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USA: one country, two nations


By R.N. Haass

The US presidential election has demonstrated that the electorate remains deeply divided. Voters were divided approximately equally between the two candidates. In general, Americans are increasingly living in different worlds. They are divided into communities and regions with similar views. Each world tends to watch its own cable TV channels, listen to its own radio stations and podcasts, and visit their own websites.
It is worth emphasizing that the division of the country is taking place for the most part not on an economic basis. People of all classes voted for both candidates, and political preferences by demographic, gender, and race were not as strong as many predicted.
Rather, voters were divided by educational attainment and geography: Republican voters are more likely to reside in remote suburbs and rural areas, while Democrats are more likely to reside in metropolitan areas.
Many agree that the current US electoral system is deeply flawed and unrepresentative, but it is impossible to reach consensus on reform because any possible fix will benefit some and hurt others. Unsurprisingly, those who might lose from change resist it.
Democrats have rallied around a strong rejection of Trump and everything he embodies. On the contrary, Republicans sought to elect Trump. Thus, the elections showed that the United States is one country and two nations. They will have to coexist, but it remains to be seen if they can work together.


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