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Biden-Harris Voters, America Needs You!

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Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) December 20, 2020: I want to reply to Thomas B. Edsall's fine column "America, We Have a Problem: The rise of 'political sectarianism' is putting us all in danger" (dated December 16, 2020) in the New York Times.

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In it, Edsall soberly alerts us to the danger of political sectarianism. He says, "On Oct. 30, a group of 15 eminent scholars (several of whom I also got a chance to talk to) published an essay - 'Political Sectarianism in America' - arguing that the antagonism between left and right has become so intense that words and phrases like 'affective polarization' and 'tribalism' were no longer sufficient to capture the level of partisan hostility."

The 15 co-authors of that paper (as listed on the document itself, which is not hard to find with a Google search) are (1) Eli J. Finkel, (2) Christopher A. Bail, (3) Mina Cikara, (4) Peter H. Ditto, (5) Shanto Iyengar, (6) Samara Klar, (7) Lilliana Mason, (8) Mary C. McGrath, (9) Brendan Nyhan, (10) David G. Rand, (11) Linda J. Skitka, (12) Joshua A. Tucker, (13) Jay J. Van Bevel, (14) Cynthia S. Wang, and (15) James N. Druckman.

Now, in Edsall's piece, he quotes the following ten persons (in the following order of the appearance of their names in his piece):

(1) Jack Goldstone of George Mason University;

(2) Peter Turchin of the University of Connecticut;

(3) Gary Jacobson of the University of California - San Diego;

(4) Eli Finkel of Northwestern University;

(5) Shanto Iyengar of Stanford University;

(6) Erik Peterson of Texas A&M University;

(7) Cynthia Shih-Chia Wang of Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management;

(8) Peter Ditto of the University of California - Irvine;

(9) Diane Mutz of the University of Pennsylvania;

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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)

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