image from Max Pixel, CC0
The polarization of politics is a complex phenomenon. In a new book, Ezra Klein explains why there is a lot more to the current political quagmire than social media-driven disinformation and intolerance.
We humans like things simple, and it’s all too easy to see the world through the polarized lens created by the bubble and echo-chamber of your particular affinity groups.
So in this post I’m going to ask you to grit your teeth, PLEASE read all three of the articles below, all written four years ago in the run-up to last US election, keep an open mind about what each says, and be alert to your instinctive reactions to them:
- An obituary, and its back-story: Eli Saslow in the Washington Post writes about the tragic life and death of Anna Marrie Jones of Oklahoma, age 54.
- View from the left: Anne Amnesia from the blog More Crows Than Eagles digs into Anna Marrie’s story with her perspective on the larger picture. Anne was a Bernie Sanders supporter. She’s no longer blogging, but may well still be a Bernie fan.
- View from the right: Rod Dreher in the American Conservative reviews Anne’s story very enthusiastically but frames the situation utterly differently. Rod did, and says he will again, vote for Trump despite not particularly liking or respecting him.
As long as we, the precariat-becoming-unnecessariat, remain distracted by our polarized worldviews from seeing our common crises — social, economic, political, and ecological — we will remain unable to appreciate our shared predicament, let alone start to figure out how to deal with it.