It's not that I didn't already know this. But it made me feel better to hear CNN's John Avlon spell it out this morning:
"We hear a lot about how Americans are deeply and hopelessly, and even divided on major issues. It paints a picture of a country that cannot find common ground, can lead to civic despair about America's future. Here is the thing. It's just not true that Americans are divided 50/50 on most major issues," Avlon said.
"Instead, there are sensible Americans, supermajorities on critical issues. Take a look at vaccinations, for example. Currently 74% of Americans over age 18 have received at least one shot, according to the CDC. On the flip side a fifth of Americans, 18%, can be described as vaccine resistant. Of course, the unvaccinated can cause problems for the rest of us, by prolonging the pandemic, but they are a decided minority. Get this, a recent poll found 60% of adults feel both students and teachers should be required to wear face masks while in school.
"About the only thing more illogical to be anti-mask and an anti-vax in a pandemic is believing the big lie that Trump continues to push. In June's Monmouth poll found that the election of President Biden was due to fraud. That's baseless nonsense, but does show how baseless information can damage our democracy. Nonetheless, it is a decidedly minority position.
"A new CNN poll shows the Republican party is almost evenly divided on whether Trump should be the next nominee, you've got to remember he is the only president in the history of the Gallup poll never to be above 50% approval, left office 44%, lowest of his lows. Just 27% of Americans said they strongly approved of the job he did while in office while 52%, almost double that, strongly disapproved. That 27% is Trump's ride or die base. It's a small but vocal minority.
"Let's shift to Washington. This may be a make or break month for infrastructure reform. while the devil is in the details. The fact is that it's very popular. A Fox News poll found that 62% of Americans support the trillion-dollar bipartisan bill that awaits passage in the House. Climate change mitigation is a big part of the proposal of the $3.5 trillion budget. It is worth noting that 64% of Americans agree that reducing the effects of climate change should be a top national priority.
"You can even dig into culture wars in the past. Take same-sex marriage, according to the most recent Gallup poll 77% of Americans believe in equality versus 27%. And given the recent restrictive Texas abortion law, nearly 60% of Americans oppose completely overturning Roe v. wade. Hyper-partisan politics is a structural problem, particularly in Congress. For example, the U.S. Senate is literally divided 50/50. The states that Democrats represent contain 41 million people. Likewise redistricting, that happens in state houses right now, fewer districts by design, members of Congress are incentivized to play to the base rather than reflecting the supermajority.
"You should be angry about politicians who refuse to represent the will of the people and, instead, pander to the outer regions of politics. You shouldn't despair about the ability of Americans to ever unite on big issues.
"We're not a 50/50 nation. On many issues, more like 70/30. And that's your reality check."