Political polarization is worse than ever in the contemporary United States, with a recent Pew Research poll finding “partisan antipathy’’ both “deeper and more extensive’’ than any time in the last 20 years.
The study of 10,000 adults nationwide found those divisions were greatest among those “most engaged and active’’ in the political process, numbers which tend to coincide with those identified in the study as the most “consistent’’ in their partisan leanings.
That divisiveness can bleed into other social spheres, including — as anyone who’s argued politics over Thanksgiving dinner knows — family life. Some of the study’s most interesting findings include attitudes about children marrying those outside of the tribe:
About 30 percent of “consistent’’ liberals and 23 percent of “consistent’’ conservatives said they would “be unhappy’’ if a family member brought home someone from the other side of the political aisle.
The study also broke down reactions to other kinds of groups, including someone of another race or gun owners:
As readers can see, liberals and conservatives — even those on the extreme side of the spectrum — are mostly accepting of whomever their family members marry. The tensions can increase, though, the closer respondents lean toward ideological consistency.
Pew also looked at attitudes about family members marrying a “born-again Christian’’ or — God-forbid, apparently — an atheist:
Only 9 percent of Americans said they would be unhappy with a family member’s marriage to a born-again Christian, though more than five times that figure would be unhappy if a family member married “someone who doesn’t believe in God.’’
Jeez. Where’s the love?