Why Are Our Politics So Sharply Divided?
There's little or no middle ground. You're either a Republican or a Democrat, totally for Trump or totally against him.
Those statements are an exaggeration, of course. But not by much. SCOTUS is decisively divided along political lines; and so is the nation. Why?
An initial answer comes immediately: It depends on where you live, and whether you live in a rural or in a suburban, urban neighborhood. Upon further reflection, the answer expands to say it may depend on your religious affiliation, if you have one, and on your educational level, and whether your have taken graduate level courses and how the major subjects you took along the way prepared you for later life. These and numerous related factors often determine one's political persuasion.
If, for example, you grew up in Texas and still live there, as is my case, chances are you are a Republican and were an ardent follower of Donald Trump and perhaps still are. If you live in rural Texas, it's almost inevitable that if you have a church affiliation, especially that called "evangelical Christian" or Roman Catholic, you are inclined to be radically anti-abortion and equally strong in your desire to limit immigration, or cease it entirely until workable limitations can be implemented.
Also, and again. if you're a native Texas, you are apt to be "sick and tired" of the civil rights, feminist and LBQT movements; which fatigue has instilled in you the strong opinion that your freedom of speech has been violated for far too long.
Indeed, things are not quite as simple as stated here. We are complex human beings and numerous factors, including our individual mental capabilities, affect every one of the stances we take.
For example, my Texas-rooted family was strongly Democratic in the 1930s and 1940s and, somewhat surprisingly, largely remains so. In other words, to repeat, however rural one's roots, as adults we have multiple factors influencing our decisions. In addition, as most Americans over the past century, we have been exposed, thanks to the Internet and ease of travel, to many "new ideas," been to many "new" places, all the while exposed to multiple "new" ways of thinking.
I have lived mostly in rural Texas, but have also lived for a significant time in the suburbs of major cities, including Atlanta, San Antonio, and San Francisco. I differ from my "home town" folks in may ways. They tend to think I'm more liberal than they are, which, in reality, I am not. They wonder about my failure to abide by a literal interpretation of the Bible and most assuredly do not identify with my strong advocacy of equal rights for minorities and immigrants.
They are right. I am different. But, hear this: I am immensely pleased to have been exposed to "the ways of the world."