I don't know whether this really is the source of the "hatred", but it is true that there are many substantial differences between the ideals of the two parties. of course, in practice it seems to me that the dems and the reps arn't THAT far apart, but when it comes time to campaign and pander to the masses they at least show two very different faces.
Given then that each party tries very hard to craft an imagine--and gives lip service to different sets of ideals--that is often opposed to the other, it is easy to see how there might develop a hatred between the more religious party followers. The followers of the party often believe in very different things.
about the similarities to religious sect violence... in some ways i agree (though you should be careful comparing Americans trash talking one another to a term associated with civil war). Remember though that religion DOES underly much of the differences between the parties... so perhaps there is more connection then you think.
So, if most of the electorate are morons, who here represents that demographic?
Likely we aren't all exceptions to that Wonderful Rule of Moron - so who here in the T-Nation PWI is the classic voting "moron"?
Oh, and real quick - what defines the "moron"? Lack of knowledge of American history? Lack of knowledge on basic civics? Lack of knowledge on economics? Or is it likely tied to their brand of politics?
Is it personal? Is it based on how much of their personal lives are a mess? Or their ability to hold down a job?
Can't wait to hear who and why. Should be a hootenanny - after all, we have all these really, really smart folks around here who, naturally, believe in the Wonderful Rule of Moron but, of course, they aren't one of them.
There are lots of hyper-educated Americans with no common sense who go from one ideological pose to another. Many average Americans at least have a good dose of common sense. I'll take common sense any day.
I'll take a shot at the OP - I think it has to do with the proliferation of reflexive hacks on both sides of the aisle. Many political folks - those who pay attention to politics a fair amount and have formed opinions - are convinced they have politics all figured out and have no need to engage the "other side" in good faith.
In other words, one side assumes the other side to always be acting in bad faith - if a person argues for a tax cut, the reflexive Leftie doesn't think the tax cutter believes a tax cut is a good thing for society's prosperity: he is selfish, stupid, and evil, not just wrong. If a person argues for a tax raise, the reflexive Rightie doesn't believe the tax raiser has a good faith reason to offer the argument: he is the enemy of production and a thief.
We see it here constantly - a reflexive ad hominem the moment a substantive political discussion is started on a candidate or an issue. Think Affirmative Action is a bad idea? You are labeled a racist and the conversation ends. Think Universal Health Care is a good idea? You are labeled an enemy of capitalism and the conversation ends.
Not only is it bad, it dovetails on an earlier point made about "moron voters" - if there is a "moron class" of voters, it's likely that class of fairly politically interested folks that know just enough to think they have it all figured out, but not enough to be able to engage other ideas in good faith because they either don't know as much as they think they do or too unprepared to actually have to defend their ideas, rather than have a bunch of bobble-heads nodding in unquestioning agreement.
In my humble view, that is the biggest distraction to what we call bipartisanship, Alexander Pope's maxim:
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring; There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain; And drinking largely sobers us again.
Too many politically interested folks won't drink deep - look no further than these threads - and with a little knowledge, suddenly they are smug and dangerous. The more you "know", the more interested you are in hearing what the "other side" has to say.
I guess when I posted, I was thinking more locally and not just nationally. I find myself seldom satisfied with the choices presented to me. Most often my vote is for what I perceive to be the lesser of two evils. (And that's regardless of party affiliations.)
Hell, I was ready to vote a democrat this year...sigh. I also feel I vote with my time and my money.
If you feel the need to cling to a party then that pretty much expresses your lack of ability to be open minded and look into the qualities of an individual as a leader.
NO politician ever truly expounds and more importantly ACTS on the priciples supposedly held by his or her party all the time. There are the few in the mix that are still out there fighting the good fight but the bitch is that you just don't know until they get a term and you can look at their voting record. What they actually DID while in office speaks way more volume than whatever soapbox they are on while campaigning.
MOST Americans don't want to think that much. Just check the news, watch a debate or two, decide which candidate is an idiot and then vote for the other idiot.