Monday, June 4, 2012
I don't understand the mentality of people
With regard to the polarization of American politics, I have a couple of observations from 30,000 ft.
I have noted in conversations with my older cousin that as he ages his views become more stridently one way or the other. Everything is black and white. The gray area, which used to be the compromise zone is now considered a "slippery slope" that must be avoided. For the Limbaughs and Becks, who play strongly to this black-and-white view of the world, people like my cousin become very fertile ground. And given the fact that America, on average, is aging, the polarization that we're seeing now might only be beginning.
Recognizing this unfortunate nexus of aged minds and inflammatory speech, we need to find a way to bring the decibel level down. Reasoned discussion needs to become the acceptable norm again, and in-your-face style rhetoric needs to become socially unacceptable. I believe one big step in this direction would be to somehow divorse news programming from the entertainment industry. Almost by definition, the entertainment industry panders to what's most popular. News should tell people what they need to hear, not pander to what they want to hear.