In the media landscape as it exists today, we all tend to lose perspective rather easily and foolishly.
We have to remember that the media mostly show the extremists because that’s what will give them the best ratings, provided they don’t go too far left or right to cause people to change the channel. They rarely show the average politically affiliated man or woman. Hell, they’ll show the extreme moderates before that happens.
Are we really to believe that most of us don’t want a living wage for hard-working people? Can we really stomach higher taxes for the little guy? Well, the data suggests that if you think the other side doesn’t care about fairness, justice, loyalty and tradition, you’re wrong. You simply get caught up in how these values are expressed.
This study also highlighted that respondents weren’t even able to accurately represent the moral views of people on the opposite side of the political divide. The media can also be thanked for that but it also has to do with the fact that we erect self-imposed echo chambers to block out any cognitive dissonance from setting in.
Now, I’m not here to address how the media is trying to divide us and all that. We are the media. If we don’t like it, we just won’t watch it. Besides, the media is more interested in revenue than tribalism. Whatever makes the most money, that’s what they’ll do. It just so happens that tribalism is a hot ticket, but it would be wise to not misconstrue their agenda.
Nevertheless, it is morality that typically gets called into question from either side of the political landscape. On one side, it is moral to grant abortions until a certain time. On the other, it is immoral. One one side, it is moral to wage war. On the other, it is moral not to fight. One one side, it is moral to help, on the other, it is moral to teach a man how to help himself.
An objective mind can see that an abortion for a rape victim is moral but it is also moral to bring a life to life. Furthermore, it is moral to fight for liberty, freedom and one’s values. But it is also moral to be peaceful. Furthermore still, there have been times when people needed help and times when people needed to conquer their own destiny.
The point is, both sides are useful and good, but only one can be right in a particular context. To think that a conservative or liberal decision or viewpoint is correct all the time, is laughably foolish.
I watch and read online media from the left and the right because to consume one side leaves one in an echo chamber. At least I can hear the harmonies of the left and right melt together as one. But I do have to listen to the sour notes from both too.
When in the echo chamber, you have to defend your viewpoint no matter how stupid and asinine you look in the process.
I’ve had my arguments mostly around religion with the conservatives around me. They were pointless in terms of trying to have a conversation, but afforded me and my relatives the opportunity to spew whatever partisan nonsense we could conjure. And it isn’t that both sides didn’t have a point. It’s just that when the opposite side made a good point, one had to act like it was wrong.
No different than the crap I see online between strangers.
So in this holiday season (or whenever you read this), remember that the data is in and it shows that your idea of the out-group is probably flawed (and since both sides claim to love facts so much that shouldn’t be a problem) and that we all want the same stuff. We just need to be honest on the fact that the other guy might have a point sometimes.