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Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Dis-United States?

Just spent lunchtime at a very interesting seminar at work - 'Dis-United States?' The speakers were Jonathan Freedland (The Guardian) Doctor Robert McGeehan (Institute of US Studies, and a self-proclaimed Republican) and Jane Little (BBC World Service Religious Affairs).

The main thrust of the debate was about the supposed '50/50 nation' (referring to a USA divided entirely in half by it's political allegiances), and to what the signifiers were. Jonathan Freedland suggested that the Democrats and Republicans had such distinct views on things such as the UN, abortion, gay marriage and gun ownership that politics had become very black & white to most US citizens. He cited many cultural references as evidence, including the recent US bestseller list - two of the most popular books of the day being non fiction, politically focused, and extremely right/left in their views:

Ann Coulter's 'Treason.' and Michael Moore's 'Stupid White Men.' About as polemic as you can get!

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