Gary Langer is director of polling at ABC News, where he's covered the beat of public opinion for nearly 20 years. Despite the steadfast belief of some Americans that Obama is extremely popular, his approval ratings are dead average for a president who's been in office for a month. Obama may be a media darling; but there's no evidence to suggest he's popular among everyday Americans.

What IS notable is the increasing partisanship that exists under Obama's watch. Indeed, the gap between a president’s rating in his own party vs. the out party has been much wider for the last three presidents compared with their six predecessors. Reagan started with 89 percent approval among Republicans, 71 percent among independents, and 56 percent among Democrats. George Bush senior's first-month approval ratings from these groups were 90, 74 and 64 percent, respectively.

All this changed with Bill Clinton. He started with 86 percent approval from Democrats, but just 59 percent from independents and 40 percent from Republicans. Then George W. Bush – 86 percent in his party, but dropping to 54 percent among independents and 37 percent among Democrats. And now there’s Obama, who based his candidacy on the promise that he would bring people together and end partisanship, with the greatest partisan gap in history. After a month in office, 90 percent of Democrats approve of his work -- compared to 67 percent of independents and 37 percent of Republicans.

Notice I didn't put in bold the figures from the presidents' own parties; it goes without saying such figures will be high. It's the independent and opposing party figures that are jarring. Never before in our nation's history has America been such a divided nation. Why is that?

It goes back to my earlier posts about the difference between liberals and conservatives. Four presidents ago, it would be hard to distinguish between the two -- for liberals and conservatives had much in common. Old-fashioned liberals were no more interested in socialism than conservatives were. It's the change in the Democratic party that has caused this nation to be so divided. Remember: College professors, Hollywood actors, and the media are the most influential people in this country. They have enormous power to change the minds of people who may not be convicted about what they believe. People who are too busy or too lazy to do their own research. People who are young and impressionable.

If there's one thing I've learned in my life that I'm sure of, it's that most people are followers. They want to be a part of the popular group and would rather join the masses than think for themselves. So when modern liberalism became "the popular party," people joined in. After all, it's the feel-good party. It's the party that wants people to "be themselves" and not let The Man hold them down -- which allows a person to do whatever they want, whenever they want. It's the party of the little guy; and since the average nice person wants to help the little guy, they think the Democratic party is where they belong. Unfortuantely, this person has no comprehension that his party holds the little guy down.

Classic liberals knew this. That's why our country wasn't as divided back then. While there were differences of opinion between classic liberals and conservatives, most people understood that capitalism works. They knew that the only way to help the little guy is to create a system that encourages self-sufficiency. They knew that government handouts -- not securities, but handouts -- does nothing to help those in need. Modern liberals changed this by convincing impressionable people that taking from the rich and giving to the poor is indeed a compassionate act. That Obama was elected in the first place is a testament to how uninformed people are today. Because people who know and understand history, who read and think for themselves, and who vote with their heads and not their hearts, would never have voted for Obama.

I'm not one to make political predictions, but ain't no way Obama's going to unify America. The only person can do that is a moderate.

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