Everyday Life, Politicized

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A woman votes in the New Hampshire primary at Bedford High School. (Andrew Burton/Getty)

Everyone acknowledges that our nation's politics are as polarized as any time in recent memory. But some observers worry that polarization is carrying over into areas outside the public sphere. Many Americans get their news from sources they agree with ideologically. But now, they can use online services to meet singles with the same political bent or patronize companies that agree with their politics. Steffen Schmidt, contributor to It's a Free Country, thinks the politicization of everyday life is a terrible development and is concerned about its implications for the country's future. Tom Edsall is a professor at the Columbia Journalism School and author of "The Age of Austerity: How Scarcity Will Remake American Politics."


Steffen Schmidt

Produced by:

Joseph Capriglione

Comments [12]

Angel from Miami, FL

I used to chat up ladies on the street, wherever. Now if a woman is unoccupied for more than 30 seconds she gets on her mobile. It's become my kryptonite! I am wired (thanks, mom) to not interrupt someone who is on the phone. My number of possible dates has been twarted by a mental clip of my mother yelling, "Not now, I'm on the phone!"

Apr. 18 2012 09:58 AM
Karen M. Tyler from Detroit, Michigan

If you look at the fighting between tribes and religious factions in the countries where the US engages militarily to make us more secure---you can begin to see the potential outcome of our divided politics. A divided nation is easily conquered.

Apr. 17 2012 10:11 AM

My father is a NYC civil service employee, a member of the NRA and has voted Republican for the past few elections. He & his wife, (my amazingly strong, intelligent, capable & beautiful stay at home mother) have raised 6 very different children. We are a nuclear family out of a propaganda textbook but our political stances vary widely & dinner table conversations are indeed "nuclear".

Despite all of our differing opinions (parents are pro-life/kids are pro-choice) & varying life experiences (parents never finished undergrad & are life long NY'ers/children are pursuing grad studies & living abroad) we all support smaller government, states rights, locally sourced food (seriously, why is garlic in ShopRite from CHINA?!), recycling & are members of our local community center.

Polarization makes the world go 'round & is necessary for active politics. It may get ugly sometimes but at least people are standing up for what they believe in. No doubt it's best when their opinions are informed by bipartisan, neutral leaning outlets but hey, then who would Glenn Beck have to talk to?

Apr. 17 2012 10:02 AM

Polarized? Of course. When we succumb to beating up wives in the political campaign as we discuss privilege.....come on - who's taken more from the common man, the Harvard educated attorney or the millionaire CEO? How much can these guys take from the folks in the middle to prop up their extremes?

Who's representing the Maltreated Middle Class?

Probably not the guy lining up support from all those for whom he arranges handouts - and I'm thinking the man in the Ivory Tower is equally as out of touch. Middle America, sit tight - help is on the way… to everyone else.....

Apr. 17 2012 09:25 AM
Dennis from Plantación, Florida

I seriously reach out in hopes of finding intelligent republicans to have meaningful debates about issues with; instead I keep finding platitude echo chambers, who only care to fan flames, and cantankerously yell nonsense. What to do?

Apr. 17 2012 09:12 AM
Unknown author, via SMS

I think people spend way too much time in their comfort zones and need to engage the world on a more equitable basis.

Apr. 16 2012 05:02 PM
Unknown author, via SMS

All of my friends are like minded, politically. I find myself harboring extreme anger and frustration at the socially conservative so i cant hold friendships.

Apr. 16 2012 04:50 PM
Unknown author, via SMS

All of my friends are like minded, politically. I find myself harboring extreme anger and frustration at the socially conservative so i cant hold friendships.

Apr. 16 2012 04:50 PM
Unknown author, via SMS

My boyfriend is libertarian & I'm very liberal. I love him in so many other ways so we've agreed to not discuss it- think James Carville & his wife

Apr. 16 2012 04:45 PM
Unknown author, via SMS

No. That would be dull. Best to see a varied world around u

Apr. 16 2012 04:36 PM
Unknown author, via SMS

I do this but not on purpose. I am very liberal and I seriously do not know any conservatives. I think like attracts like , I don't really plan it

Apr. 16 2012 04:10 PM
Unknown author, via SMS

I certainly do. My food is organic, my coffee fair-trade and shop in establishment that have a liberal vibe.

Apr. 16 2012 02:26 PM

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