Diploma Divide


We are living in a very polarized environment. I recently came across a OpEd post by Bill Schneider, author & professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, on ‘the Diploma Divide’. He writes that ‘populism‘ drives the diploma divide.

Two conflicting patterns now define American politics. The wealthier you are, the more likely you are to vote Republican. That has been true for nearly 100 years. At the same time, the better educated you are, the more likely you are to vote Democratic. That trend has been building since 1980.

Bill Schneider in The Hill OpEd

“Populism entails resentment of elites. Left-wing populism targets the wealthy elite. […] Right-wing populism targets the educated elite. You see it when conservatives attack experts and high-minded liberals who use “cancel culture” to enforce political correctness.”

In The Atlantic, Adam Harris writes ‘America Is Divided by Education’. Referring to a Pew survey, Harris writes that Republicans have soured on higher education:

“A number of factors contribute to this distrust, the rising cost of tuition and the perception of a liberal bent at colleges among them. And if one major party believes that higher education is an engine of liberal indoctrination, and that party’s voters are increasingly likely not to have attended college, the political benefits of an anti–higher education stance are obvious.”

In an another interesting The Atlantic article, Derek Thompson writes “the most important divide in American politics isn’t race” but driving both the polarization of place and the depolarization of race is the diploma divide.

“Demographics were never destiny. Density and diplomas form the most important divide in American politics. At least for now.” – writes Derek Thompson.

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