I’m old enough to remember a time when there were common goals and a much larger intersection of interest between those that identified with having conservative or liberal views. Over my lifetime, I’ve witnessed more and more polarization take place, and a huge divide that has split the nation. I have to believe that at our cores, we all still have these common goals and interests. What happened?
Tit for tat, over the last 40 years I’ve seen an extreme action followed by an equally extreme reaction. Michael Moore’s documentaries paved the way for super PACs to be born, and for misinformation to propagate. Morning and nightly news was just not enough for the gossip hungry American public, and 24 hour news channels were born for talking heads (many times not qualified enough to really talk about anything) to begin giving these thirsty Americans talking points (whether factual or important ) to spit at their opponents.
Whether CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC, by watching one of these biased big three, you’re part of the problem. These channels are going to feed you those bite size tidbits and reasons to hate the other side. Even though much of the content might be factual, the way it is presented will give you a reason to hate your opponent. Is this really what you want?
I desire to live in a world in which the news is given, and rather than look for a way to spin it so that the other side is evil, to find our common goals and interests. How we get there can be where we split and have civil discourse. Instead, we are too quick to judge the other side as incompetent and evil. I have little patience for this behavior and am harsh with myself when I am the hypocrite (which I am from time to time).
What can we do? Limit your focus. Don’t give in to click bate. Resist the idea of FOMO (fear of missing out). You’re not missing out by getting a small bit of reliable, boring news once (at most twice) a day from some place like the Associated Press, Reuters, or even the Wall Street Journal (leans right) or New York Times (leans left).