socialism.

    Any moderate that isn’t inherently racist, or really really rich, is going to throw in with the socialists. Every gun worshipping right wing white racist of course is in their glory now.

    There is *no* “agreement” here. There is increasing, and increasingly strong, mutual revulsion.

    1. Richard Spencer goes on TV and says he wants to install a “white ethno state”. White right wing conservatives (the types who post here) *cheer* for him and, if challenged, erect bullshit straw men and throw up a fog of rationalization and misdirection.

      Quite the claim thrown up there. I assume it will be no problem to point to a single example of this happening.

      Conservatives have made it clear what they’re all about by electing, and continuing to worship, Trump.

      For some, absolutely. Democrats worshipped the Clintons for decades. All have axes to grind.

      There is some extreme opinion on the left too… But many one time moderates are now faced with the choice of someone screaming about a white ethnostate and a corrupt billionaire president of the United States equivocating as assholes march with Nazi armbands in a US city while pushing through tax cuts for the top .01%, and an old hippie who wants to bring in socialism.

      Where is the corruption? You’re aware the “Russia” investigation is showing far more evidence of collusion with Clinton than Trump, right? The rest of your diatribe is, honestly, too dumb for me to bring up to the level of “thought” to dispute.

      1. You have many mistaken beliefs. Let’s take this one: Tax cuts. The people who pay taxes are the Middle Class workers, and the Trump plan is to make the cuts there. Here’s another: No one is screaming about establishing a white ethnostate. In fact there is no such thing as an ethnostate. Another: Trump a corrupt billionaire? Trump has been a successful businessman. Another: Assholes marching with Nazi armbands. To be a Nazi one must be a socialist, and the only Nazis marching in the U.S. are socialists—hardly Trump supporters. You need to calm down and get informed.

        1. You need to calm down and get informed.

          You go first!

          The people who pay taxes are the Middle Class workers

          BRAINWASHED.
          The rich subsidize over 40% of the ENTIRE share of income taxes for the “core middle class.” ($40-100k)
          Here are actual IRS data for 2014, the latest year with such detail.

          Ready?

          $40,000-100,000 AGI
          Reported 29% of income.
          Paid only 17% of the tax.
          Requires a 71% tax INCREASE just to pay their own way.

          !,000,000 + AGI
          Reported 15% of income.
          Paid 28% of the tax (nearky TWICE it’s share)
          Requires a 45.8% tax CUT, to pay its own share.

          Trump a corrupt billionaire? Trump has been a successful businessman.

          With FOUR bankruptcies? He even campaigned on a 60% tax cut for him and his rich cronies.

          Anything else?

        2. You have many mistaken beliefs ….
          … To be a Nazi one must be a socialist, and the only Nazis marching in the U.S. are socialists—hardly Trump supporters

          You said that in public? Nazis are rightwing socialists. This confuses the crap out of the low information right. YOU THINK THEY MARCH FOR BERNIE?

  36. I know many Democrats and Socialists casually and we agree on many things, but we can never be friends and will always be intractable enemies because of their insistence on socialism. That overrides all issues.

    1. That’s the exact partisan bigotry now destroying America/

  37. “And part of it also probably has to do with the fact that both parties have grown more extreme in recent years. Congressional Republicans certainly have. Congressional Democrats tend to be more moderate, relatively speaking.”

    How the fuck do you figure that? The democrat congressional delegation votes lock-step in line with the party line and has for years. they are for every expansion of government. This is moderation.

    And for what extreme position do the Republicans allegedly stand? They can’t even be united on eliminating obama’s socialization of medicine.

    Not that I’m anti-extremism, mind you. remember “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice”, and “I’m radical for freedom”? But that’s not your import – you’re treating extremism as bad and moderation as good.

  38. A debate about bow ties would probably make as much (or as little) sense as most political debates do.

  39. If 9 out of 10 Americans agree on something, why does our government disagree?

  40. The U.S. Constitution is “Law of the Land”. Many of these items where we agree are Liberty issues. And many of them are B.S. The government has no authority to push alternatives over oil and gas. The federal government has no authority when it comes to gay marriage. 10th amendment.

  41. See how easily Ron Paul’s cult is brainwashed and manipulated!

    The federal government has no authority when it comes to gay marriage. 10th amendment.

    That’s what your heroes in the KKK said about Jim Crow, Now echoed by Ron Paul.
    1) Federal Judiciary is NOT a co-equal branch. Balance of Powers is a librul lie.
    2) We have NO protection against violations of fundamental rights
    3) There is NO constitutional defense against abuses by state governments. .

    One problem .
    The founders were not as fucking crazy as the KKK, southern racists and Ron Paul … or as gullible as Ron’s cult..
    The 10th amendment is RESTRICTED by the 9th! That’s how the Declaration’s “alienable rights” were added to the Constitution …; to prevent … you and Ron Paul

    Pay attention.

    “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

    Unenumerated rights are superior to unenumerated powers … in a government RESTRICTED to delegated powers.

    Can you list for us … which rights the Ninth forbids ALL levels of government to deny or disparage?
    I didn’t think so.

    The 14th ALSO proves you wrong.
    Any questions?
    .

  42. This is one of the best articles I have come across. Keep up the good work. https://tutuappdownloadz.org/

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.