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Look How Far We’ve Come Apart

By Jonathan Haidt, Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership, and Marc J. Hetherington

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America is not united and it is getting less and less unitable with each passing decade.

In the witches’ brew of fearmongering, unkeepable promises and poll-tested metaphors that both parties serve up to the electorate every four years, you can always find this predictable dash of inspiration: the image of Americans uniting and working together for the sake of the country. President Obama said in Charlotte, N.C. that America is “about what can be done by us, together.” In Tampa, Paul Ryan said, “Whatever your political party, let’s come together for the sake of our country.” And Mitt Romney closed his convention speech with three invocations of “That America, that united America.”

But America is not united and it is getting less and less unitable with each passing decade. You can see us coming apart in three simple graphs.

Read full piece as published by The New York Times.