Friday, July 29, 2016

Problem -- Polarization

Nobody believes.  If you tell the truth in a polarized world, only those who agree will believe you.  If they don't agree, they will assume you're lying.  For example:

True:  Hillary Clinton's foundation received millions, perhaps more than $100M from countries to which her State Department granted extraordinary arms deals despite their human rights violations and internal terrorist funding.
True:  Bill Clinton has a long list of accusers for sexual assault and misconduct.  Also true:  Clinton staffers were assigned to discredit the accusers.
True:  Donald Trump has been sued many times, and his university was generally a waste of money for students.
True:  Donald Trump has repeatedly and emphatically contradicted himself.
True:  Hillary Clinton lied to Congress.
True:  Donald Trump has spawned many businesses that ended in bankruptcy.
True:  Bill Clinton did meet inappropriately with the Attorney General just prior to the FBI announcement that they would not pursue criminal charges against Hillary.

Now notice which of the above you agreed were true and relevant.  That's your bias, perhaps, or is it objectivity, or thoughtful discernment?  Do we want to know the truth, or do we want what we prefer to be the truth?  The latter is the process and product of polarization.

In today's polarized culture, Democrats and Republicans no longer have a middle ground for going forward, the media is no longer fair and balanced, and there's not a reporter we trust to stick to 'just the facts'.

  • Obama, apparently, is one step below the antichrist, and Hillary hates everything about America.
  • Trump is a maniacal narcissist and incapable of honest interchange for mutual progress.
  • There has never been a worse president than Obama ... unless Hillary is elected.
  • It's the end of generations of progress and a return to the dark ages if Trump is elected.
  • It would be better if a life-terminating event like an asteroid strike killed us all.
That's today's public forum.

Polarization in Congress means they accomplish little of consequence.  Perhaps that's just as well.

It used to be that there were just a few tv channels, just a few news organizations, and a reasonable amount of information we had to assimilate and process. Technology has given us hundreds of channels and news sources, and all of them are competing for a share of the marketplace. The result, they play to their audience, and we wind up with extraordinary polarization. That particular marketplace competition has made us idiots or uninformed or both.

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