Polarization

Dec 2018
1,482
929
Wisconsin
#1
I didn't want to hijack another thread so starting this as a separate topic.

What does everyone think are the contributing factors to the polarization of America these days.

I think the leading contributor, albeit not the only contributor, is technology and overload of information available to us. 30 years ago political discussions were had in our social circles and you learned how to A. Be wrong and B. Disagree with people without attacking them. So if you believed that vaccines give kids autism or the president was born in Africa, those ideas were quickly vanquished because the chances of finding someone else who agreed with you were much less. But these days, if I believe the world is flat or planes are leaving chemical trails through the sky to brainwash me, there are corners of the internet where those beliefs can be reaffirmed. It's a lot easier these days to find support for the beliefs people have, no matter how ludicrous they may be. And it's only amplified for more moderate beliefs because there are MORE people who agree.

This is also amplified when you consider half the country is comfortable with change and half are not. New information causes changes and often times it makes people uncomfortable. That's why you get phrases such as:

"When I was growing up our kids sat in the front seat and didn't even have seat belts." To one side, it's a reflection of nostalgia while jabbing at people they perceive to be over-protective. To the other side, it's a recognition that when new information becomes available (why you shouldn't put kids in the front seat without a seatbelt), times have to change and that's okay.

I'm not making this out to say information is bad. Not at all. Undoubtedly we are living in the best time to be alive in human history. But because we have so much information at our fingertips, it makes it harder for us to understand why others don't think the way we do.

But I could be wrong. Happy to hear other perspectives
 
Mar 2019
1,078
247
Texas
#2
I agree with technology being the cause.

However i find the reasons to be different. I think something much more sinister is happening with tech and the influx o info is just simply a way to hone the senses. More like reinforcement of the hypnotizing and cellular interaction between computer chips that are organic and organic beings using them. We are well beyond mental programming now and have entered into a controlled world where very few are calling the shots and peoples free will no longer exist because it is drown out by memes and such mental degradation.

I imagine a nation without smart phones. It is nice there.
 
Dec 2006
26,189
11,250
New Haven, CT
#3
I think the major contributing factor to the polarization is the acceptance/non acceptance of dishonesty by both sides of the political spectrum.

We seem to be overwhelmed by information - yet easily half, perhaps more, is inaccurate dishonest misleading or mistaken. Some of this is easily seen, but much is not. However, when the truth is pointed out, it would seem that some are willing to accept a certain amount of dishonesty - even it if creates true harm, if not destruction, to some citizens and their families - as long as they make a few more dollars at the end of the day.

Of course, it always helps if the dishonesty plays into already believed stereotypes, misinformation or illogical prejudices.
 
Dec 2015
15,075
13,946
Arizona
#4
Had a discussion about this just this morning. The older ladies (10-15 yrs older than me) (both Republican) hate the press and keep insisting that now the news is almost all opinion. Those of us who are younger LIKE the opinion and think it is crucial to critical thinking....and that opinions have always been part and parcel of the news reports. Their claim is that the media reports half-truths, speculation and rumors. Obviously (?) the press is biased against the current president. Well, DUH....but....did the press hold back during the Ken Starr investigation and HOW LONG ago was that? Did the press have political forums--guests---insiders? Of course. What about during the Bush years? The Obama years? How many decades do we need to review?

Maybe--just maybe--the press is well-informed and maybe they have never experienced anything LIKE the Trump presidency, which may explain why they continue to be so STUNNED by what they see and hear.

I still stand by these facts: The press presents quotes, video, audio. When our U.S. Attorney General makes a comment stating "I THINK there was spying"---that's news and it deserves opinions....why? Because it's news. Because it's unprecedented. Because we don't historically have AGs who "think...possibly...maybe"........anything. The DOJ operates on concrete evidence--facts---uncovering truth and they don't make "I THINK" statements. Shame on Bill Barr. Shame on Donald J Trump for lying---every.single.day.

Yes, we are polarized. Some of us don't like lies and lying liars who lie and those who protect the liars. Lying USED TO BE a terrible thing. This nation USED to unite AGAINST liars. No longer.
 
Dec 2006
26,189
11,250
New Haven, CT
#5
Clara, I agree with you. The other thing they don't seem to understand that because the news reports about the fat orange turd are bad doesn't mean the news is biased. It means that the fat orange turd does/says/acts in incredibly dishonest, vicious, petty, unamerican (read: "bad") things! They literally need to grasp the concept of "don't kill the messenger!"
 
Mar 2013
9,358
10,070
Middle Tennessee
#6
I agree with the technology being a big part of the root issue. However I think the biggest issue is not the amount of information available. But as someone has already pointed out, the volume of DIS-information available. Anybody that takes the time, even just a very few minutes, can find multiple sources from which to glean the truth. Sadly most people are biased, lazy and intellectually dishonest. They latch on to the first source that confirms their own bias and look no further for the truth. Robert Heinlein is absolutely right. You CAN sway a thousand people by appealing to their bias faster than you can sway one person with logic.

And yes I'm about to be biased, but here goes. Trump !!! Trump lies. Almost every time he opens his mouth some falsehood rolls off his lips. By some counts, more than 9000 now. Even if we say those doing the counting are biased, and cut the number in half, that's still 4500 lies. I'll go even further and give him the benefit of the doubt and say some of it is completely unintentional and half the number again. That's still more 2200 lies since taking office. And yet, in spite of empirical evidence, the websites posting their evidence, that he has lied, many still claim his is the most trustworthy man in Washington ?? How can anyone say a man whose spokesperson used the term "alternative facts" is trustworthy or truthful ?? It boggles my mind. It's pure confirmation bias. He says what they want to hear, and even if it's a total and outright lie, because it fits their world view, they CHOOSE to believe it.
 
Mar 2019
61
35
USA
#7
Liar, liar, pants on fire. It really is a shame. Before Trump, you could hang on to every word a politician said. Shocking, I tell you, simply shocking!
 
Mar 2019
61
35
USA
#8
I'm not making this out to say information is bad. Not at all. Undoubtedly we are living in the best time to be alive in human history. But because we have so much information at our fingertips, it makes it harder for us to understand why others don't think the way we do.
The Information Age is a mixture of good and bad: like many things, it depends on how it's appropriated. One downside is that the likes of the web gives every liar, crackpot or extremist a soapbox, including sensationalist con artists that use disinformation to sell products. You have the world's wealth of information, but also the world's lying garbage on display.

Put it this way, there were always, say, crazies, perverts, political extremists or con men, but they didn't have a global platform to group around. And, the more of this you see, the more divisive things appear, when I believe, when it comes right down to it, most people are watching football or Dancing with the Stars, probably rarely look at most of what's on the web they don't need. In turn, the extremes deceive themselves they're important, over what is, actually, just a few clicks, from a relatively very small audience, in a world of billions of people. And you can't take trolling back and forth on the web as an entire society that is divisive, across the board.

Otherwise, there have always been two or three political parties in the USA, at each others' throats, liberals versus conservatives, whatever they called themselves, in whatever time, or even in whatever other nation. As a matter of fact, that dialectic between parties has always been the engine of historic change, that divisiveness, for good or ill.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun.
 
Dec 2006
26,189
11,250
New Haven, CT
#9
Liar, liar, pants on fire. It really is a shame. Before Trump, you could hang on to every word a politician said. Shocking, I tell you, simply shocking!
Nobody has ever suggested such a thing. There has always been dishonesty and distortion and misrepresentation in politics. But, when it's exposed, it has been condemned and rejected by the citizens. A President's lies have been met with scandal. With Trump we have reached a new plateau, where we have actually become immune to the dishonesty of our leader-in-chief and barely even bat an eye at his (and his sycophants') latest issues with facts, truth, and honesty. They are now fodder for late-night jokes and internet memes.
That IS a new achievement for America, whether you care to admit it or not.
 
Mar 2013
9,358
10,070
Middle Tennessee
#10
Clara, I agree with you. The other thing they don't seem to understand that because the news reports about the fat orange turd are bad doesn't mean the news is biased. It means that the fat orange turd does/says/acts in incredibly dishonest, vicious, petty, unamerican (read: "bad") things! They literally need to grasp the concept of "don't kill the messenger!"

I'll go one step further, HE is the leading proponent of the "fake news" mind set. He says it over and over and over again. Like 1984 where the propaganda is inescapable. HE labeled his own interview fake news, even after the outlet in question released the audio of the entire interview. I find it mind boggling that people believe a man that called his own word lies !!!
 
Likes: Clara007
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