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Why are we so polarized?

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by PLC1, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Why is it that US voters are so divided just now? The last time there was such political rancor and division was in the late '60s, early '70s, and that was over just one issue. Now, bipartisanship has gone the way of the dodo and the fiscal conservative, gone, extinct, dead. Why?

    I think it is because we have so much information to choose from. We can listen to only so much, read only so much, and so we tend to pay attention to sources that confirm our biases. That solidifies our opinions and makes us believe that people with the opposite opinions are not simply misinformed, but also stupid, or perhaps evil and duplicitous.

    Confirmation bias. We see it here on PHW, we see it in everyday life. If someone wears a MAGA hat, the non Trumpers don't just think, "There's someone who has the opposite opinion of mine," but all too many want to strike out verbally or even physically. We speak of fake news, of socialists taking over, of Fascism, of Communists taking over (shades of the '50s!) instead of Republicans think this, Democrats believe that. The other side doesn't just have an opposite opinion, they're evil and anti American.

    Confirmation bias and too much information to process. That's the problem.
     
    Walter likes this.
  2. Walter

    Walter Administrator Staff Member

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    The shades of the 50s - well said.

    As an outsider (remember, I'm not from the US), I often see good arguments from both sides:

    Being an entrepeneur myself I see substance in some republican theories - I just think that many current believes are far too extreme. On the other hand I can't stand the Clintons and nominating her was not only a big mistake but also a moral issue.

    Speaking of moral: I know why some Christians support Trump but I simply and boldly believe it is false to support a lyer and pussy grabber only for opportunistic reasons.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
  3. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    Seems to me the current rancor was born of Gore losing to Bush 2.0. The left just didnt get over that. As a result they initiated obstruction which continued through both Bush and Obama terms and into overdrive with Trump.

    16 years of spite will leave a mark.

    I think the one team seeing the other team as idiots is a constant more or less forever. Been no change since i got interested 50 years ago and history doesnt suggest otherwise.

    Regarding Walter's morals observation, if lying disqualified a politician there would be none. As to the grabbing of pussies, if you read the quote you woukd see that he said "... they would let you...". And this cannot be seen as surprizing, golddiggers are not exactly new to the world.

    Just my take on these matters.
     
  4. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    you think that the "left" (Democrats?) were the obstructionists during the Obama Administration as well as now?
     
  5. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    No. They obstructed 2000-2008 which drew the opposite response 2008-2016 which flipped back in 2016. Tit for tat although each team had serious issues with the other's policies.
     
  6. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    The party that is out of power, then, obstructs the party that is in power. That's a good thing, isn't it, as it keeps a balance of power in Washington, neither party gets to dictate policy unilaterally.
     
  7. dogtowner

    dogtowner Moderator Staff Member

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    Obstruct, no.
    They naturally will not agree on issues of policy but when it comes to getting nothing done (budgets for example) then it crosses over to destructive.
     
  8. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed. The problem is, hyper partisanship. Our elected representatives are more loyal to the party than to the nation.
     

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