This Is the Most Divisive Issue In America

Posted: Jun 15, 2018 4:25 PM

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, we’ve been told over and over (and over) that America is more divided now than its ever been. But what exactly are we so divided on? A new Gallup poll reveals what issues, more specifically what social issues, liberals and conservatives just cannot see eye to eye on. 

Number one on the list: abortion. Among those who identify as “very liberal,” 66 percent think abortion is morally acceptable. However, only 19 percent of those who consider themselves “very conservative” said the same. 

While the partisan divide is wide, it’s important to note that the gap among average Americans who consider themselves pro-life (think abortion should be legal in few or no circumstances) and pro-choice (think abortion should be legal in all or most circumstances) has been shrinking over the years. In fact, Gallup recently found that gap to be nonexistent:

Coming in at a close second for divisiveness is gay/lesbian relations. While support for same-sex marriage has skyrocketed over the years, still, only 46 percent of social conservatives find it acceptable. Conversely, 85 percent of those on the left said same-sex relations were okay. 

Conservatives and liberals also greatly differ on physician-assisted suicide (38 vs 72 percent), sex between teens (25 vs 59 percent), and having a baby outside of marriage (47 vs 81 percent). 

However, it wasn’t all bleak. The two sides did come together on a few topics. An overwhelming majority of both conservatives and liberals think birth control is morally acceptable and extramarital affairs are unacceptable. 

Issues like drinking alcohol (12 point difference), buying and wearing clothes made of animal fur (11 point difference), and medical testing on animals also saw a smaller divide (10 point difference). 

Of the 21 issues Gallup asked about, only three issues were seen as morally acceptable among more conservatives than liberals: the death penalty (72 percent said it was okay), buying and wearing clothes made of animal fur (67 percent said it was okay), and medical testing on animals (60 percent said it was okay).