Polarization continues to deepen as the holidays approach

As the holidays approach and the classic political conversations around the Thanksgiving table arise, statistics show growing numbers of families have the same problem: polarization.


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2020 election map showing the divide between red and blue states.

The air is colder, the leaves have fallen, the sun sets at five in the afternoon, and the holidays are now upon us. In these ever polarized times, the family gatherings that coincide with the holidays will be even more heated than in years past.

With mentalities of “us versus them” sprouting up everywhere, it is difficult to reach a middle ground. Most people do not have many friends who can offer them different viewpoints. According to the Pew Research Center, “Roughly four-in-10 registered voters in both camps say that they do not have a single close friend who supports the other major party candidate.”

People are not willing to interact with those who are different from them. Political belief plays such a central role in personal friendships. High school sophomore Ariana Conroy says, “ I hear all the time: ‘If you vote for this person, unadd me. We can’t be friends.’” It has become common to cut people out of lives just because of a different viewpoint.

This gets even more difficult when the family gets involved. People of opposing political beliefs rarely get married, and the number is shrinking. An article from the Hill states, “nine percent of all marriages were between Democrats and Republicans. Today, […] nearly four percent are between Democrats and Republicans.”

There is a growing divide in this nation to not even marry those who have different political beliefs. Fewer and fewer families will marry those of a different political party due to increased partisanship. This is just another obstacle that has to be navigated during dinner time this holiday season.