Rather, these are the political leaders who are that much at the extremes, the public is generally moderate, asserted by the Author.
The author, throughout the book, is continuously trying to assert the same that the Americans are actually not at extremes, they are moderate. In explaining so, he has used the data regarding the opinions of the American citizens over various national issues, such as homosexuality, abortion, religious as well as the economic affairs of the state. The data provided by the author is mainly taken from national electoral and opinion polls and the facts and figures as old as 1972. The data is even older in some issues. Thus, the nature of the data provided by the author is quite authentic and relevant.
In the start, the author is taking into account the commonly thought axiom of the cultural war. This assumption explains that there are two extremes of the cultural war within Americans. On one side, there are the conservatives, supported by the red states. While, on the other hand, there are blue states which back the liberals. This assumption is made on the basis of the voting history of these states. However, he presents the facts and figures of the 2000 elections and the revelation is quite astonishing that on the contrary to the abovementioned common belief, most of the voters in both, blue and red states, are more towards the independents, thus more moderates in number, than the conservatives or the democrats. He further drills down into the preferences of the voters on various national issues, he found that not all the red state citizens are on one extreme nor all blue ones on another, rather there are more moderates and the gentry is mixed.
To reinforce his view, the author has taken into account the issue of abortion in a detailed manner. He argues that most Americans have a moderate approach. These are the journalists and the politicians who are at extreme or who project so. He has analyzed the opinions of the people taken in 1973 during the Roe v. Wade ruling, the event when the issue of abortion found its way into the political landscape at the national level. He has then compared the public opinion on the same issue 30 years later and he concludes that most of the public is moderate about the opinion 30 years back and is so even today, thus the moderate approach existed since the very beginning and is not something that has changes, rather it exist even today.
Besides abortions, the author has also taken into account another political issue that has got a lot of prominence at the national political scenario. This is the issue of homosexuality and the homosexual rights. He asserts, on the basis of the data, that same as abortion, most of the Americans agrees to some extent regarding the issue and more people are at moderate level on the continuum of extremity and it is media as well as the political elites that make these issues a hype so as to make the people realize that the public opinion is deeply divided on the issue and use this perception for their political motives.
The author has also evaluated that manner in which the voters determine whom to vote and trend of changes in these decisions. It is generally thought in America that recently the religion plays a greater role in determining the voters'