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Which is the most ideologically diverse American city? (marginalrevolution.com)
49 points by kristianc 9 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 88 comments

First, article is talking more about ideological divide (democratic/republican) than ideological diversity (which would presumably mean many other viewpoints).

Not sure about ideological diversity, and how to even measure it, but ideological divide to me seems as an inevitable result of two party system (and majority voting system), as both parties struggle to get supporters. In order to do that, they often abandon or shift in ideology. The result is that the "ideological divide" is so very fluid that it is not really representative of any particular ideology.

In short, I think measuring the "ideological diversity" in terms of democrats/republicans is probably quite misleading.


Washington, DC is absolutely not an ideologically diverse place, by basically any measure. 93% (!) of the city voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Additionally, most people there, Democrats included, are extremely dedicated to the status quo. I've live in cities all across America, including DC 2015-2018 -- I actually usually cite it as the least ideologically diverse place I've ever lived.

I generally like Marginal Revolution, but this article is bunk.

I work here and I agree. Everyone here thinks that the educated class should run the country. I had to move out to Anne Arundel to get away from it.

Was there a time when people thought the uneducated class should run the country? Were most of the founders part of the “educated class”?

I would go further and be curious if people think that the uneducated class running the country is a good idea now?

Yes. I think the DC mindset that highly educated wonks should tell everyone what to do is intensely anti-Democratic.

Who in DC is "telling everyone what to do"? We vote for them, they write the laws. That is how a representative democracy works. Under your vision of uneducated leaders, would those people still be "telling everyone what to do" when they write a law?

There is a vast army of wonks (mostly in executive departments and agencies) that are doing most of the “telling everyone what to do.”

Do you think MBAs should tell software engineers how to write code? Do you consider people who specialize in software development "wonks" or just experts?

The opposite of that is a far cry from the uneducated running the country.

You don't think that people in charge of policy should have a minimum amount of learning beyond high school, for example, to deal with something that has such complicated externalities as public policy?

Voting is one thing, because we are all in this together, but I really, really prefer a captain to steer a ship rather than someone who just has bold opinions on ships.

Pretty much all of the revolutions in until Russia in 1917 where almost 100% like this listen to Mike Duncans revolutions podcast series and its a very common theme.

I suspect some of the founders would have been OK with the franchise being limited to well off males.

> I suspect some of the founders would have been OK with the franchise being limited to well off males.

In fact, it was originally limited to well off males.

Ah I haven't listened to the AWI podcasts he has done yet

> Washington, DC is absolutely not an ideologically diverse place, by basically any measure.

Perhaps, but...

> 93% (!) of the city voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

...is irrelevant to the thesis. The partisan divide in the US generally conceals significant ideological diversity within each major party, and those voting for a particular major party candidate are generslly more ideologically-diverse than those who identify with the major party they are from (as they tend to include people who ideologically identify as independents or wihlth minor parties who vote tactically, and a smaller number who vote that way but ideologically-motivated identify with the opposing major party.)

> ideological divide (democratic/republican)

Political divide is probably more descriptive.

But I agree. "Texas", "lesbian", "Mexican", and "Midwest" are not ideologies. They're identities.

Or, perhaps, not identities but fuzzy sets.

I think Texas is big enough to be a State, and identity, and an ideology.

Surely, true ideological diversity begins with (but indeed doesn't end with) the capacity to have democrats and republicans successfully coexist, something that parts of California and parts of the south, respectively, has struggled with.

In all honesty, I'm sure the south wouldn't mind the social welfare state with all its trappings if it wasn't draped in progressive supremacist ideology.

Surely there's an opportunity here, driving forward things like public healthcare (or public education) sans the diversity rhetoric.

Surely there's an opportunity here, driving forward things like public healthcare (or public education) sans the diversity rhetoric.

What is "the diversity rhetoric"?

Is it practically speaking possible to have a public healthcare system or a pubic education system without examining "diversity" in those services?

Most of the ways in which public education could be better would improve it for everyone.

But the NY Times (for example) is unable to discuss it without focusing on differences between groups of people. I think GP is saying that this gets people's backs up, and isn't necessary for making improvements.

The reason it angers people isn't entirely irrational. For example, if you know that your next public school principal is going to be judged not on the total quality, but solely on the black-white difference, then you know that he will be tempted to game the rating system and make things worse for one group.

> For example, if you know that your next public school principal is going to be judged not on the total quality, but solely on the black-white difference, then you know that he will be tempted to game the rating system and make things worse for one group.

I find this claim astonishing. Do you have an example of it happening?

Not this exact scenario, but I think almost everything has an element of this.

Maybe a less charged example: Every time I hear about a green investment fund I wonder what the incentive structure is. Clearly if it was 100% green 0% returns, the manager would just donate your money to charity, cash his bonus check, and buy a yacht. Really it needs to have imperceptibly lower returns than the non-green competition, because the customers will notice whole percentage points, and will look elsewhere.

Another: What's the incentive structure for everyone making decisions in how to dig a subway in NYC? Since they end up spending, I forget, say it's 4x as much as Paris, at least 75% of the spending seems to be decided by priorities other than actually having a train. But the voters are unable to stop this.

Which of these is closer to the school board?

Diversity rhetoric, in this context, refers to social constructivism.

The basic idea behind this kind of social constructivism is that society is "sinful" and it must be corrected through moralizing (ie: interpreting all social issues as moral issues), essentialism (ie: reducing people to superficial qualities like race and gender), and Utopian ideology (ie: striving for a perfect society free of sin).

"Examining" "diversity" is largely unrelated to providing health services.

Ah, in other words “I have created a pretend problem where none exists”.

I guess the American political parties have shifted over historical time, but they haven't shifted much in the last 4 decades or so. And there are pretty reliable ideological differences between democrats and republicans, across a wide variety of issues. Of course, you lose a lot of information with a binary classification, but the binary classification still tells you quite a bit in this case.

Wait, this is just someone's opinion? There's no data here! This should be an empirical exercise, why should we trust these cities the author pulls from random anecdote?

One idea would be to use voter registration records and census blocks to measure the polarization of the population wrt political behavior. There's also survey data on attitudes and beliefs that could be aggregated by city. But there's no data at all, it's just the author's personal speculation.

Yikes, outside of Hacker News, people share their thoughts and opinions without citations! Those morons!

Given that we tend to over-emphasise the differences between ideological positions that we're more familiar with, and under-emphasise the difference between positions that we aren't, it's hard to see how an exercise like this tells us anything except the author's own political experience and imagination. Even if there were empirical data here, how could we objectively determine the distance between ideological perspectives? And what dimensions of their many differences do we emphasise?

We see this most clearly when we look at ideologies that are dominant today. For example, a fairly core ideology over the last 30 years is that more and more aspects of society either should, or inevitably will, be governed by the market. As a result, ideologies that don't subscribe to this this idea are generally viewed as similar no matter how much they might otherwise be unrelated. Which is kind of strange, since 'ideologies that don't subscribe to this idea' amounts to most of the ideologies adopted over the course of human history.

Exactly. Here in Norway e.g. the non-market oriented political ideologies would be represented by at least 5 different parties: communists, socialists, social-democrats, social-liberals, and liberal-Christians.

Although the social-liberals and liberal-Christians are not usually considered pro market, although they don't seem to be the American sense of pro-market. Like they are not actively pushing privatization as a major focus. Rather they are more against state infringement on individual rights.

What I find interesting is that Tyler makes it all about his personal POV. Everyone _he_ talks to in Washington is obsessed with hour-by-hour politics. Everyone _he_ talks to in San Francisco and Seattle are obsessed with blockchain. But only in other places he's apparently never actually visited, he assumes, those people probably have "regular lives". The only thing this post shows is how insulated Tyler's own life is from the vast majority of Americans.

You can accuse Tyler Cowen of many things, but accusing him of not visiting any particular place is probably going to back fire. He is quite well travelled, especially to places that aren't generally travelled to.

The server seems dead, can't handle the load.

I wonder if the author considered the collision of urban-philia being a political distinction, and geographic boundaries are mostly a political or geographic accident. So statistically the most diverse city will have 100% non-diverse neighborhoods like any other city, but will have weirdly large boundaries for legacy historical reasons such that the "diverse" city includes distant rural farmland and suburbs whereas "non-diverse" city with identical neighborhoods and demographics will have small city limits boundaries.

How can this question be reasonably answered?

Maybe places with high numbers of academics and articulate people can be measured but that's about it.

There's multiple dimensions when it comes to ideology and multiple approaches to each dimension. There's even fundamentally different interpretations of the categorical differences on how to subdivide the classifications of these systems. And each of these facets have wide diversity at every nuanced level.

For instance, many San Francisco "lefties" are anarcho-capitalists who want to do away with market oversight along with having drug legalization, amnesty for all immigrants, gay rights, and unlimited gun rights for all. They want to privatize all public services and call that process "progressivism".

Some of them call themselves libertarians, others "classical liberals" and yet others will tell you long stories about how they aren't either of those... It's really quite complicated and throwing them all in a "liberal" column with people who believe entirely different things for entirely different reasons (such as, for instance, those who believe "money"(another debated term) is a fundamentally corrupting influence and the state needs to tame the market through strict oversight), is pretty incorrect. In fact, some socialists I've spoken with consider the entire libertarian project as a form of tyrannical autocracy by the ruling class - so they view those lefties as actually far-righties.

But let's pretend you can map all those out and ignore that perspective matters. Do you need population size? Representation in governments? Places of discussion?

I really can't see how to even approach this question.

Look for places with competitive elections.

That could be more an indicator of a lack of political consensus or a fractured political power then of ideological diversity.

As a concrete analogy, let's pretend there's a monarchy and the king, with identical twins, dies. There can be a highly competitive power struggle in between the two heirs but not over anything ideologically different.

This happens in sports all the time. There's many highly competitive sports games, but the two teams are still playing the same game by the same rules; they don't represent different ideologies.

The "animal spirits" associated with a functional democratic process foster a culture where diversity of thought is at least possible.

I live in city recovering from an extreme -- a long era of domination by an all-powerful, mafia-like political machine. 40 years ago, even uttering an idea not in line with the machine would result in retaliation. Talk to someone identified as an enemy, and your street doesn't get plowed. Do anything more, and your relatives will be blackballed from employment.

"anarchist capitalists" are just libertarians. And libertarians are just conservatives that smoke weed.

Its always very satisfying when people who attempted to be clever, just reveal their deep seeded ignorance.

> For instance, many San Francisco "lefties" are anarcho-capitalists

That seems a bit strange. I know quite a bit about anarcho-capitalism, but I have never, never ever heard anybody claim they were 'left'. In fact generally 'leftism' is associated with socialism and the exact opposite of what AnCaps want.

If you use a non-technical approximation of the term as the placeholder for the true bearers of liberty and freedom, then sure.

As far as others considering them "lefties", to some people, a few checkboxes put you in a generalized "leftist/liberal/fascist/democrat/communist" category, which these people consider to all be the same thing. For instance: pro-immigrant, gay rights, and weed-legalization would be the end of the discussion for them. Their analysis is over and they don't care to discuss it any further.

There's a lot of people like that. I meet them frequently.

I'm an ancap, and live in rural Arkansas. I wouldn't describe myself as "leftist"... but many of the people around me probably would.

When I was in Charlottesville, VA, many of the people around me there would have described me as "right wing" or even "alt-right".

In our binary political system, people have a hard time describing people who oppose them without assuming they are members of the "others".

Houston for sure. It’s close to a true melting pot. You have everything from cowboys to Marxists, libertarians to La Raza activists. You have an old, tight knit African American community mixed with limousine liberals, George H.W. Bush style globalist conservatives along with large Latin American communities, GLBT flag-wavers and evangelicals. There is even a small, but extremely tight-knit Jewish community along with a large and welcoming Islamic community. I could go on and on. Houston wins by far when it comes to ideological diversity. The ciry itself does trend leftwards, however if you add Harris Coubtry into the mix, it’s almost an even split with many people straddling the left-right ideological divide (voting for liberal mayors but conservative county commissioners.)

> The proper conclusion may be that intellectual bubbles are a useful means of moving forward.

Read the last sentence. Unless I misinterpret this grossly, the author is making fun of demands for "ideological diversity", i.e. lack of conservative/Republican mindshare, a la maybe Jonathan Haidt.

As long as we are defining this qualitatively, I nominate Charlottesville VA. Yeah, it's much smaller, but the community feel means people are actually interacting across ideaological lines, not just sharing municipal services.

Absolutely not. I moved from there in December, and it is the most hostile place I've ever experienced. If you aren't an acceptable class of Progressive, you're a "Nazi."

To change an old joke we have all types of politics Democrat (centre right) and republican ( originally centre right but now take over by far right entryists).

I'd imagine this would correlate with ethnic and/or economic diversity, which makes it surprising that Sacramento (my hometown, and consistently in the top 15 of the variety of "most ethnically/economically diverse American cities" lists, sometimes venturing into the top 5 or the #1 spot) seems to be absent from the article.

Cowen uses intellectual and ideological diversity interchangeably.

I would argue that intellectual and ideological bubbles are only partially intersect and most of his readers are more interested in intellectual diversity.

I also suspect that binary conservatives/liberals division is not bringing enough diversity either ideologically or intellectually. The political diversity is large cities with large universities with lots of students and immigrants far outweighs the diversity in local politics. Smart Nepalese student who is communist may cut trough the conservative/liberal axis in a surprising way that is really new and interesting.

Good point. The Left/Right model of politics poorly reflects the complexity and nuance of people's actual views. It is good for encouraging us-versus-them conflict but terrible for real understanding.

Well, it won't be any large or mega city. Statistically as they grow larger they'll homogenize. It's far more likely to be some tiny hundreds of person, barely incorporated place no one has heard of. In those the deviation won't be smoothed out.

The question is complicated by the fact that a big part of the modern Republican ideology is a hatred of cities and an anti intellectualism. Which, by the way, is historically a very dangerous ideology and led to things like the Khmer Rouge's genocide.

You are aware that the Khmer Rouge was a leftist Marxist government, right?

Also, the “hatred” goes both ways.

I wasn't suggesting that the ideologies are identical, just that they share those elements.

And no, the hatred does not go both ways, but you might think so because another big part of modern Republican ideology is victimization and resentment. Which are also powerful dangerous forces historically.

I wasn't suggesting that the ideologies are identical, just that they share those elements

The way you worded your comment obviously made that implication - between Republicans and the Khmer Rouge, when in fact the Khmer Rouge was a leftist, communist, Marxist government, whose leaders were steeped in academic Marxist "intellectualism" (they studied in Paris, no less).

Deciphering whether you intended it or not is not my motive, so I'll leave that to the readers.

And no, the hatred does not go both ways,but you might think so

I disagree, but I have no horse in this race - my personal politics are boring centrist liberalism.

so because another big part of modern Republican ideology is victimization

Is it opposite day or something?



All that I'm saying is that Khmer Rouge hated cities and Republicans hate cities. The reason it is dangerous is because it creates a hated "other" (urban elites) that can ultimately lead to atrocities.

On victimization and resentment, it's basically the whole appeal of Trump. See https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/07/21/...

The whole point of the anti-urban elites propaganda is to make people feel like they're victims of the hated others.

You know that the heart of traditional right-wing media and all of its pundits are in midtown New York City, right? And that the next generation of right-wing media is based out of Toronto?

It's only Christian Conservatives, which are not part of "modern Republican ideology" _at all_ who are anti-(Northern-)city.

They're also (typically) well-read folks, just they're reading different stuff, and see themselves as intellectuals first before anything else.

The "Christian Right" has been a dead concept politically when that party's leadership realized they no longer needed them to get a president elected back with Dubya (the first time).

Republicans and Democrats aren’t that far apart globally speaking. So probably the answer is the same as what it would be without the word ideological—i.e. NYC and specifically Queens.

As a foreigner I must say Americans are rather blinded in their thinking about ideology from having a political system which doesn't allow for more than two parties.

Yes sure legally speaking there can be more parties, but due to the winner-takes all form of voting, there is no practical way for a third party to ever enter politics.

The existence of the republican and democratic party in the US for such an exceedingly long time has created a very ingrained sense of what politics and ideology is in the US.

People naturally have a much wider spectrum of ideologies than those represented by democrats and republicans. Yet there is no way to express that at the voting booth. Hence whatever people vote wouldn't really reflect the ideological divide.

Seen from my Norwegian perspective, if Norway was a city in the US, then Hillary Clinton would likely have gotten 90% of the vote. However that doesn't mean there is a lack of ideological diversity in Norway. There are 9 major parties in Norway and several much smaller ones, representing quite a diversity of opinion. The democratic party would have been quite an outlier politically in Norway, yet Donald Trump and republicans are even more extreme that people would naturally vote Hillary.

That a diverse set of people vote on some common lesser evil doesn't really make them all that similar.

Well, I'd guess the most culturally diverse city (Los Angeles) is a likely answer.

Toronto is far more culturally diverse than LA, and that's the city that elected Rob Ford as mayor.

How do you figure Toronto is more culturally diverse than LA? LA has large communities of people from essentially every part of the world. Maybe they're roughly on par?

Toronto is 50% immigrants, LA is 40% immigrants. LA's immigrants are 2/3rds Latino, Toronto's immigrants are very broadly composed.



LA is 40% immigrants because large immigrant populations are already established in LA, whereas Toronto was basically white until a few decades ago.

LA is roughly 48% Latino, 30% "white", 11% Asian, 10% Black, and 30% "other" generally referring to smaller ethnic groups or to multi-ethnic individuals. LA's minority population on an absolute basis is larger than the entire population of the Toronto Metro Area. We have every type of Asian, European, South and North American, African, and Pacific Islander there is. We have ethnic populations in LA that are the only settled populations of those groups outside of their home countries, such as Iranian Jews and Druze.

Toronto is 48% white, 9% Black, 1% Aboriginal, and the remainder is Asian. Not diverse by US standards, unless you're comparing yourself to Cleveland or Indianapolis, maybe.

"the only settled populations of those groups outside of their home countries, such as Iranian Jews and Druze."

Rural Alberta has Druze communities, let alone Toronto.

"and the remainder is Asian"

Not true, a significant portion of the "other" category in Toronto is Arab and African. Not to mention the fact that "Asian" itself is a highly diverse category.

"Toronto was basically white until a few decades ago"

Exactly. Toronto's hugely diverse population is quite young, meaning it is much less assimilated.

To me, 50% vs 40% isn't "far more culturally diverse". Especially when you consider that Los Angeles has more than 2x the number of people. And I can tell you that the experience of living in Los Angeles is insanely multicultural. It's like somebody took the globe and shrunk it down to fit inside of a single city. In the course of a 30 minute drive, you can pass through neighborhoods where the store front signage is alternately in Korean, Armenian, Chinese, Spanish, Russian, etc. I mean, there basically are no white people in the city core, outside of extremely affluent neighborhoods.

Pretty much exactly my experience in Toronto, but I never experienced that in my visits to LA. Perhaps Toronto is not "far more" diverse, but I still maintain that it is more diverse.

I imagine that in both cities it matters a great deal which suburbs you include in your census when measuring ethnic diversity so it's really hard to compare directly.

>2. Washington, D.C. and environs. The intellectual class in this city is about half conservative/Republican/libertarian and always will be — just don’t think too hard about who actually lives here!

Um....what? DC resident here. The only conservatives I see, anywhere, are tourists from the South/Midwest. The "intellectual class" is not linearly mapped to the Congress proportions. While conservative politicians (by the way most politicians live in the suburbs, outside DC) have conservative staffers, there's way more non-profits which are overwhelmingly liberal.

It's true that some cities are bubbles without conservatives, but you have to keep in mind that America itself is a bubble without any real left wing to speak of. If you care about getting the full range of ideology that exists in most other western countries, you need to choose a city with a large international population like NYC.

This just goes to show that the idea of 'diversity' is always a value judgement about what the 'right' mix of people is.

Well the "diverse" part is mostly choosing one or the other of the two mainstream views.

Kind of stupid without a definition of ideological diversity.

Cowen uses "ideological diversity" as a stand-in for Democratic/Republican balance. Which is one kind of diversity, and you would likely find the most balanced distribution of opinion on such questions as "is Mueller biased against Trump?" and "is Paul Ryan's tax plan good?" in the cities mentioned.

But here's a couple other questions that are likely more balanced in e.g. San Francisco than the cities mentioned: Are microstate monarchies the ideal form of government? Did the Constitution establish white supremacy? Should Keystone XL be blocked? Does trans ideology unnecessarily essentialize binary genders? Should we establish a generous universal basic income? Will blockchains lead to utopia on Earth? Should blockchain enthusiasts be sent to the gulag already?

Cowen enjoys occasionally getting under his elite coastal readership's skin, but this is pretty weak tea.

I hypothesize NYC

Sorry, the groupthink here is palpable.

I think Toronto.

What is the point diversity for the sake of diversity? What you want is a community of people who can analyze data and have sufficient knowledge of statistics to know how to distinguish valid information from garbage. There's no point in being around anti vaccine people, or people who base their arguments in assumptions (beliefs) from old stories.

The point of diversity of opinion is that you have a challenge against the ideas of yourself and of others. If everybody around you agrees with what you say then you may never be thoughtful about your positions and can get away with being wrong.

In academia a paper is written by a human who desperately wants to be right and publish it (because they are self interested of course) and the peer review process is there to challenge the methodology so that the truth can emerge.

It's like if you had two sets of scientists who had opposing viewpoints but could only use objective measure to justify their own side, when placed in opposition to one another their biases will more likely produce a truth.

It's also important to note that being able to analyze data and have knowledge of statistics is not enough. For a hypothetical example if you are a modern American progressive you might have a set of opinions which you identify with like a raised minimum wage, progressive tax, etc. You really want to be consistent in your beliefs so you seek out data which CAN justify your position. Like that minimum wage does not reduce employment or something. You search for any evidence that justifies it naturally and maybe do some shallow research on the opposition but deep down you know what side you are on. You have used data and statistics to justify your positions, but that is not enough to say whether you are actually right or not.

On the other hand, the anti vaxxer which try to figure out if they MUST reject that vaccines cause autism and maybe they find one thing that says there is a reason to doubt and that is sufficient.

In each case exposure to a formidable argument from the opposite side can really challenge their opinion. (Not that minimum wage is as simple as vaccines)

If you have hard evidence against something like anti vaxers then you can do away with their argument scientifically, but if you characterize all conservatives/liberals in that way, they you are lacking exposure to real, formidable arguments against your own positions. Because there are certain issues where both sides have objective measure which justify their own side.

If someone is searching for data to support their bias, then they are not qualified to to analyze data and do not have sufficient knowledge of statistics. It's important to know what you're not able to discern from the information you have.

The labels "conservative/liberal" don't mean much to me either. I find that many people are motivates by economics, or supporting their own tribes/ego. Many of these "opinions" come from organizations funded by wealthy people who benefit from the voters having those opinions, and I don't see any point in ascribing them any value.

At least in academia, there is a process that can result in valid results about our world, such as climate change. But there is no reason to consider Jenny Mccarthy's opinion on vaccines, or some oil magnate in Texas's opinion about climate change.

Yea then nobody is qualified to analyze the data.

And there is reason to consider opposing opinions on vaccines, and then after the best evidence from both sides are provided a real conclusion can be made (it has already been made) and then it's no longer worth considering unless new evidence arises.

Diversity is wonderful but please, not diversity of opinion.

I'm not sure what you mean, but some opinions are contradictory to facts, in which case they are a hindrance to progress. At one time, opinions were that slavery is OK and cigarettes are not harmful.

> Washington DC: The intellectual class in this city is about half conservative/Republican/libertarian and always will be.

While I think the 50 percent figure is high, people tend to only think of DC as a liberal city.

Of course it primarily is, but there is a large population of well-educated conservatives and libertarians living here.

Most of my social circle leans left, but it was always good living in DC to hear different perspectives, rather than shouting into an echo-chamber.

Also an extremely diverse population (51% Black) along with on-going gentrification leads to DC being one of the more intellectually stimulating cities to live in.

51% black doesn’t make it “extremely diverse.” That makes it “majority black.” Hispanics are only 4% of the population, Asians less than 3%. Whites are roughly 43%

I am not sure how diverse that is and certainly questionable to call that “extremely diverse.”

In my experience, socioeconomic diversity results in different points of view than the color of someone's skin. Many problems people face are economic or financial, so I would expect people that have grown up in similar financial environments to have similar political concerns.

There's more diverse people, which makes it more diverse. At least, according to modern corporate thought.

"Mexicans fit along a political spectrum of their own."

Tell me more about this mexican political spectrum. I'm only half can I join? Btw what do we believe in?

Americans have a political spectrum, like a range of beliefs that the conservatives have to the liberals. Probably most countries have different political spectrums, Europe in general has done away with gun rights debates and so their political spectrum is different than those in the u.s.

It's definitely not a race thing, it's a nationality. It's just a fact that every nation has their own type of polarization, aka spectrum.

> Europe in general has done away with gun rights debates

One side has won, but it's hardly been "done away with". Even in the UK there is support for relaxing gun control. There are some countries in Europe with fairly strong laws protecting gun ownership as well, like the Czech Republic.

Everyone wants to group people by race or nationality. It's extremely racist and bipartisan.

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