Derek Robertson reports in Politico, “a new study finds that after last year’s scorched-earth presidential campaign, Americans could barely stand to look each other in the eye.”
In the 10 months since his inauguration, President Donald Trump has been accused of torching everything from America’s stature on the global stage to the country’s most treasured political norms. He “ruined the eclipse,” noted one observer; he “ruined all my favorite TV shows,” lamented another. He’s been accused of destroying workplace morale, irony and Bachelor in Paradise, too.
It’s only natural: To be a leader is to accept your fair share of blame, and then some. No doubt Americans will spend the next four to eight years debating whether or not the president trashed U.S. foreign policy and reality TV and everything in between. But a new study by economists Keith Chen of UCLA and Ryne Rohla of Washington State University seems to have proved at least one point conclusively: Trump really did ruin Thanksgiving.
With the help of data-tracking service SafeGraph, Chen and Rohla traced the movements of more than 10 million Americans across the past two Thanksgiving holidays. They focused specifically on people who traveled from Republican-leaning areas to Democratic-leaning areas and vice versa, and found that politically divided families spent on average 20 to 30 minutes less time around the dinner table in 2016 than they did in 2015. That added up to a loss of 62 million person-hours of Thanksgiving time across the country—and specifically, the authors estimated, a loss of “27 million person-hours of cross-partisan Thanksgiving discourse.”
Read the rest here.