Excerpt: The widening divide has changed the way both Democrats and Republicans run their political campaigns. Presidential campaigns in recent years have become more negative, bent on either depressing a rival's vote or inspiring one's own base to show up. Barack Obama's 2008 campaign team buried Republican nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) under more negative advertisements than any previous campaign in history - until his 2012 campaign eclipsed them in the race to define Mitt Romney and until 2016, when Clinton's team ran an almost entirely negative campaign against Trump. Said another way: Mobilizing voters has become more politically profitable than persuading those in the middle to join a side.
(NOTE THAT THIS IS PART OF A SERIES OF DEMOGRAPHICS ARTICLES FROM THE HILL, a relatively liberal source. This urban-rural divide was clearly beginning even when I was a child in the late 50s and early 60s. Perhaps the easiest issue to see it clearly in is attitudes toward firearms. The large cities have taken a dim view of the right to bear arms for almost as long as there have been cities. In the more rural areas, firearms were considered both normal and necessary to sustaining life. No one in a city condemns fishing poles, but until the last few decades, firearms were as important a means of providing food as a fishing pole, IF you lived in rural America [I personally have–or at least, had–relatives and friends that provided most of their own meat by hunting]. That’s simply the most obvious issue, there are thousands of others. The reality is that neither city-dwellers nor country cousins can survive without the other. Without “goods and services,” life is immeasurably poorer and shorter, without food, the cities–and the people in them–starve. Neither is viable alone at our current comfort levels. I see no “quick fix” for this difference in attitudes; there may not be one, perhaps not even a slow fix. But, unless we all learn to live together somehow, we will surely fail both as a society and as a country. Ron P. PS You may have to copy and paste the link into a browser as it doesn't appear to be live.)