Beyond A House Divided
In his new book, Beyond a House Divided: The Moral Consensus Ignored by Washington, Wall Street, and the Media, Carl Anderson examines a mountain of polling statistics and has some surprising news. Anderson writes, “In dealing with many high profile issues, we have found consensus where conventional wisdom would have us believe it is most unlikely: on the issues of religion in public life, abortion, marriage, and the role of government, among others.”
Anderson writes that Americans, by a margin of nearly two to one, share a common moral compass and are, as a result, at odds not with each other, but rather with governmental, media, and financial institutions. We care much more about right and wrong than we do about right and left.
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While documents like the Manhattan Declaration are regularly smeared as the work of partisans and extremists, quite the opposite is true. Carl Anderson’s book makes the clear case that if you believe in restricting abortion, in traditional marriage, and in other traditional values you are, whether Republican, Democrat or Independent, part of the great American consensus.
It reminds me of what Sociologist Peter Berger used to say: If India is the most religious nation in the world, and Sweden the most irreligious, America is a nation of Indians governed by Swedes. We, in fact, are in the mainstream. It’s the elite who are out of step. So if we focus our energies on working together, we can bring about the great civic and national renewal so many of us seek.
Phi Beta Iota: Emphasis added. This is not news to the informed public. It has long been known that the 80-20 rule applies–that most agree on 80% and disagree on 20%. Focusing the public “debate” on the 20% is a common means of creating wedge issues that portray a difference between Republicans and Democrats that is cosmetic at best. 2012 is a potential time of Awakening and Emergence.