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If you follow politics or the news, America is a country of culture wars and great divides, a partisan place of red states and blue states, of us against them. From pundits to politicians it seems that anyone with an audience sees a polarized country - a country at war with itself.
In a radical departure from this "conventional wisdom," Carl Anderson explores what the talking heads have missed: an overwhelming American consensus on many of the country's seemingly most divisive issues. If the debates are shrill in public, he says, there is a quiet consensus in private - one that America's institutions ignore at their peril. From health care, to the role of religion in America, to abortion, to the importance of traditional ethics in business and society, Anderson uses fresh polling data and keen insight in BEYOND A HOUSE DIVIDED to show that a surprising consensus has emerged despite these debates. He sheds light on what's been missing in the public and political debates of the last several years: the consensus that isn't hard to find if you know where to look.
For Anderson, allowing polar opposites to drive the discussion has made the resolution of contentious issues impossible. Instead, he says, we should look to the consensus among Americans as the best prospect for a beneficial conclusion.
“Anderson, head of the Catholic fraternal organization Knights of Columbus, argues in this slender book—the publication of which coincides with the 2010 elections—that Americans have a “moral consensus” on key social issues that goes unrecognized amid politically partisan gridlock. Using polling data gathered by the Marist College Institute of Public Opinion as well as other surveys, Anderson highlights positions and values that significant numbers of Americans support… This book is too small to make a completely persuasive argument, but its findings deserve further examination and discussion.” – Publishers Weekly