There is a general consensus about the current state of American politics: It’s broken. Most point to the hyper-partisanship that lead so many Americans to retreat into their respective tribes. Opinions are affirmed. Dissent is heresy. The result is a politics full of rancor and opposite sides that refuse the very idea of common ground. It is a political environment of loyalists and enemies.
The Republican health care bill in the Senate reflects this reality perfectly. The process has been characterized by secret deliberations — a kind of crude and crass Republican will to power — with no bipartisan support and with Democrats flailing in the wind in protest. Thanks to the recent CBO report, we now know the result of those secret meetings: a cruel health care bill that will leave 22 million Americans without insurance and burden the poor, the sick and the elderly with higher premiums. All in the name of “choice” and for the sake of tax breaks for the richest among us.
It is in this environment that the Public Religion Research Institute released the results of a recent survey about perceptions of discrimination in the United States. The survey shows, and it is a revelation that says much about where we are as a nation, that a “perception gap” defines our politics today. We are, in effect, two societies that see the country we inhabit together in entirely different ways. (TIME)
Click here for more…