Sometimes two people watching the same video see it as supporting opposite points of view. We seem to be quick to pick up on elements that support our biases but sometimes miss elements that can be interpreted to oppose them. This is a phenomenon I have written on before. Recently, I encountered another example.
I recently read Create Your Own Economy by Tyler Cowen. It is an interesting book touching on many subjects, including how the internet might be changing the culture, and on the neurological roots of aesthetic opinions. In it are two interesting quotes about autism-spectrum disorders on page thirty-three.
I have long heard people of all political persuasions decry the increase of sex and violence in the entertainment media, openly wondering if it was changing us for the worse. It seems to be one of the few bipartisan issues.
What was Fast And Furious? Who is to blame for the death of Brian Terry? Should Attorney General Eric Holder be impeached? Was Obama in on the conspiracy? You won’t find those answers here; that’s not the point of this blog. I’m here to discover and report on the arguments driving political opinion in the United States. The “Fast And Furious” scandal is becoming a divisive issue with many of us lining up on different sides to vent our anger at each other. Before we begin, it would probably be helpful if we were first aware of what the counterarguments are, and to question whether we really know what happened ourselves. There is a conspiracy theory out there that the operation was designed to increase gun violence as a pretext for increased gun control rules. Preaching this theory without hard evidence is reckless, dangerous, bad for the reasoned political debate essential to democracy, and sets us against each other needlessly. It has much the same effect as the conspiracy theory that elements of the US government were in on the 9/11 attacks as a pretext for war. There are also accusations out there that those trying to get to the bottom of the scandal are motivated solely to hurt President Obama politically, or even by racism. These accusations aren’t much help either, and only serve to divide us.
I recently saw an ad for The Rachel Maddow Show on the back of a magazine. The quote ran something along the lines of: “If your big idea is ‘no we can’t,’ I don’t want you leading the country.” I’m not sure what she’s talking about, but I have some ideas.
One thing I have long had a hard time understanding is how two people of differing political persuasion can look at the same article and find it supporting their own point of view. Sometimes pundits that seem to clearly lean one way are accused of leaning the other way by others. When it comes to comedy, where the message is less explicit, and nothing is to be taken literally, this phenomenon is even more pronounced.
This is the question many are still asking. Who are they? Who founded it? What are their greivances? What are their demands? Are they negotiable? And who do we negotiate with? The first step to understanding a group is to listen to what they say. What are they saying?
I recently found a couple of links at the Coffee Party website you may find interesting. Why is politics so divisive? What drives it? How did we get here? One woman makes the case that it is the news media and lays out how it evolved over time.
Be sure to check out her other post on how "argument culture" hurts America.
Most people are moderates and don’t feel we live in a particularly divided country. The media, of course, frames everything in terms of left and right and has to find ways to classify people as one or the other. Whether someone is a conservative or liberal then, depends on how the issues are framed.
Hi, I'm Dan. I like chocolate, hiking, and politics.