The Power Of Community In Politics

Where we live often decides how we vote and think, writes Bill Bishop.
April 6, 2004, 5am PDT | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"Political and racial segregation are moving in opposite directions. John Logan at the Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research calculated the change in segregation between blacks and whites from 1980 to 2000 in the nation's more than 3,100 counties. Even though the country remains deeply divided by race, U.S. counties on average became more integrated racially over those 20 years. Politically, however, the nation rapidly divided. Using the same demographic calculation that measures geographic racial disparity, and substituting Republican and Democrat for black and white, political segregation in U.S. counties grew by 47 percent from 1976 to 2000... Why are these political divisions being created? How is it happening? Are people moving to places to live among like-minded neighbors? Or are the parties changing to reflect the ideological contours that exist already in the nation? ... Over the past 30 years, Americans have created their own communities of political solidarity and ideological insulation. One by one and place by place, we have constructed a great divide, boundaries of partisanship as plain as a map and as powerful as belief.

Thanks to Curtis Johnson

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Published on Monday, April 5, 2004 in Austin American-Statesmen
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