In his 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention, then-Sen. Barack Obama famously declared, “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America – there’s the United States of America.”
He was wrong.
Because recent presidential elections have made it clear there are, in fact, a liberal America and conservative America.
Fifteen states have voted for the Democratic candidate in every presidential election since 2000, while 22 states have voted Republican in every election since that time.
That means only 13 of the 50 states have swung since the turn of the century. But five of those states – New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan – are typically Democratic states that only voted for a Republican once in that time, while two other states, Indiana and North Carolina, are typically Republican states that only voted for a Democrat during the Obama wave of 2008.
Although liberal states and conservative states are both populated by Americans, their citizens hold increasingly divergent views.
“Americans today are polarized to a degree not seen since the Civil War,” lamented David Kupelian, WND’s vice president and managing editor. “The president gives a speech in Poland defending Western values – the Christian faith, freedom, strong families – and is viciously attacked by the left as a white supremacist and racist. To most Americans, that’s simply insane – but that’s where the left is today.
“This growing political-cultural divide has at its core two profoundly different worldviews – radically different views of who and what man is, and what his responsibility is toward God and his fellow man – which in turn determines wildly divergent views as to what constitutes morality, fairness, justice, equality, what kind of government we need, indeed what constitutes good and evil.”
Many Americans seek to move to a place where more people share their values. Paul Chabot, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully for a U.S. House seat in his native California in 2014 and 2016, relocated to Texas along with his family after his latest defeat.
He then founded Conservative Move, a company that endeavors to help conservatives move out of liberal sections of the country and find a new home in North Texas.
From the company’s founding in May through the beginning of July, Chabot said he received about a thousand expressions of interest, three-quarters of them from Californians, according to The Guardian.
Gina Loudon, a cable TV host and psychology, political and social analyst, lives in California and has considered leaving the state for greener pastures. In an April WND column, she wrote about how the California legislature tried to pass a bill to eliminate her husband’s job, in which he fought for the rights of non-union workers.
“My family and I have personally been targeted by Jerry Brown and his take-no-prisoners approach to political savagery,” Loudon told WND. “So indeed, we have considered moving to a state that is friendlier to business and diversity of opinion. Not to mention, taxation in Democrat-controlled states is a much heavier burden. Additionally, we know that Democrat-controlled states and cities have much higher crime rates due to their restrictive gun laws that endanger their citizens.”
However, it’s an oversimplification to say conservative Americans live in the “red” states and liberal Americans live in the “blue” states.
An examination of a county-level electoral map from any recent presidential election yields a surprising observation: the vast majority of counties in America lean Republican. Even in reliably Democratic states like Oregon, Washington, Minnesota and New York, the Republican candidate wins the majority of counties.
In fact, Donald Trump won more than 2,600 counties in 2016 while Hillary Clinton won fewer than 500, according to TIME. A county-level electoral map makes the United States appear to be a sea of GOP, with the Democrat counties concentrated mainly on the East and West coasts and the Southwest.
So how did Clinton win the popular vote while winning less than one-sixth of the counties? The counties she won were predominantly high-population urban counties, while Trump won mainly lower-population rural and suburban counties.
The liberal/conservative divide in America has become largely an urban/rural divide. It’s a phenomenon Kupelian explored in his most recent book, “The Snapping of the American Mind.”
“Although obviously there are many exceptions, generally speaking, the stunning truth in today’s America is that our big cities are liberal-left while the rest of the country is basically center-right,” Kupelian said.
It only takes a major city or two to turn a state Democrat, given that whoever wins a plurality of votes in a state receives all the electoral votes (in 48 of the 50 states).
Hillary Clinton only captured two counties in Nevada, but those two counties included the cities of Las Vegas and Reno, so Clinton won the state. In Minnesota, she won the counties surrounding Minneapolis/St. Paul, Duluth and only a few others, yet carried the state. In Illinois, she won the counties surrounding Chicago and scarcely more, yet won the state by 17 points. In Virginia, Clinton captured the counties near Washington, D.C., and a smattering of other counties surrounding large Virginia cities, and she captured the state by five points.
In “The Snapping of the American Mind,” Kupelian quoted journalist Josh Kron, who wrote the following in The Atlantic shortly after the 2012 election:
“The gap is so stark that some of America’s bluest cities are located in its reddest states. Every one of Texas’ major cities – Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio – voted Democratic in 2012, the second consecutive presidential election in which they’ve done so. Other red-state cities that tipped blue include Atlanta, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Birmingham, Tucson, Little Rock, and Charleston, S.C. – ironically, the site of the first battle of the Civil War. In states like Nevada, the only blue districts are often also the only cities, like Reno and Las Vegas.
“Because winning a state’s electoral votes requires only a simple majority, a single city can change the entire game. Blue cities in swing states that ended up going for Obama last Tuesday include Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Denver, the cities of Florida, and the cities of Ohio.”
In Kron’s article, which was titled “Red State, Blue City: How the Urban-Rural Divide Is Splitting America,” he pointed out the days when city and country residents of a given state shared a common worldview are over. The political dividing lines drawn along state and regional borders, as in pre-Civil War times, have vanished.
“The new political divide is a stark division between cities and what remains of the countryside,” Kron wrote. “Not just some cities and some rural areas, either – virtually every major city (100,000-plus population) in the United States of America has a different outlook from the less populous areas that are closest to it. The difference is no longer about where people live, it’s about how people live: in spread-out, open, low-density privacy – or amid rough-and-tumble, in-your-face population density and diverse communities that enforce a lower-common denominator of tolerance among inhabitants.”
Kupelian, for his part, contends people don’t make cities liberal – cities actually make people liberal.
“As I explain in ‘The Snapping of the American Mind,’ just living in a big city tends to make one liberal,” he said. “Quite literally, the attitudes, beliefs, assumptions and worldview of one’s surrounding world tend to get inside a person. A microcosm of this phenomenon can be seen in our universities. Many Christian, homeschooled, conservative kids who go to college these days soon become enamored of progressive leftist ideas. After all, that’s what everybody else thinks – can they all be wrong? Besides, who wants to be rejected and ostracized as an outcast or racist?”
Loudon, who coauthored the book “What Women Really Want,” does not think it’s healthy for people to divide themselves up by ideology.
“Tribalism is terrible and we know this,” she insisted. “It isn’t good for the republic and it isn’t good for civil discourse. If you want to control people, divide them up into little parcels, separate them by ideology and emotion, create a victim status, and give them something to make them think they need you. Then you can control them.”
Kupelian believes major cities offer a preview of what the rest of America will look like if Democrats have their way.
“If you want to know what America will look like in the future under the ‘enlightened’ leadership of progressive Democrats, look at our big cities, which have been run by progressive Democrats for the last century,” Kupelian wrote in “The Snapping of the American Mind.” “According to National Review:
“‘Baltimore has seen two Republicans sit in the mayor’s office since the 1920s – and none since the 1960s. Like St. Louis, it is effectively a single-party political monopoly from its schools to its police department. Philadelphia has not elected a Republican mayor since 1948. The last Republican to be elected mayor of Detroit was congratulated on his victory by President Eisenhower. Atlanta, a city so corrupt that its public schools are organized as a criminal conspiracy against its children, last had a Republican mayor in the 19th century. …
“‘Black urban communities face institutional failure across the board every day. American cities are by and large Democratic-party monopolies, monopolies generally dominated by the so-called progressive wing of the party. The results have been catastrophic.’”