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Republicans And Democrats Reside In Different Galaxies

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Republicans And Democrats Reside In Different Galaxies

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U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump supporters carry a banner at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

It’s often noted that liberals and conservatives tend to see the world differently. But if the Republican National Convention is any indication, liberals and conservatives inhabit not just different worlds but different galaxies — far, far away from each other.

The world in which Republicans live is a grim and frightening place, a landscape of constant terror and crime, of collapsing moral values and inept and unethical government elites. The nation they live in is in free fall, no longer respected by allies or feared by enemies, no longer a leader in world affairs.

The Republican presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump, has said that the U.S. military is “depleted,” that American cities have “exploded” with crime, that American leaders are “stupid.” He put it this way in a recent speech: “If we don’t get tough, and if we don’t get smart, and fast, we’re not going to have our country anymore. There will be nothing, absolutely nothing, left.”

It’s no wonder that Trump’s campaign theme is “Make America Great Again.” If the nation is coming unglued, there should be plenty of support for a man promising to restore its former glory.

But what if there is a polar-opposite view of the current state of things, an analysis of our domestic and foreign affairs that suggests things aren’t so bad? Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, certainly has a different view than Trump; she can point to a raft of statistics that show the gloom and doom in which her opponent trades is more than a bit exaggerated.

Let’s start with security, which has been a top concern among Trump’s supporters. Several speakers, notably former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, devoted their time at the podium to nerve-fraying rants about the threat of Islamist terrorism. Others insisted that Trump would restore “law and order” to a land where precious little of that now exists.

Certainly, attacks by radical jihadists have frightened American voters, pushing even some dovish liberals to call for a more aggressive military response to the Islamic State and its followers. Still, terrorist attacks on U.S. soil are hardly routine. In the years since 9/11, fewer than 100 people have been killed in assaults here at home by terrorists associated with radical Islam. For the sake of comparison, more than 38,000 people were killed in car accidents in 2015 alone.

As for ordinary crime, the United States is much safer than it used to be—even factoring in the recent uptick in homicides in a few American cities. In 2015, the violent crime rate continued to decline, according to FBI statistics, as it has for the last three decades. The rate of violent crime in the country is about half what it was in 1990.

What about police officers? Aren’t they victims of what some have called a “war on police”? Certainly, there is no overstating the sense of siege that has overwhelmed police departments around the country after separate barbaric attacks killed five officers in Dallas and three in Baton Rouge.

But the data don’t suggest any war on police. In 2015, according to the Officers Down Memorial Page, 39 officers were killed by gunfire. In 1990, 60 officers were lost to gunfire; in 1995, 70. Again, the broader trends seem headed toward police work as safer, not less so.

Fear, though, isn’t the only emotion that infuses the GOP universe. There is anger, too—a rage against lost status and imagined slights that has found a convenient target in Clinton, Trump’s rival. Though she has never even been charged with any crime—FBI director James Comey criticized her for being “extremely careless” with her emails—she has been indicted and convicted by Republican activists, whose chant on the convention floor, “Lock Her Up! Lock Her Up,” was chilling.

This fearful and angry worldview cannot be attributed simply to political polarization. Nor is it merely the inevitable consequence of years of escalating rhetoric by pols seeking money and votes, though that has certainly played a part. This is a sign of something deeper and more troubling: a nation whose citizens are separated by a light-years-wide chasm that seemingly can’t be bridged.

Cynthia Tucker won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2007. She can be reached at cynthia@cynthiatucker.com.

 

Photo: U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump supporters carry a banner at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

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Cynthia Tucker Haynes

Cynthia Tucker Haynes, a veteran newspaper journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner, is a Visiting Professor of Journalism and Charlayne Hunter-Gault Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Georgia. She is also a highly-regarded commentator on TV and radio news shows.

Haynes was editorial page editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper for 17 years, where she led the development of opinion policy. More recently, she was that newspaper’s Washington-based political columnist. She maintains a syndicated column through Universal Press Syndicate, which is published in dozens of newspapers around the country. Besides winning the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 2007, Haynes has also received numerous other awards, including Journalist of the Year from the National Association of Black Journalists.

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17 Comments

  1. JPHALL July 22, 2016

    Amazing isn’t it?

    Reply
  2. AgLander July 22, 2016

    It simply shows the dangers of living off your emotions (liberal Democrats) instead of your intellect (conservative Republicans)

    Reply
    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth July 22, 2016

      Highly amusing—what a macabre sense of humor you have.

      Reply
    2. Independent1 July 22, 2016

      Is it intellect that Republicans use to create states that survey groups have rated as the most miserable states to live in with the worst quality of life??

      Is it conservative intellect that makes Republican governance so bad that people live 2-5 year shorter lives than people in Democrat run states??

      Is it conservative intellect that makes Republican governance so bad that all 25 states with the largest percentages of their population living on the verge of bankruptcy are GOP-run states?

      Is it conservative intellect that makes Republican governance so bad that since 1900 the average GDP growth in America under the Republican presidents is a paltry 2.6%/yr growth, while it’s a far more robust 4.3% under Democrats who you claim govern by their emotion?

      Is it conservative intellect that makes Republican governance so bad that since 1930, under the 42 years of failed GOP presidencies, the stock market actually has a negative gain – meaning that had you invested 10,000 in the market on 1/1/1930 that you would have less than $5,000 in the market today??

      While had you invested that $10,000 and kept it in the market only during the 44 years of Democrat presidencies, you would have well over $310,000 in that account today?? Under what you consider governance by emotion.

      I would like to see you mindless Republicans trying to retire on that paltry $5,000 that would have been earned under all those failed GOP presidents whose governance was SO BAD that all they could learn to do was drive America’s economy into recession and depression!!

      YOU CONSERVATIVES ARE CLEARLY INSANE!!!!!

      Reply
    3. Independent1 July 22, 2016

      And I’m not done:

      Is it all that wonderful ‘conservative intellect’ that makes Republicans so lousy at running the economy in a way that creates jobs, where Democrats who operate supposedly on emotions, generally manage to create more than twice as many jobs/yr as Republicans?? See the graph below dummkopf.

      And note that where Reagan and the 2 Bushes created about 24 million jobs in 20 years; Carter, Clinton and Obama created 40 plus million in less than 20 years!!!!!

      And is it all that ‘wonderful conservative intellect’ that makes Republicans govern in such a way that 20 of the 24 states in America with more than 12% of their populations living in poverty are GOP-run states??

      And a good bit of the reason why GOP-run states lead the nation BY FAR in poverty, and people living on the verge of bankruptcy is because Republican nitwit legislators keep passing right-to-pay-you-less laws which allows companies in their states to pay people below poverty-level wages. Where on average, workers in Democrat run states make 18-23% more/year than people in GOP-run states!!

      Which is also one reason it is also GOP-run states that BY FAR lead the nation in having the lowest personal consumption rates/1,000 population (people’s ability to buy things at Walmart and what have you).

      And isn’t it interesting, that what should be the GOP’s shining star Texas, which has the second highest GDP in the nation behind California, comes in 34th in the personal consumption of its residents – BECAUSE ALTHOUGH TEXAS CREATES LOTS OF JOBS, BY-IN-LARGE THEY ARE NOT JOBS THAT PEOPLE CAN SURVIVE IN – WHICH IS WHY TEXAS ALSO RANKS AS 6TH IN THE NATION IN THE PERCENT OF IT’S PEOPLE LIVING BELOW THE POVERTY LEVEL.

      TEXAS NOT ONLY HAS THE MOST PEOPLE LIVING IN POVERTY, IT HAS THE FEWEST PEOPLE WITH A COLLEGE DEGREE; AND THE FEWEST PEOPLE THAT ARE INSURED; AND THE HIGHEST RATE OF TEEN PREGNANCIES; AND THE MOST POLLUTED ENVIRONMENT IN THE NATION; WITH ITS INFRASTRUCTURE (ROADS AND BRIDGES) IN THE WORST 10 IN THE NATION!!!

      Is this disastrous state the result of all that ‘conservative intellect’???

      If so dimwit: you can keep all that filled conservative intellect, it ain’t worth diddly squat!!!

      Reply
    4. Independent1 July 22, 2016

      Here’s that graph on jobs I promised:

      Reply
    5. Independent1 July 23, 2016

      What all this really shows is the cluelessness and outright stupidity of conservatives such as yourself!!!!!!

      Reply
        1. Independent1 July 26, 2016

          Hi docb! Thanks for the link with all the statistics!!

          I was especially taken back by the chart of murder rates in selected cities which show that Chicago’s murder rate for white males and females is a fraction of what the rates are for those in 4 cities in mostly GOP-run states: Missiouri, Louisiana, Kansas/Missouri and Nevada.

          Even Baltimore, which has a super high black mortality rate, also has lower homicide rates for Whites than most of those 4 cities in mostly GOP-run states.

          And yet, right-wing nut jobs on this site keep harping about how high Chicago’s murder rate is – when that is a blatant lie.

          I don’t know if the chart will display below as I’m just posting the link:

          http://twitter.com/Crimealytics/status/755384799242645504/photo/1

          Reply
    6. Joan July 23, 2016

      When part of the post is about how FALSE the conservative’s view of crime in America and violence against police officers is – you don’t get to propose that it is the conservatives that operate on intellect. In fact, after that Cleveland convention – the GOP has no credible claim to intellect at all. I wonder about your reading comprehension and vocabulary skills too

      Reply
      1. AgLander July 23, 2016

        Good morning, Joanie……let’s talk next week as I know you are holding your breath right now knowing that your party can’t be trusted to be good little boys and girls on the streets of Philly next week!

        Reply
        1. 788eddie July 23, 2016

          The only “bad boys” in the streets will be the skinheads, white supremacists and other Trump supporters who will desperately try to disrupt the Democratic Convention.

          Reply
    7. CrankyToo July 23, 2016

      Hey Bird-Brain! You forgot your period. And you need to insert it after “intellect” because you can’t have that word in the same sentence as “conservative” or “Republicans”.

      Reply
  3. CrankyToo July 23, 2016

    “This fearful and angry worldview cannot be attributed simply to political polarization.”

    That’s right. It’s attributable to intellectual polarization. Liberals and Cons don’t live in separate galaxies – they live at opposite ends of the intelligence continuum.

    Reply
  4. bobnstuff July 23, 2016

    The Republicans world has been created for them by the talk radio shock jocks, This has been growing for twenty years with a steady stream of twisted facts and out and out lies. People like Rush and Glenn with an army of others has misinformed a large number of minions. Do you remember the sink about President Obama wanting to address the school students at the start of school. Never in the history of our country has a president been more disrespected the Obama and the people have not just let them get away with it but have supported it. It’s been a long time for the forces of darkness to get power but it looks like they are making their move. Trump is their creation and his power is from those that will destroy our country if he wins.

    Reply
    1. Bethpcarlson3 July 24, 2016

      <<o. ★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★✫★:::::::!be402p:….,….

      Reply
  5. timmfr30 July 24, 2016

    The American populace has been effectively “dumb downed” . Independent thinking is now practiced by a minority….sad

    Reply

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