This week offers a wonderful textbook case for one of the favorite technique of polarization: Instead of arguing the pros or cons of a controversial issue with the goal of working toward resolution, cynically use—indeed, supercharge— that issue to bash the other side.
This Week in Polarization
Columns about polarization and depolarization written by Greg Munford
How did accusations of fascism get to fashionable?
It looks like it will be quite a contest . . . for who can stoop the lowest.
They generate money, clicks, attention, votes. What’s hard to understand is why so many fall for them, and don’t recognize the damage they do.
Was it because it was the Easter/Passover week of hope and renewal? Or maybe the pent up pop of the release of the Mueller report?
This week…we learned that “they” support hate…accept pedophilia…are attacking a life saving program…are responsible for the college admissions scandal…suck up to Big Pharma…are trying to miscarry justice…are a warped version of Christianity…are messing with voting rights…and so much more. What a relief to finally get clarity, enlightenment and wisdom in this time of complex and …
There is a sometimes subtle but important difference between inciting and informing, persuading and enflaming, convincing and stoking.
This week . . . April may not prove to be the cruelest month. But I’m sure it won’t be for lack of trying.
While the right is brimming with accusations of “the left,” the left tends to point more and more not to ”the right,” but to specific individuals on the right.
This week the polarizing technique of accusing the other side of hypocrisy and lying, rather than arguing against the substance of what they want to accomplish seemed to dominate.
This week it seems like a good time, for obvious reasons, to recall some of James Madison’s renowned Federalist #10 warnings about the danger to freedom of factions.
This week seems like a good moment to untangle a common confusion the undercuts the efforts to depolarize our politics: The confusion between civility and neutrality.
Rational, focused disagreements over serious issues seems like a distant dream. Perhaps it’s time for a campaign to Make American Adult Again.
This week . . . with President Trump’s declaration of emergency it got serious.
Hope that as the Presidential election season gains steam, the variety of candidates and complexity of issues will actually begin to move the debate to realistic discussion.
Thank goodness there are no real problems, issues, threats, worries facing our nation. Otherwise the emptiness of the current political debate would be really something to worry about.
For an exhilarating few days of breathless finger pointing, “the smirk” captured even more of the polarizer’s angry attention than “the shutdown.”
The infantile faceoffs that make up the daily news is causing some to stop and actually think about not just what their opponents are saying, but what they themselves are saying.
Perhaps some other tactics will be explored.
This week shows signs on exhaustion—perhaps even a hint of desperation—on the jousting field of polarization.
I’d like to look at how to fight against, rather than just observe, polarization.
The accusation of “liars” was hurled from both sides…which means that lying is still considered an insult in both camps!
I guess even hate takes a holiday now and then.
As the election results came in and the pundits chimed in, the partisan rancor felt, to me, less rather than more offensive.
This week… David Brooks (see below) painted a dim view of the state of the electorate, saying that we are as divided as ever. That “very little has changed over the past two years…everybody’s political positions are more dug in….the Venn diagram is dead. There’s no overlapping area.” I think he’s both right and wrong. …
“We are as divided as ever.”
This week we mourne.
A core level of trust in the decency, sincerity and virtue our fellow citizens, no matter how deeply we dislike and disagree with them, is one of the foundational necessities of a free, democratic society.
With the Kavanaugh scream-fest behind us, it’s back to everyday blood-letting. And without a tacitly-agreed theme, the polarizers have to stretch.
But while it’s easy to celebrate the power of polarization when your side wins, it’s worth remembering the cost, which is freedom.