Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News One hump or two?

  1. Feb 10, 2010 #1
    Is political opinion in the United States usually polarized, or does it fairly often tend to describe a bipartisan bell curve?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2010 #2
    i'm not sure i understand the question. "bipartisan" here means something perverse. it's a word used as a political tool, used in a partisan way to paint your opponent as being an obstructionist.
     
  4. Feb 10, 2010 #3

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    But you do know what the term actually means, Proton Soup, right? It certainly isn't "perverse". When politicians use it, they say so-and-so is not being bipartisan.
     
  5. Feb 10, 2010 #4
    it is perverse in the sense that the word is being perverted in its meaning. http://www.google.com/search?q=defi...=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a"

    and the deception is, the person using the argument of "so-and-so is not being partisan" is really saying that "so-and-so is not doing what i want them to do".
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  6. Feb 10, 2010 #5

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I know what you meant by perverse, but still - what you suggest really is not a change in the meaning of the word, it is just an abuse of the application of it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  7. Feb 10, 2010 #6
    well, i'm still not quite sure i understand the question, but i will say that i think that opinion here is somewhat artificially polar. politicians often make a bigger deal of things than they really care. then, when they get a concession for some other thing that they wanted, they can then appear to soften their stance and be "co-operative" or "bi-partisan" on an issue. it's all about riling emotions to gain power, control, influence. which is not necessarily a bad thing, i think. to me, left nor right is correct in their approach to things. the correct answer is somewhere in the middle, and the theatrics of politics is a necessary evil to achieve that middle ground that gets things done. and to the extent that you can stand outside the circle and see it for what it is without getting emotionally roped in, bully for you.
     
  8. Feb 10, 2010 #7

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Proton, you keep talking about the opinions and rhetoric of politicians. Isn't Loren asking about the constituency? i.e. is the country bi-partisan?
     
  9. Feb 10, 2010 #8
    somewhat, but i think much of it is simply people getting swept up in the theatre (manipulated).

    and heck, with all the teaparties and populism (why is that a dirty word?), i'm beginning to think we're actually tripartisan. elitists (right and left) on the tails of your bell curve, and populists in the middle. remains to be seen whether populists will ever maintain traction, tho. like those following Perot and Buchannan, they always seem to burn out. elitism seems to be more durable for some reason.
     
  10. Feb 10, 2010 #9

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Still, I think you're ignoring the question being asked. I may be wrong.
     
  11. Feb 10, 2010 #10
    I think that the majority of the country is moderate. Moderates don't generally get very vocal about their political views though and even when they do they aren't usually considered as interesting as the people shouting each other down with names like "Hitler", "Fascist", "Socialist", "Granny Killer", ect. In the end the people shouting the loudest and most outrageous things are more noticeable and the calmer more circumspect individuals fade into the background.
     
  12. Feb 10, 2010 #11
    do you support A or B ? what does a bell distribution even mean here? issues generally have binary choices. maybe it is a matter of electoralnegativity forming a political dipole

    in any case, i guess my answer is that i think it's not as polarized as it seems
     
  13. Feb 11, 2010 #12
    I imagined a (gedanken) opinions poll, tallied frequently over a period of time, as represented by a Gaussian curve - with a sole maximum centered at 50% Conservative and 50% Liberal.

    Otherwise, over another such period of time, frequently tallied opinions could represent the sum of diametric Gaussians - with two distinct maxima, again centered at 50% Conservative and 50% Liberal.

    One extreme point might be 100,000,000 opinions all Conservative - or all Liberal - a rarity found in the opposite tails of the Gaussians.
     
  14. Feb 11, 2010 #13
    I wouldn't characterize the 'Tea Party' movement as being populist...judging by their stances on a range of issues, they are most certainly far right conservative republicans.

    The conservative politicians and pundits attempt to characterize it as 'moderate' so they can attract more members, but it is anything but...
     
  15. Feb 11, 2010 #14
    could be. i certainly think most of the mass is near the center. this is where presidents always settle after elections.

    sure, they are mostly right of center. but i think they are populist in the sense that they are rejecting the ruling elite on the right because they do not think the elite represents their interests.
     
  16. Feb 11, 2010 #15

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I think this is very likely the case, but I think the reason may be simply that a significant fraction of the population hasn't bothered to give much thought to most of the issues that are important to the politician class.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: One hump or two?
  1. I am two in one (Replies: 8)

  2. The Hump (Replies: 11)

  3. Two cans, one cup (Replies: 5)

Loading...