As I said yesterday, I listened to what Arthur Brooks had to say Tuesday evening. Another thing he talked about was discourse and people.
Today, families are being ripped apart and friendships are being destroyed by politics. How stupid. Arthur Brooks is a conservative. His entire family is liberal. They don’t agree on politics, but they do still love each other.
Believe me, I don’t think the left wing is correct. But, that doesn’t mean the person on the left isn’t a person of value. This is why when Hillary Clinton says “half of Trump’s supporters are deplorable”, it shows she really has a deep seated hatred and lack of respect for them. The email threads released yesterday prove it. Of course, Trump has said a lot of stuff that creates the same feeling in his supporters.
As soon as you start to dehumanize the other side, it gives everyone a license to do far worse. It allows human emotions of hate and anger to bubble to the surface. It allows people to rationalize discrimination. I know people that won’t do business with people on the other side! Crazy, since actively discriminating costs them money.
In a place that is dominated by one political party, it’s easy to discriminate. Try doing the same thing when you are in the minority.
No, the other side is valuable. They are human and they have cares and thoughts and emotions. I have never ever met one person in the entire world from any culture that didn’t want a better life for their children.
I think there are a lot of things going on under the surface that are causing this. One is the rise of social media. Everyone has a voice, and it’s hard to be extremely thoughtful in a tweet or blog comment or Facebook post, or even email. Nic Epley from the University of Chicago has proven that no one can mindread the feelings and emotions behind print. You have to be present-or know the person really well.
Second, people are fearful. They are fearful of terrorism. But, more importantly they are fearful of what’s next. There are more men idle between the ages of 20-65 in the US than there are in Greece. By idle I mean not working. That’s scary.
Third, people don’t feel like they have a voice. There is no competition in elections because districts are gerrymandered so heavily. People complain that the candidates suck, but when you see what the press does with businesspeople who turn into politicians why would anyone leave the private sector to run? Career politicians that get rich off their government connections are also dispiriting. There are two systems of law in the US. One for the elites, one for the rest of us.
Fourth, populism on both sides of the aisle. When 50% of all Democrats vote for a socialist and want to abandon the free enterprise system, America isn’t on good footing. When a person like Trump can win the Republican nomination, America isn’t on good footing either. Ironically, I think that the GOP establishment will blame Trump and his conduct for a loss (assuming he loses). Or, they will blame the Democrats or the media. They certainly won’t blame themselves but they should. The GOP establishment is very out of touch with what’s going on. So is the Democrat establishment.
Interestingly, I think Arthur is correct when he says if the political parties rules were switched and the Republicans had superdelegates while the Democrats didn’t; Jeb Bush would be running against Bernie Sanders. Instead, we got what we got.
I don’t know too many people that are happy about it.