And I thought we were polarized during the last election cycle.
Your neighbor puts up an Obama or Romney yard sign and you think, I thought he was an okay, but apparently he is an idiot.
One of your Facebook “friends” writes about what an ass Obama or Romney is and you think. You don’t know him, but apparently he is an idiot.
You believe that Obama is a Muslim Kenyan socialist.
You believe Romney is a ruthless flip-flopping millionaire.
My parents wouldn’t vote for Jesus, if he were a Republican.
My neighbor wouldn’t vote for him, if he were a Democrat.
Half the country thinks the other half are idiots.
How did this happen?
The parties assumed extreme positions to establish their power base.
The media fans the flames by riling up their targeted market.
But there are some other more subtle influences at work here.
Your personal values influence how you hear things. A compassionate person cares about a societal safety net for the poor. A business person cares about tax policy and healthcare because they affect his ability to successfully function. So, we listen for catch words and key phrases.
Your tribe affects your opinion. By tribe, I mean your family, friends, acquaintances, and the pervasive thinking of people in your locality. We hang around people who agree with us.
These things matter more than the facts. When the fact checkers reveal their findings after a debate or a candidate ad or statement, opinions don’t change, even when someone was obviously lying.
We believe the “truth” we want to believe, the one that fits our personal grid. That is exactly what the candidates are counting on. So, if they repeat a lie long enough. People will start to believe it.
Please look at the candidates’s record, not the rhetoric. Drill down; look at their programs and ideas. Do they really work? Are they sustainable? Are they following the constitution, which is their job description? Are they really helping people? Is the candidate a real leader and person of character?
That’s all a little work. It is easier to just drink the Kool-Aid.