The Polarization of America

Join the DebateJohn Horvat II, the author of Return to Order, regularly updates this site with insights about the cause and solution for our economic crisis. He invites you to share your insights too. Please join the discussion. Mr. Horvat is committed to make a serious effort to answer posts, schedule permitting.

ISSUE BEING DISCUSSED FOR Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

The recent elections bring to light once again a great polarization in the American public. Many have tried to label the two parts of this division with media labels: Democrat vs. Republican, blue-state vs. red state, metro vs. retro. Based on your own experience with family or business associates, what do you think are some of the defining characteristics of this division?

  • John Horvat II

    This is a topic that is dealt with
    extensively in the book, Return to Order.
    I believe the media labels for this division are completely inadequate. They do
    not express the profound differences – and I even question whether they ever


    One characteristic that I find when
    teaching young people is that this division is not a matter of age. There are
    young people that yearn for a traditional view of society and yet have never lived
    a lifestyle with tradition. There are old people who stubbornly hold to liberal
    ideas that they would never have held in their youth.


    This is something in the very depths
    of the soul.


    Another characteristic I notice is
    reflected in people’s attitude toward speed and agitation. Some people love
    speed and the latest gadgetry; others are uncomfortable with today’s pace of


    What are some of the
    characteristics that you observe?

  • The like or dislike of moral values and Christian principles are at the root of our divided nation.   Sure, the economy is important to the welfare of society, but as long as moral decency, honesty, honor and virtue are not restored to America, it is highly unlikely that our economy will be fixed in any long-lasting way.  

  • Moral values and a way of life that is consistent with them.
    I think that more than other thing, moral values divide America. 
    A person with moral values is someone who puts God and His Holy Law before the gratification of his own base passions. 
    In concrete terms, in business or in family terms, someone who is unfaithful to his spouse will tend to be unfaithful in his business dealings.  All the moral actions are related.

    Moral values and a way of life that is consistent with them is the greatest defining aspect of the growing divide in America.

  • Francis Slobodnik

    I believe that this increasing division is a result of decades of liberal education and the ingestion of cultural and moral poison.  There is an increasing egalitarian spirit that hates inequalities of any kind.  Bad elites encourage this spirit so long as they can keep their wealth.  The culture of death and self-centerdness numb the consciences of many so that abortion and same-sex marriage no longer offend.  The electronic revolution makes deep thought and reflection nearly impossible for upcoming generations who are slaves to a small thin device that they take with them wherever they go.We have to pray and do all that we can to seek a return to order that once made our nation great.  We have to somehow break through.  As the decline continues people will start looking for real solutions and not just empty promises. You can only write bad checks for so long until lit catches up with you, whether it is in the areas of economics, morality or culture. 

  • wcam

    Since the Civil War never have we witnessed such polarization after an election. For many this election was about which mentality would prevail; one that believes in the importance of religious principles and the other that wants to discard them altogether?
    Our society is unraveling today because some Americans are abandoning the religious principles that made our nation great. 

    President Obama’s victory wasn’t won because of the
    drastic change in the “minority” demographics as most of the poll pundits claimed; it
    was because of the drastic change in the “moral and religious” demographics in our country. Religion and morality are essential for the stability and civility of any nation. 
    George Washington was quoted as saying, “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.”

    Walter Camier

  • John Horvat II

    I would venture to say that morality is not the only factor behind our polarization. Another major factor is the artificiality, speed and cheapness of life. There is an interesting book called Crunchy Cons that held that many conservatives like organic, handcrafted and local products that are supposed to be things that liberals like. These “crunchy” conservatives are looking for quality and value — in short, a way of life with tradition.
    At the same time, there are people that are not necessary conservatives who have some of these same longings that they do not know how to express them politically.
    This “quality” divide is a very important section of our nation that cannot be overlooked.

  • John Horvat II

     I would venture to say that morality is not the only factor behind our polarization. Another major factor is the artificiality, speed and cheapness of life. There is an interesting book called Crunchy Cons that held that many conservatives like organic, handcrafted and local products that are supposed to be things that liberals like. These “crunchy” conservatives are looking for quality and value — in short, a way of life with tradition.
    This is a significant sector of the American public that has to be considered

    •  The concept of “crunchy” is very interesting. Crunchy as opposed to soggy. Who wants to eat a soggy cookie? But a crunchy one? Of course! The crunchy concept is indicative of quality, and substance. Very interesting idea…

  • Kevin Edwards

    Just one, but probably the most important one: Liberal Catholic vs. Leftist Catholic

  • Kevin Edwards

    side of the country cares most about what affects their personal comforts and
    pleasures.  They see everything from an immediate personal gain
    perspective.   “The government owes me …”  was the lead in to a comment I overheard just the other day at the post office.  This is
    “Selfish America” and its attitude will sink our ship if not
    righted.  God help us.


    There is another America, (probably the smaller half) which is not eager to
    demand the confiscation of their neighbors goods.  It is out of this group
    that America
    will survive to the future.  This group is capable of producing
    heroes!  That’s why I preordered this
    book.   I like what I’ve read so far…


  • Charles Laczkskie

    On the statistics of the election, 50% of Catholic voted for Mr. Obama.  However, church-going Catholics and other christian denominations who attend church regularly voted for Mr. Romney.  One of the divisions that Is  evident is those who attend Church regularly tend to be more conservative in their values.  They believe in a God Who sees all.  They believe in honor, integrity, and dedication to their respective vocations.   These qualities create a great divide between the various polarized groups.

  • John Horvat II

    I think another factor in the polarization is in the attitude of people in face of suffering. There is an America that is starting to suffer and embrace it. There is another America that is suffering and resent it.

  • A sense of reality.

    People who do not live in reality vote for a party that caters to their wishful thinking.  Such wishing thinking is based on a false concept of life — life is not a place of trial in which we are called to prove ourselves worthy of eternal salvation, but a place to have fun and not to face its consequences.

    People who do live in reality realize that every bad decision, which is everything that goes against the Law of God, has bad consequences.

    So, I would say that a sense of reality is the main difference between those who tend to be liberal and those who tend to be conservative.

  • I believe that America will divide into two nations one day. There will be those who will form a nation of liberals who will accept anything as long as it adds to their freedom. Then there will be a nation of Christians who will form a nation which promotes strong, moral, family values.
    The most important factor is family. We usde to be a nation with strong family morals. A man’s word was a strong bond. Men took pride in their word. If you went back on your word, you were shunned. It meant everything. Marriage was a very special commitment, a commitment for life.   Anyone commiting adultry was looked down on. Today, marriage is a joke.  Man’s word has no meaning.
    Abortion created a way for the devil to divide us all. The sin of adultry is now enhanced with the choice to end the life of a unwanted baby. Abortion is the new apple for Eve. Women now have taken a bite out of this new apple and they have handed the apple to their men.
    God has left us to our own. We are no longer in the garden of eden. Life is about to get very difficult.  

  • One of the main characteristics of the great division in America right now has to do with socialism: those who oppose it, and those who want it to take over. Inherent to socialism is a super role for the government to run peoples’ lives, and to control them, even in apparently small ways. If you love socialism, you should be ecstatic with Mayor Bloomberg’s clamp down on soft drinks. If you love socialism, you’ll probably be enchanted with the immoral and unjust HHS Mandate that strips Catholics of their religious liberties. If you incline toward socialism, you’ll probably want to confiscate more and more wealth from those who have more and give it away to those who have less. Deep down, these are all moral issues, issues of Natural Law, and of the Ten Commandments. While there may not be a full 50% who would agree with the proposition that morality is the key, whether because they haven’t thought enough about it, or perhaps they are libertarian, or simply just want the government to leave them alone, among other reasons, morality or the lack of it drives this division. There is another thing: as the culture continues to go downhill, with vulgarity becoming common, and coarseness turning commonplace, the division will only get worse. May God help our poor nation.