Deep changes were occurring in America. Clear battle lines were being drawn, separating those who welcomed the fundamental changes of the past two years from those who were opposed to them. The polarization became increasingly evident. Most of the politicians and media clung to the conventional bell-shaped curve interpretation: The vast majority of Americans were centrists or moderates, with relatively few people on each end of the political spectrum. But there were clear signs this model was becoming obsolete.
Many elements of American life and culture became defined by either “right” or “left.” The media lost its objectivity, not only with their editorial commentary but in its presentation of the news.
Non-activists in all lines of work were labeled as “liberal” or “conservative,” not because of their political views but because of other activities in their lives: the schools their children attended, the philanthropic causes they supported, the companies they worked for, the acting roles they took, the cars they drove, their investments, the shows they watched on TV. Americans were pressured to pick sides, but many realized they didn’t have a side they wanted to pick.
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