Monday, August 23, 2010

Ground Zero Mosque Continues the Divide Among Political Class & Mainstream

Rasmussen Reports poll finds more voters following the controversy and don’t like it.

Photo Credit - Flickr Creative Common
A new Rasmussen Reports poll conducted August 19-22 released August 23 reflects, “A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 85% of U.S. voters say they are now following news stories about the mosque planned near Ground Zero. That’s a 34-point jump from a month ago when only 51% said they were following the story.”

President Obama’s recent comments at a Ramadan gathering at the White House fueled the fire of the Ground Zero mosque controversy staying in the national spotlight as a mid-term election issue. The majority of Americans, if not all, understand the proponents of building the mosque have a right to build it – the controversy lies in whether it is appropriate to build a towering structure to celebrate Islam so close to the September 11 attack on America by Muslim extremists. The mosque debate holds voter interest across all political party affiliation and national demographics.

Opponents to the mosque being built two blocks from Ground Zero see it as insensitive to the families and friends of 9/11 victims as well as New York City residents and Americans as a whole. Rasmussen notes, “Sixty-seven percent (67%) are not confident that the mosque is intended to honor those killed by the terrorists. This includes eight percent (8%) who are Very Confident and 41% who are Not At All Confident.”

The timing of perceived political class support for the mosque over the sensitivity objections of mainstream could not be worse in a climate of deep voter divide over Washington politicians being out-of-step and tone-deaf to the average American voice. Ignored by the average politicians are the polls reflecting the majority of Americans are opposed to the recent health care reform, continued bail-outs including to the underwater states and Union pension funding, continued deficit spending, Cap & Trade legislation, and now the Ground Zero mosque. Almost half, 49% of the Rasmussen mosque poll respondents, expressed the mosque issue is at least somewhat important in their voting with 27% expressing it is very important in their voting decisions.

Americans have always taken pride in a history that was founded on a classless society rewarding each individual with the ability to have the “American Dream” no matter where they started from in their journey. They also value freedom of expression and freedom of religion granted in the 1st Amendment. Americans are aware, whether politically correct or not, those that ask for tolerance and understanding must demonstrate such in return to be considered sincere equal partners in the American landscape and culture.

The founding fathers took great care in crafting a foundation of “of the people, by the people, and for the people” for America. They intimately understood the downfall of a ruling class projecting inequality on those not in that class. The last thing Americans want to feel right now is a President whom lectures them on freedom allowed in the U.S. Constitution while many feel that same President stretches the meaning or completely disregards that same constitution to push through a progressive agenda that takes away their liberties more and more.

Interestingly, the Ground Zero mosque opposition is not divided along party lines, as politicians might want to believe and attribute to their favorite scapegoat – partisanship. Rasmussen details, “Yet while 85% of Republicans and 62% of voters not affiliated with either party oppose the building of the mosque near Ground Zero, Democrats are evenly divided on the question. There’s a similar division of opinion in the president’s party over whether the location of the mosque is insensitive, while Republican and unaffiliated voters believe strongly that it is.” Further noted was “But most Democrats like the majority of GOP voters and unaffiliated are not very or not at all confident that the mosque is being built to honor those who died on 9/11.”

I found one of the most striking revelations in the Rasmussen Report was “Fifty-two percent (52%) of the Political Class, on the other hand, are confident that the mosque will honor those killed by the terrorists. Eighty-two percent (82%) of Mainstream voters don’t share that confidence.”

Politicians may want to note and fully comprehend, “Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Mainstream voters say the mosque issue is important to how they will vote, with 34% who say it is Very Important. Political Class voters say overwhelmingly that the issue is not important to their vote.” Perhaps most politically important in the mosque controversy is the window it provides into what is developing as a political and a non-political class in America. It certainly continues to feed a growing divide among the political class and the American mainstream.

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