“#Experience is not what happens to you, it’s what you do with what happens to you.”
– Aldous Huxley
An event is really two things; the event itself and how we interpret that event. What has been happening more and more over the past 3 decades is that events don’t seem to be driving our political processing. Increasingly, sociology and a central biased media drive it.
Geographic and psycho-sociological patterns now overshadow events in driving political loyalties and national electoral outcomes. Different American regions and subcultures now see reality through nonoverlapping lenses. They interpret in radically different ways.
There are many examples. Here’s one. Do you want to predict how an individual is going to vote? Ask if he or she urban or rural?
Psycho-social categories have hardened. As Jonathan Rauch suggests, polarization is not on the rise, emotional polarization is on the rise. We don’t necessarily disagree more. We perceive our opponents to be more menacing. We see more fearfully.
On top of that, we are unduly influenced by a centrally biased media that all too often reflects the views of the wealthy. For example, Ezra Klein noted when it came to budget deficits it seemed that “the usual rules of reportorial neutrality” didn’t apply; reporters openly advocated policy views that were at best controversial, not widely shared by the general public and, we now know, substantively wrong. But they were the policy views of the wealthy.
And when it comes to treatment of differing policy views, the media often treats those Americans as more equal than others.
The news #media owes the public a serious discussion of all ideas, not dismissal of some because of a combination of reflexive “centrist bias” and the assumption that any policy rich people dislike must be irresponsible.
So, when #Sanders and #Warren talk about the excessive influence of the wealthy, that subject also deserves serious discussion, not the cheap shots we’ve been seeing lately.Add “emotional polarization” and the result is obvious.