Opinion or News?

As I discussed last week, this blog will begin to focus on political divisiveness in the United States.


This New York Times analysis of the book “Why We’re Polarized” starts to get to the heart of political divisiveness in America. “In the end, he offers simply the hope that as Americans become more aware of the cancer of our current identity politics, they will make efforts to reduce their own involvement,” writes. Ornstein’s use of first-person is what truly identifies this article as an opinion/analysis piece, though it differs from an ordinary opinion because it is analyzing a book that recently came out.

This column, also in NYT, titled “Is America Hopelessly Polarized, or Just Allergic to Politics?” gave me a new perspective on the polarization arguments and discussions. “It seems that the only thing Americans can agree on is that we are living in an era of extreme political polarization,” wrote Samara Klar, Yanna Krupnikov and . But I found this graph the most interesting and important of the whole story. “Polarization, however, is not just about disliking the other side. True polarization is when you dislike the other party and really like your own party.” I have never viewed polarization in this way, and I think their opinion on it is very clear and something that may have changed the way I now view polarization (even though one of the authors is a U of A professor. This article is clearly an opinion, as it is published in the op-ed section and shares the personal views of its authors.


This story in the Pew Research Center, titled “U.S. Media Polarization and the 2020 Election: A Nation Divided” delves into how where people get their news factors into polarization. The study found that, out of 30 media sources, Democrats trusted 22 on average, while Republicans distrusted around 20 sources. Pew is a very credible organization that does original research and analysis, and I often go to their site for political news because of its great use of polling and research. Additionally, they publish a methodology for every study, which increases their credibility.

This article in the journal Foreign Affairs, titled “How Americans Were Driven to Extremes In the United States, Polarization Runs Particularly Deep” goes into both America’s, and the globe’s polarization. “The more than 35 books published on this subject in the past decade have shed much light on partisan dynamics. Yet almost without exception, they examine U.S. polarization as an isolated phenomenon, separate from the experiences of other countries,” wrote . I thought that this story did a great job of explaining the U.S.’s polarization, while also talking about how America and our ideals affect the rest of the country. But, they also say that U.S. polarization is worse than in other places. “American polarization has deep roots that have taken decades to grow and strengthen,” according to the article. This story was published in a credible research journal, and the study was used by other news outlets as well, which lends to its credibility.