Red/Blue Divide

In the last two decades, it has been common to assume the nation is “divided into two unified camps” with look-alike liberals and conservatives amassing into warring factions across the nation.  By contrast, Seyle and Newman encourage us to move away from the simplistic “red vs. blue” metaphor for U.S. political differences and towards a “Purple America” frame that acknowledges qualitative gradations of political ideology and many shades and hues of purple. Compared to the “black and white” (red/blue) divide, this view welcomes a range of views on a continuous spectrum (from completely red to completely blue). There are lots of positive examples of friendships spanning this divide.

Dialog Tips: 

Reaching Out Across the Red-Blue Divide, One Person at a Time (2009) Maggie Herzig from Public Conversations Project

Conversation Catalysts: 

Conor Seyle and Matthew Newman, “A House Divided? The Psychology of Red and Blue America,” American Psychologist 61 (2006): 577-579.

You're Not as Crazy as I Thought, But You're Still Wrong:  Conversations Between a Die-Hard Liberal and a Devoted Conservative.  2008-

Welcome to the Homeland: A Journey to the Rural Heart of America's Conservative Revolution Brian Mann

Two Writers In Dialogue: A Conservative Evangelical And A Gay Liberal Can Be Friends? Part 2 2008-

The Conversation:  Since the 2008 election, conservative journalist David Brooks and his progressive colleague, Gail Collins


Phil Neisser

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