A tool to check out how polarized the US has become

Virtually everyone has noticed that we're becoming more and more politically polarized in the U.S.  Many are quite concerned about this movement toward the two extremes.  The mainstream media certainly harp on the dangers of right-wing extremism constantly.

Well, let's look at some data.  These data come from the Pew Research Center.

If you go to the above web page, you'll find an animated graph that tracks the movement of political values from 1994 to 2017.  It's very interesting and enlightening.  And it's actually quite fun!

If you want to get the best idea of relative political movement to the right or the left, do this: first, click on the animation bar.  Then, before the animation begins, quickly place your cursor arrow at the 1994 "median Republican" line or the 1994 "median Democrat" line.  Leave your cursor arrow there and simply watch the movement of each respective median line over time.


1. You'll find that the median Republican line actually moves leftward in 1999 and again in 2004!  Then, in 2011, it moves to the right, but only back to its exact 1994 starting point.  In 2014, the line moves modestly to the right, then remains in that location without moving anymore.

2. Therefore, the 2017 median Republican is only modestly more right-leaning than in 1994.

3. The median Democrat line never moves to the right.  It only moves to the left, and in significant amounts.

4. Therefore, the 2017 median Democrat is a great deal farther left-leaning than in 1994.

5. In fact, the 2017 median Republican line is much closer to the original 1994 median Democrat line than are the 2017 median Dems!

6. In another interesting exercise, you can also click on the animation bar, then quickly eyeball the midpoint between the two 1994 median lines and place your cursor arrow there.  This would represent the true 50/50 compromise point in 1994.  Note which 2017 median line is far closer to that original compromise point.

7. This clearly indicates that the Republicans are demonstrably willing to stay much closer to a compromise point than are the Democrats.

8. Also notice both the right extreme margin of the graph and the left extreme margin.  At the right extreme, the number of people is approaching the zero line.  On the left extreme, there is still a large number of people.  Evidently, despite the MSM's constant drumbeat about right-wing extremism, left-wing extremism is a far larger phenomenon.

9. Finally, the differing amounts of movement clearly demonstrate that our current political polarization is much more the result of leftward movement than rightward movement.

This is pretty clear and persuasive information from an unbiased source.  You may wish to share it with your liberal friends!