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12 November 2012

A Canadian, a Confederate Soldier, and a None Walk into a Bar....

When George W. Bush was elected in 2000 and then reelected in 2004, I remember many lefties loudly proclaiming, "I'm moving to Canada!" Following President Obama's recent reelection, I've read that many righties are whispering about secession. While it is easy for us to highlight the nuanced differences in these proclamations, I think it is important to recognize that both reactions are part of the same process. In an increasingly individualistic society, disagreement means dissociation. While democracy has always correlated with individualism (i.e. one person/one vote), it once was that after the ritual of electoral politics had ended, the body politic would mend its wounds and get on with the business of being a collective. Today, we see increasing segregation and an elevated level of homophily. We can also see this reflected in the increase of the religiously unaffiliated. We are becoming increasingly fragmented across multiple institutions.

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