Fareed Zakaria pointed out why Blue America is more like Western Europe while Red America is like Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.
Fareed Zakaria on Blue and Red America
CNN’s GPS Host, Fareed Zakaria, reported a worldwide reality affecting America more than any other major country. It turns out the secularization of the world is not coming without a strong pushback from the religious sector.
Some parts of Zakaria’s report were not surprising.
“The American political divide was the widest among rich countries surveyed,” Zakaria said. “Asked whether the country would be better off in the future if it sticks to its traditions and ways of life, 65% of Americans on the right said yes, versus just 6% on the left.”
It is in a name. The Conservatives like society the way it is and was. The status quo is OK for those who the current or past states were bearable of one in which they did well. Those who society was not kind will constantly seek liberation, progress, and freedom. Hence, the numbers above are probative. Progressives/Liberals want change to afford equity to all. The pushback is from those who think others gain at their expense.
Zakaria gives a perfect description of America becoming two different countries.
“Here’s the interesting part,” Zakaria said. “As this broad shift is taking place in the US, it is coinciding with increased polarization. So the picture that emerges is of a country that is rapidly secularizing but at the same time seeing a strong backlash to that process. Big changes are leading to big reactions. You cannot really understand America anymore by looking at averages.”
And this is where he points out the inconvenient truth for Red America.
“It has become two countries,” Zakaria said. “One is urban, more educated, multiracial, secular, and largely left of center. The other is rural, less educated, religious, white, and largely right of center. Englehardt and the scholar Christian Russell have a famous cultural map that plots countries according to their responses to questions about values. … If one were to divide America into two countries, one red and one blue, I suspect that you would see that blue America would fit comfortably with Northern European Protestant countries, while red America’s cultural values would move it closer to Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.”
Imagine that. Many in Red America will hate that comparison. But it is indeed apropos. Ironically, this is where leadership could step in. There is a severe forward-thinking leadership gap in Red America. Their leaders do not behave unlike the Somali warlords of the 1990s.
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