Responsible For Polarization: Obama Or Those Who Oppose Him?
Dan Balz in the Washington Post has an article headlined, “The Polarizing President.” But it’s those who hated him from day one who are the problem.
As Gary Jacobson of the University of California at San Diego, put it: “Americans were polarized from the start in their opinions of Obama and his agenda. The outline of the current configuration of political attitudes was plainly visible during the 2008 campaign.”
A look at the voting statistics shows how opposed many were to Obama to begin with:
George C. Edwards III of Texas A&M University notes that the number of states that deviated significantly from the national vote was more than in any election in 60 years, including 14 that went for John McCain (R). “Never before had many of these states voted so heavily against a victorious Democrat,” Edwards writes, citing the work of others.
And those who opposed him continued to mischaracterize him.
Views of Obama as a leftist, as an extremist, as a would-be socialist, as dishonest – all of which became commonplace among some “tea party” activists and other conservative opponents once he was in office – were implanted during the campaign against McCain.
“A large proportion of voters on the losing side in 2008 . . . had by election day come to regard Obama as the McCain-Palin campaign had portrayed him: as an untrustworthy leftist radical with a socialist agenda,” Jacobson writes. “There was also an undertone of racial animosity.”Click here for reuse options!
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