In attempting to understand who we are as a nation, religion comes to mind as a possible social glue.
According to the a recent Gallop poll, religion is “very important” in about 50% of the population’s lives (see graph below and full article here).
That could be a strong binding force, if there were one binding state religion. But there is not. Rather we have a myriad of religious sect affiliations.
Further, strong religious affiliation is not equally distributed across other population attributes, such as political party. While half of the Republicans are “highly religious” only a third of the Democrats define themselves as such. Moreover, that 20% deficit among the Democrats resides in the “Not Religious” group — the other end of the spectrum.