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Danger Lampost

Futurist & Technology Consultant,

TEDCRED 20+

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Are we slaves to the forces that conspire to keep Republicans and Democrats in the United States in a 50/50 stand off?

I have been increasingly amazed about something in American politics: Half the country apparently thinks the other half is some combination of insane, immoral, or perhaps just misled. I can't quite grasp how that can be true, but it seems to be true to me, as I listen to and talk to the vast majority of people who are firmly republican or democrat.

These aren't just simple things we're fighting about. We're fighting about life and death issues, like what happens to women when they get raped, and what our health care policy should be. I would think that with such disputes, eventually one side or the other would win out. Both can't be right. Yet both sides seem perpetually evenly balanced. Is there some force at work forcing this even balance? If so, what is it? Are we all just slaves to this force?

Throughout American history, there have been roughly equal numbers of republican (18) and democratic (16) presidents, ignoring other parties throughout American history. (Hopefully I got that right, but fact check me if you are so inclined...) This leads me to conclude that there must be some larger social force at work influencing the masses of people, to keep these numbers perpetually balanced. Because I can't understand how these forces can be so evenly balanced over so many years without some force keeping them balanced.

What force(s) keep on keeping republicans and democrats so evenly balanced in the United States? Are we slaves to this force?

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  • Nov 6 2012: May I suggest you do a Google search for this .pdf - 'Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition.' You can also find a digest and discussion in New Scientist 3rd November - article titled 'Political Instincts.' These articles, and others, demonstrate an underlying genetic basis for the political contrasts you mention. Unsurprisingly, conservatives such as Jeffrey Frake - Republican congressman from Arizona and Mormon missionary, have tried to remove funding for such research. Unfortunately, they have been successful.

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