Obama's melting pot

A long extract from his book in the Independent:

Not so far beneath the surface, I think, we are becoming more, not less, alike.

I don’t mean to exaggerate here, to suggest that the pollsters are wrong and that our differences – racial, religious, regional, or economic – are somehow trivial. … It is to insist that across Illinois, and across America, a constant cross-pollination is occurring, a not entirely orderly but generally peaceful collision among people and cultures. Identities are scrambling, and then cohering in new ways. Beliefs keep slipping through the noose of predictability. Facile expectations and simple explanations are being constantly upended. Spend time actually talking to Americans, and you discover that most evangelicals are more tolerant than the media would have us believe, most secularists more spiritual. Most rich people want the poor to succeed, and most of the poor are both more self-critical and hold higher aspirations than the popular culture allows. Most Republican strongholds are 40 per cent Democrat, and vice versa. The political labels of liberal and conservative rarely track people’s personal attributes.

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