We live in divisive times, it seems. Bitter rhetoric and open rage over political events, ideologies and culture have become common. As a result, our country’s inhabitants now admit we are no longer unified, as the latest I&I/TIPP data clearly show.
I&I/TIPP asked voters this month (and every month since April 2021), “in general, would you say the United States is” followed by four possible answers: “very united,” “somewhat united,” “somewhat divided,” “very divided,” and “not sure.”
The answers are somewhat dispiriting for those hoping for a whiff of unity during the holiday season: More than 2/3 of respondents (69%) said we were either very divided (40%) or somewhat divided (29%). Just 3% were not sure. Only 28% overall said they believed Americans were either “very” united (14%) or “somewhat” united (14%).
Still, there remain some pockets of unity optimism in the national online poll of 1,400 people, taken from Nov. 1-3. The poll has a margin of error of +/-2.7 percentage points.
Democrats, for instance, split evenly at 49% united versus 49% divided. Republicans are far more glum, with 21% answering united, compared to 77% divided. Independents see even more division, with only 15% responding united and 80% divided.
This wasn’t the only big gap among the 36 demographic groups I&I/TIPP follows each month.
For example, urban voters see more unity (50%) and less division (48%) than either those who live in the suburbs (16% united, 81% divided) or rural areas (21% united, 75% divided). So unity’s pretty much a city thing.
Race and ethnicity also reveal differences. Whites (22% united, 75% divided) are not too far from blacks (32% united, 64% divided) in how they view America’s polity today. But Hispanics are far more optimistic, with 53% saying America was united, over 45% saying divided.
Age, too, is a dividing point for this question. Those in the 25-44 year-old age group, representing the prime working years for most, were two to three times more likely to answer “united” (47%) over “divided” (50%) than the other age groups of 18-24, 45-64 and 65 and over.
There’s an economic component, as well: Those with the top incomes, earning more than $70,000 a year, are far more likely to feel America is united: 52% united, to 47% divided. The arithmetic average for the other three income groups is 18% united, 79% divided.
So, in short, Americans are even divided about being divided. Which may not be so surprising given the damaged nature of public discourse in this age of “cancelling” unpopular speech and “deplatforming” those with whom we disagree.
How do these numbers compare with previous ones? I&I/TIPP also produces a Unity Index, which allows someone to compare one month’s results with other months with an apples-to-apples comparison.
In October, the Unity Index hit an all-time low of 25.6, well below the 39.5 high set in July 2021, four months after the index began. However, it rebounded sharply in November to 33.1, its highest level since last April. The rise was fueled by strong gains in the South (up 48% to 41.1), and among those aged 25-44 (up 58% to 50), men (up 47% to 41.5), Hispanics (up 59% to 55), Democrats (up 54% to 50.3), urban dwellers (up 58% to 51.6), self-described conservatives (up 35% to 34.4) and liberals (up 62% to 43).
It’s perhaps not surprising that politicians often talk out of both sides of their mouths when it comes to encouraging “unity” over “division.”
In recent televised comments made during a call to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, President Joe Biden called on Americans to come together in a spirit of unity:
“We have to remind ourselves how blessed we are to live in the greatest nation on the face of the earth. Today is about coming together, giving thanks for this country we call home. And thanks to all the firefighters, police officers, first responders and our troops, some of whom are stationed abroad.”
“We can have different political views, but … we have one view — the one view is we’re the finest, greatest nation in the world. We should focus on that … We have to bring the nation together and we have to treat each other with a little bit of decency and so — and I think that’s who the vast majority of the American people are.”
Which are fine sentiments, as most would almost certainly agree. But also on Thanksgiving, Hot Air’s Karen Townsend reports, the Biden-Harris campaign sent out a glossy tweet providing Americans with “Your handy guide for responding to crazy MAGA nonsense this Thanksgiving.”
That’s the sort of mixed message Americans now routinely see on the topic of “unity.” These days, it seems, it’s not enough merely to disagree with someone on a policy or to reject a message; you must also repudiate the people who bear the message, utterly and entirely.
Americans see this daily in their workplaces, on social media, and on the streets of their communities. Sadly, the political left seems to have made this a key part of its political strategy: Demonize those who disagree, and make those who have doubts remain silent.
As a result, many now feel as if they are being systematically excluded from America’s bounty by a system that no longer rewards people for what they do, but for racial, ethnic or religious identity. The lack of unity might also have economic roots, as discontent with the perceived failure of Bidenomics grows.
A Wall Street Journal/NORC poll recently found only 36% of those surveyed said “the American dream still holds true, substantially fewer than the 53% who said so in 2012 and 48% in 2016 in similar surveys of adults by another pollster. When a Wall Street Journal poll last year asked whether people who work hard were likely to get ahead in this country, some 68% said yes—nearly twice the share as in the new poll.”
That’s a big reason for Americans’ disgruntlement, and their lack of a feeling of “unity” with their fellow Americans. It’s made worse by what blogger/law professor Ann Althouse notes is a sense of “permacrisis,” which she calls “a political strategy to make people feel that we are always in special dire circumstances, justifying unusual emergency measures, and warranting the sacrifice of our personal pleasure and freedom.”
It’s made worse by the left-leaning media and think tanks continually calling former President Donald Trump’s supporters and those on the conservative side of the spectrum “a threat to our democracy.” What unity can come from that?
Here in the U.S., when you feel you’re systematically excluded from public debate, or that your hard work is no longer rewarded, or that the world around you is a perpetual crisis, a feeling of unity may be the first casualty, as recent trends in the I&I/TIPP Poll’s Unity Index suggest.
I&I/TIPP publishes timely, unique, and informative data each month on topics of public interest. TIPP’s reputation for polling excellence comes from being the most accurate pollster for the past five presidential elections.
Terry Jones is an editor of Issues & Insights. His four decades of journalism experience include serving as national issues editor, economics editor, and editorial page editor for Investor’s Business Daily.
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Geopolitics And Geoeconomics
Hamas says it is seeking to extend the current four-day pause in fighting with Israel and increase the number of hostages released.
Israel’s PM has said the original agreement could be extended – but Israeli operations in Gaza would resume with full force after the truce period.
Meanwhile, more Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners are due to be released on Monday, on the final day of the current truce period.
Israel’s embattled leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, facing criticism from his citizens about his handling of the war in Gaza, visited the occupied territory Sunday in body armor and a tactical helmet.
Al Jazeera said it was the first trip by an Israeli leader since 2005, a “landmark” visit. Netanyahu added that Israel has three goals: eliminate Hamas and the return of hostages. Netanyahu vaguely described the third goal as ensuring that Gaza “will not go back to being a threat” to Israel.
The military wing of Hamas said that the commander of its northern brigade and four other senior leaders had been killed during Israel’s offensive against the movement.
The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said Ahmed al-Ghandour was a member of its military council. They named three others, among them Ayman Siyyam, head of its rocket division, while its West Bank branch confirmed another leader’s death.
The White House asked the U.S. Senate to scrap the restrictions in its latest supplementary budget request on October 20.
If granted, the request would enable Israel to access more high-powered U.S. weapons at a reduced cost, with less congressional oversight.
The request proposes changes to policies governing the War Reserve Stockpile Allies-Israel (WRSA-I). This Israel-based U.S. weapons stockpile has smart bombs, missiles, military vehicles, and other ammunition and equipment.
A tanker linked to an Israel-affiliated company was seized off Yemen Sunday by armed individuals, U.S. defense officials said, but the crew members were later brought to safety.
Hours later, a U.S. defense official told AFP that U.S. and coalition forces responded to the emergency aboard the tanker and “the crew of the M/V Central Park is currently safe.” It was not immediately clear if the crew remained aboard the vessel or the ship’s location.
A majority of Israelis support enshrining equality for non-Jewish citizens, who are considered by some to be treated as separate and unequal in Israel under laws passed by the Knesset in recent years.
The most controversial of the recent laws, known as the 2018 Nation-State Law, declared that Jewish people around the world – and not just the Jewish citizens of Israel – are the sovereign in the state of Israel and the only people with a right to self-determination within the nation.
The law has been criticized for effectively making discrimination constitutional, preventing Arab citizens from leasing or purchasing some land, and allowing Israelis to settle Palestinian land –which is considered illegal under international law.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked Ukraine’s military for fighting Russian attacks and its rescue services for tackling the consequences of extreme winter weather that he said had deprived about 400 settlements in 10 regions of power.
In his nightly video address, Zelenskyy said relentless, intense battles were ongoing in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Kharkiv, while “extremely challenging weather” affected areas from the Kyiv region in the north to Odesa in the south.
The European Commission said it will provide 50 million euros ($54 million) to Kyiv to repair and upgrade infrastructure in Ukrainian ports to increase food exports.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote in a letter to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy: “Over time, our investment should allow Ukraine’s ports to return to export quantities that were in place before the war.”
Ukraine has urged its Western allies to rein in the ties of their technological firms with Russia in the face of aggressive electronic warfare launched by Russian forces.
In a compiled dossier dispatched to major allies, including the U.S. and UK, Ukraine claimed that Russia was using technology made by UK firms to disrupt Ukraine’s military campaign in the East.
Slovak premier Robert Fico said that the Ukraine war risks lasting until 2030 if peace talks are not started.
The populist left-winger won September’s general election, pledging during the campaign to discontinue the military aid given to Ukraine by previous governments.
The Czech Republic and Slovakia both accepted thousands of Ukrainian war refugees but have now split over whether to continue military aid. Fico insisted that while his country would not provide Ukraine with further military aid, it would not object to others offering it.
China is trialing visa-free travel for citizens from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysia for a year, its foreign ministry said.
From December to 30 November 2024, ordinary passport holders from these countries can do business or travel in China for up to 15 days without a visa. For three years, China had some of the world’s strictest COVID-19 curbs, with travel restrictions, numerous lockdowns, and frequent testing requirements.
China’s top leadership is cracking down on financial corruption, with investigations of officials at financial institutions and government oversight agencies increasing more than fourfold in three years.
Concerned about the potentially destabilizing effects of troubles in the financial sector, the leadership under President Xi Jinping looks to reduce exposure to risks that could be sparked by corruption.
The U.S. is to send medium-range missiles, including the Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) and Tomahawk, to the Asia-Pacific next year to deter a Chinese attack on Taiwan.
U.S. Army General Charles Flynn would not say where the missiles would be sent in the Asia-Pacific, but only that they would arrive in 2024. The report cited U.S. Army General Charles Flynn’s comments during the annual Halifax International Security Forum.
The increase in sick children and widespread respiratory illnesses prompted the WHO to ask for details to allay concerns that a pathogen like COVID-19 was the source of the outbreaks.
So far, Chinese officials say, it’s simply a laundry list of known germs causing the problem.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has examined photos taken of an American carrier by the communist nation’s first spy satellite, state media reported.
Kim surveyed the photos during a visit to the control center of North Korea’s National Aerospace Technology Administration on Friday, according to the Pyongyang Times. The North also claimed to have captured images of the USS Carl Vinson, an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, with technology from the new spy satellite.
Chad began campaigning for a vote on a new constitution in a perceived test of legitimacy for the junta and the Itno dynasty’s 30-year reign.
Transitional president Gen. Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, whose junta has governed since 2021, had promised to hand power to civilians and hold elections this year before postponing them to 2024.
Hundreds of activists swam or used kayaks to occupy the Newcastle port’s shipping lane in Australia to protest climate inaction. They claim the disruption prevented over half a million tonnes of coal from leaving the country.
The two-day blockade of the world’s largest coal port has triggered 109 arrests. Australia is the world’s second-biggest coal exporter, relying on fossil fuels for electricity.
18. Environmental Contaminants Linked To Higher Breast Cancer Rates In Urban Vs. Rural Areas – UPI Health
“Our analyses indicate significant associations between environmental quality and breast cancer incidence,” said the author, who led the research at the Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, N.C.
The findings, published in Scientific Reports, were based on data from the Environmental Quality Index (EQI) for North Carolina residents.
19. The 15 Biggest Confidence Boosters To Help You Feel Like You’re Nailing Your Day… And Turn A ‘Good Day Even Better’ – The Sun
Eighty-three percent say these boosters can make a ‘bad day good and a good day even better.’ The typical Brit ‘needs’ 16 confidence boosters a month to feel their best, according to research.
Brits Biggest Confidence Boosters:
- Receiving a compliment or general praise
- Doing something you thought you couldn’t do
- Making someone laugh out loud
- Finding clothes which suit or flatter you
- Getting a friendly smile from a stranger
- Knowing the answer to a quiz question
- Having someone ask for your advice
- Having freshly brushed teeth
- Wearing your favourite outfit
- When someone compliments your smile
- Getting a beauty or grooming treatment
- Spraying your favorite perfume or scent
- Knowing you have fresh breath
- ‘Bossing it’ at work
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Republished with permission from TIPP Insights