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This Is How Fast America Changes Its Mind

Stashed in: Women, Awesome, America!, That's racist!, Charts!, Marijuana, LGBTQ, Infographics, Politics, Accelerating Returns, Change the Ratio

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Very cool infographics that show how American social change works: increasingly abruptly, especially if they are perceived to affect white upper-middle class Americans. Prediction is that marijuana is going to be legalized in a flash. My bet is right to die will too.

WTF with Interracial Marriage?!

Yeah, that one took 200 years to change American attitudes.

Whereas abortion and same sex marriage attitudes changed so fast by comparison.

Marijuana it's strange to see that we're just at the start. I think Joyce is right, it will become legal quickly.

Right to die I'm not sure about. People get so emotional about that one. 

America is terrible at dealing with racial issues. I'm telling you, any wide scale social change needs to benefit upper-middle class white Americans or it will have a hard time. Drug legalization being tied to getting minorities out of the prison system? Loser. Drug legalization being tied to white professionals being able to get jobs at the FBI even if they party on the weekend? Winner!

So how do transgender rights fit into that model?

I don't know that the graph necessarily shows America changing its mind; at least in this instance, it would be at most a correlation, given how many of the state-level legalizations were the result of court cases (state and federal); I'm not sure about the other historical changes the graph shows. I.e., acts of the judiciary don't necessarily show, and aren't necessarily caused by, changes of the opinion of a majority of people.  The opinion polls do seem to show changes, though, particularly as old people who are staunchly anti-gay-marriage die off.

You're right that the graph takes the stance that America's laws reflect how a majority of Americans feel about each particular issue.

Still, it's useful in seeing how long it used to take for collective attitudes to change (interracial marriage) versus how long it takes these days (same-sex marriage).

Good illustration of the rapid change for same sex marriage:

chart support for same sex marriage 2004 to 2014 economist imgur

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