You are so closed-minded. No, you are so closed-minded. No You! Your Mama!

AP Hate

When asked how the other party is more _______ than other Americans, what word did Republicans and Democrats both most use to describe each other?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about this data?

  3. What is the big story this chart tells?

  4. Why do you think that is?

  5. What is a consequence of this?

  6. Fill in the blank: Republicans are more _____ than other Americans.

  7. Fill in the blank: Democrats are more _____ than other Americans.

  8. How many of the adjectives used to describe partisans in the charts above do you agree with?

  9. Make a claim that can be supported by the data in the chart:

  10. According to the Pew Research Center (WHOOT!) political polarization is “the vast and growing gap between liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats – a defining feature of American politics today.“ The good folks at Pew have been studying this political phenomenon for decades and say that “Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines – and partisan acrimony is deeper and more extensive – than at any point in recent history. And these trends manifest themselves in myriad ways, both in politics and in everyday life.” Yikes. What is the most important reason for party polarization in the U.S.?

  11. What is the most important consequence of this “vast and growing” party polarization in the U.S.?

  12. Overall, is the data from the chart good or bad news?

  13. Have you ever lost or downgraded a friend because of a political difference?

  14. My very Democratic mother-in-law married my very Republican father-in-law. But that was over 50 years ago. Would you date someone with diametrically opposed political beliefs?

  15. Do you have many friends who support the political party you least like?

  16. In the data from the chart, what is the biggest compliment partisans gave each other?

  17. What questions do you have about this data?

  18. Let’s say that you decided to become less partisan and more open to the political party you least agree with. What would be the most effective step you could take to change your feelings about the other party?

  19. Who was the last major figure of the party you least like who you admired?

  20. Do you believe that Prince wrote a song called Political Party Polarization Like it's 1999 or is that fake news?

  21. Party polarization sounds sort of like winterizing your political party. Do you agree?

  22. Would the chart above make James “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition” Madison, author of Federalist No. 51 happy?

  23. It doesn’t have to be perfect, colorful, lovely, awe-inspiring, museum-bound, or an instant-classic. And becuase this isn’t AP Studio Art you may use stick figures, shapes, images, symbols, or whatever to draw or illustrate political polarization.

  24. Think about memes. I’ve included a few classics memes below in our AP Memebank.* Use one of these classic memes to create a new meme with words about political polarization:

  25. Considering the data from the chart, how do you the feelings partisans have of each other impact the following:

  • Elections

  • Voting

  • Political campaigns

  • interest groups

  • The impeachment process

  • Political party platforms

  • The mass media

AP Memebank*

Visual Extension


Learning Extension

Read this scary Pew Report on Partisan Antipathy (fancy word for hate!)

Action Extension

Shake hands, fist-bump, or hug (with permission) someone in your class who is of a different political party from you. Share your experience in class or online.

CONVO Extension

Join in dialogue with your class on the topic of the growing divide between Republican and Democratic America. Here’s how CONVO works.

Cat in a Hat Extension

American Race

Whites are no longer the majority (more than half) racial group in California. In what year will Whites cease to be the majority racial group in the entire U.S.?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What most surprised you about the data from the chart?

  3. If demographic trends continue, at some point, American will become (like California is now) minority-majority. In other words, Whites will still be the biggest group (plurality) but they will not longer be more than half of the population (majority). Approximately what year will this happen?

  4. What's the big story this chart tells?

  5. List two causes of the changes reflected in the chart?

  6. List two consequences of the changes reflected in the chart?

  7. How does the information in the chart impact the following linkage institutions: elections, mass media, political parties, interest groups?

  8. Explain whether the changes reflected in the chart is good news or bad news?

  9. In what way are the changes expressed in the chart reflected in your own life?

  10. Jot down one question you have about this chart?

  11. Make a prediction for what this chart will look like in 2080 America (if there is a 2080 America):

  12. My student, Esméralda, said that a direct consequence of the data in the chart was the election of Barack Obama and the election of Donald Trump. Explain how both those things could be true.

  13. How do you think the demographic changes reflected in this chart impacted the 2016 election?

  14. Explain how the projected American racial changes will impact overall American political culture and values?

  15. In the comments section, write about how the changes reflected in the chart are impacting politics in the US today.

  16. In Letter From Birmingham Jail, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. defends the use of civil disobedience to fight for civil rights. Based on his letter, explain Dr. King’s position on fighting for equal rights today.

  17. Imagine you were a political party leader. Describe one step you would take regarding this data.

  18. Explain how you think the following people would respond to this chart and explain why:

  • Liberals

  • Conservatives

  • Republicans

  • Democrats

  • Dr. Martin Luther King

  • James “Tiny” Madison

  • Donald Trump

  • Your grandparents

Visual Extension


Learning Extension

Check out these 10 charts on the changing face of America.

Learning Extension Extension

Do yourself a favor and dive into the 1619 Project from the NYTimes. And you can find curriculums, guides and activities for students developed by the Pulitzer Center at

CONVO Extension

Join in dialogue with your class on the topic of race. Here’s how CONVO works.

Action Extension

Find out the demographics of your county or city and make a comparison of your local data with the national data. Make a post comparing your hometown to the nation at large on social media with the hashtag #changingamerica

Face Time All The Time

What portion of Americans trust law enforcement to use facial recognition technology responsibly?

Majority of Americans trust law enforcement to use facial recognition responsibly, but public is less trusting of advertisers and technology companies
  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. What did you find most interesting about the data?

  3. What question do you have about this data?

  4. Let’s say you were going to poll Americans about technology. What question would you like to survey Americans about?

  5. What is the big story the data tells about Americans’ views on facial recognition technology?

  6. Why do you think that is?

  7. What is one consequence of this?

  8. Based on the data, why has the U.S. government not passed legislation outlawing facial recognition technology?

  9. Explain how the fact that the average U.S. House member is 57.8 years old, the average U.S. Senator is 61.8 years old, and the POTUS is 73 years old impacts the likelihood of action on this topic.

  10. Explain your opinion about whether you trust law enforcement to use facial recognition technology responsibly.

  11. How much do Americans even know about facial recognition technology at all?*

  12. My student Hortense (which is a beautiful name) said in class the other day that, “Americans are so dagum divided on EVERYTHING!!!! We can’t even agree about how divided we are! And that makes me mad as a wet hen!” Explain whether these data support or refute Hortense’s claim that Americans are divided about everything.

  13. What did the Framers of the Constitution write about facial recognition technology?

  14. What did the Framer’s specifically set up in the U.S. Constitution to allow future (our) generations to deal with these sorts of technological advances and changes?

  15. Connect the dots (explain the connection) between facial recognition technology and the 4th Amendment.

  16. Federalists like Alexander Freaking Hamilton or James Tiny Madison wrote the Federalist Papers to argue for ratification of the Constitution. Anti-Federalists like Robert crazy-legs Yates wrote Anti-Federalist papers like Brutus 1 arguing against ratifying the Constitution. Rapper Daniel Hernandez, who is also known as 6ix9ine, did not write any Federalist or Anti-Federalist papers. Federalists preferred a robust central (national) government while Anti-Federalists were suspicious of a powerful central (federal) government. Explain what argument Federalist and Anti-Federalists would have likely made about the government using facial recognition software.

  17. Describe another issue regarding privacy and technology that concerns you.

  18. According to scientists, Facial Recognition Is Accurate, if You’re a White Guy. It’s not so great if you are female or non-white. For example, Gender was misidentified in up to 1 percent of lighter-skinned males in a set of 385 photos. Gender was misidentified in up to 7 percent of lighter-skinned females in a set of 296 photos. Gender was misidentified in up to 12 percent of darker-skinned males in a set of 318 photos. Gender was misidentified in 35 percent of darker-skinned females in a set of 271 photos. Make an argument using the 14th Amendment about why facial recognition technology should not be used by the U.S. Government.

  19. What U.S. Government agencies are currently using facial recognition technology? (See learning extension)*

  20. Explain whether in the future we will have more or less privacy.

  21. African Americans are much less trusting than Whites of law enforcement use of facial recognition software. Why do you think that is?*

  22. How do the following demographic groups feel about facial recognition technology and what explains these demographic differences:*

  • Older Americans

  • Younger Americans

  • Democrats

  • Republicans

  • Whites

  • African-Americans

Visual Extension

Learning Extension

Read the Vox article, Here’s where the US government is using facial recognition technology to surveil Americans.*

Action Extension

Download the free app or use the Countable website to contact your U.S. representative and share your opinion on legislation regarding facial recognition software. With Countable you can also easily share your opinion about just about any issue and see how your reps vote on different bills!

Random Sad Data Extension

memorable states.png

Cats ringing bells for dinner wearing Banana Hats to disguise them from feline facial recognition technology Extension

Plea for Attention Extension

If you liked today’s class starter please click on the little heart below and to the right. If you disliked today’s class starter please click on the little heart below and to the right.

Presidential Incumbents

When Presidents run for reelection do they usually win or lose?*

*Obama was reelected in 2012 (after this chart was created)

*Obama was reelected in 2012 (after this chart was created)

  1. How accurate was you prediction?

  2. What story does the data tell about incumbent presidents getting reelected?

  3. Why do you think that is?

  4. What is a consequence of this?

  5. Make a claim, based solely on the data from the chart above, about the odds of President Trump being reelected.

  6. Now make a claim, based NOT on the data from the chart above, but based on your knowledge of the current Presidential administration, public opinion, the economy, and the general mood of the country, about the odds of President Trump being reelected.

  7. Compare the presidents from the reelected column (left) of the chart above to those who were not reelected (right). Describe which side the most successful and positively judged presidents generally fall on.*

  8. As you know, Congressional incumbents win at a much higher rate (almost 90%) than presidential incumbents. Why do you think that is?

  9. In Federalist 70, Alexander Hamilton (Alexander Hamilton. My name is Alexander Hamilton
    And there's a million things I haven't done
    But just you wait, just you wait...
    ) writes that “Energy in the Executive is a leading character in the definition of good government. It is essential to the protection of the community against foreign attacks; it is not less essential to the steady administration of the laws; to the protection of property against those irregular and high-handed combinations which sometimes interrupt the ordinary course of justice; to the security of liberty against the enterprises and assaults of ambition, of faction, and of anarchy.” In what way is the “energy” Hamilton writes about a good thing?

  10. In what way is the “energy” Hamilton writes about a bad thing?

  11. In Federalist No. 51 James Madison (James Freaking Madison. My names is James Freaking Madison. And there’s a second presidency I have won. Of United States, United States…) wrote that “ambition must be made to counteract ambition…In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” What system did Madison create to limit the government?

  12. The Congress is currently battling the POTUS. What would Madison think about all this checking and balancing that is currently happening?

  13. Would are some powers Madison placed in the U.S. Constitution to check the Presidency and keep it from becoming too powerful.

  14. Describe a formal power the President has that make them more likely to be reelected.*

  15. Describe an informal power the President has that make them more likely to be reelected.*

  16. Although he could have been POTUS for life, George Washington presented his Farewell Address in a newspaper article September 17, 1796 announcing his decision not to seek a third term as President. Do you agree with this First President precedent?

  17. In 1951 the 22nd Amendment limited presidents to two terms in office. Considering that Barack Obama would probably be in the middle of his third presidential term were it not for the 22nd Amendment, make a claim about whether this constitutional limit was a good idea.

  18. Explain whether you would support a 28th Amendment limiting presidents to one term.

Visual Extension*

% supporting Trump impeachment

% supporting Trump impeachment

Trump Approval Rating

Trump Approval Rating

Hot Hot Hot

Hot Hot Hot

Learning Extension

Read this article on Presidential Incumbents by Yale University political science professor and professional juggler David Mayhew.

Action Extension

Register to vote. If you are not old enough to register to vote then register someone who is old enough. In the next presidential election vote or convince someone who is old enough to vote to do your bidding at the ballot box.

Random Data


Cats Ringing Bells for Treats…but with a Twist!

Hey there sports fans. Why don’t you click on that pretty little red heart just to the bottom right hand below to show how much you love two term presidents!


In the 2018 midterm election, in U.S. House races, 50% of North Carolina voters supported the Republican party. What portion of the state’s 13 congressional seats did the Republican party win?

  1. How accurate was your prediction?

  2. (Without using any profanities) What was your first reaction to the outcome illustrated in the map?

  3. How does an outcome like this happen?*

  4. Why is this legal?

  5. Who decides if it is legal?

  6. What story does the map tell?

  7. Why do political parties gerrymander?

  8. Describe two impacts of gerrymandering on our political system.

  9. The Declaration of Independence states that “All men are created equal.” The Fourteenth Freaking Amendment guarantees “equal protection of the laws.” And in Baker v. Carr (1961), the Supreme Court ruled, “one person, one vote.” What does the data from the map say about political equality?

  10. Why don’t voters punish political parties who engage in gerrymandering?

  11. What is the difference between Racial Gerrymandering and partisan gerrymandering?

  12. Connect the dots (Describe the connection) between gerrymandering and federalism.

  13. Connect the dots (Describe the connection) between gerrymandering and checks and balances.

  14. Who exactly is in charge of drawing congressional district lines anyway?

  15. How often do congressional lines get redrawn?

  16. What is the difference between redistricting and reapportionment?

  17. Is North Carolina the only state to gerrymander?

  18. Are Republicans the only political party to gerrymander?

  19. Imagine you were part of an interest group opposed to the way congressional district lines were drawn in your state. Describe a course of action you could take to try to end gerrymandering?

  20. Gerrymandering was named such because lines that were drawn to ensure the victory of Elbridge Gerry (he has a Twitter feed!!!!) looked like a salamander (see visual extension below).* What animal does any of the North Carolina crazy-redistricting look like?

  21. Notice that some of the biggest cities in North Carolina like Charlotte and Raleigh are in very blue districts with high levels of Democratic voters. Putting lots and lots of similar voters in one district is called packing. Other heavily Democratic cities (like mine- Winston-Salem - whoot! whoot!)* are split between two congressional districts, diluting their power, and called cracking. If you were a Supreme Court Justice hearing a case about this, explain whether you would rule cracking and packing constitutional.*

  22. One aspect of a democratic and fair election is that all people are represented fairly and equally. Imagine you were an election monitor sent from the United Nations or some other international organization to oversee NC elections. Based on the results as shown in the map, make a claim about whether the people of North Carolina (N. Cackalacky) live in a democratic system.

  23. In a 5-4 decision along ideological lines, the court ruled Thursday that partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts cannot be limited by federal courts. According to the ruling in Rucho v. Common Cause Only state courts can limit gerrymandering in their own state. What impact will that have on partisan gerrymandering?

Visual Extension*

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Learning Extension

Read this NYTimes article on the art of gerrymandering in North Carolina.

Action Extension

Research gerrymandering in your own state. Write your state legislators and share your claim (from #20 above) about how democratic gerrymandering is and ask them to respond.

Therapy Cat Extension

If you liked today’s class starter please click on the little heart below and to the right. If you disliked today’s class starter please click on the little heart below and to the right.