We’re a nation hopelessly divided, as we’re constantly reminded. Both sides hate the other. Both sides blame the other for why they hate the other. But a new report by Axios reveals that young people on one side, the left, is a lot less willing to break bread — or, for that matter, go on dates — with the other. And now the party whose leaders don’t understand how cancer works or keeps telling them to put themselves in harm’s way is furious that people they regularly demonize, or worse, don’t want to make out with them.
Nearly a quarter of college students wouldn’t be friends with someone who voted for the other presidential candidate — with Democrats far more likely to dismiss people than Republicans — according to new Generation Lab/Axios polling.
— Axios (@axios) December 8, 2021
The poll was conducted exclusively with college students, so it’s not necessarily indicative of Democrats or Republicans of all ages. Still, it seems to confirm what two decades of culture wars — and just straight-up wars, launched primarily by Republicans — has done to those who’ve spent their whole lives living with it.
The numbers show that, while the number of young Republicans who would fraternize with the other side is not exactly high, it’s astronomical compared to how young Democrats feel about them:
5% of Republicans said they wouldn’t be friends with someone from the opposite party, compared to 37% of Democrats.
71% of Democrats wouldn’t go on a date with someone with opposing views, versus 31% of Republicans.
30% of Democrats — and 7% of Republicans — wouldn’t work for someone who voted differently from them.
But there’s more! Women appear to feel more strongly about this than men. And no wonder: Republicans have spent the last 20 years trying curtail women’s rights, most recently by naming enough far-right justices to the Supreme Court that Roe v. Wade is very likely to be overturned after almost four decades.
The report enraged one side more than other, which is to say it pissed off Republicans, who felt it confirmed that Democrats aren’t quite the party of tolerance for not wanting to hang with people who keep voting for a guy who doesn’t like beer.
Hey, remember which side of the political aisle spends all their time talking about tolerance and diversity? https://t.co/DKgkPd0TXy
— Ross Kaminsky (@Rossputin) December 8, 2021
Others lamented the end of an era that may have definitively ended, after a long, slow decline, sometime around 2016.
One of the best things about working on Capitol Hill was going out after work with friends – and I never cared what party they belonged to. It’s terrible that those days seem over.
Young Democrats more likely to despise the other party – Axios https://t.co/bRSJbUGud8
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) December 8, 2021
Others said the quiet part loud, which is that they were most worried about losing dates with people they strongly dislike.
This is probably the most terrifying bit..
Right up there with the friends thing. pic.twitter.com/t1thnqP0AG
— Andrew Follett (@AndrewCFollett) December 8, 2021
To those on the left, however, it made total sense.
Breaking: Young Republican discovers no one wants to date assholes. https://t.co/wrheam7xcE
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@TheRealHoarse) December 8, 2021
“why wouldn’t you date a republican” is the disclosure debate for cis people
— lauren (@ActNormalOrElse) December 8, 2021
Others were shocked that young Republicans didn’t feel the same way about Democrats.
it does kind of give away how unserious Republican rhetoric is that they could say at the same time things like “liberals are indoctrinating your kids to destroy America” and “sure I’d date a liberal” https://t.co/j6XetknDER
— cfax, ghost of discourse future (@counterfax) December 9, 2021
Then again, young Republicans always have that hip dude who drops videos in which he looks like crap.