Escaping Politics Is Getting Harder And Harder

I’m old enough to remember when we didn’t talk about politics.

One of the things my parents taught me when I was a little kid was that there were three things that were impolite to talk about: religion, politics, and how much money you make.

In fact, I can remember asking my mom who she voted for in 1980, and she wouldn’t even tell me, her very own son. She said that she liked to keep that information to herself.

And she’s was smart to do so, because 7-year-old me would have told all my friends who she voted for immediately. I wouldn’t have seen a problem with it nor would I have been able to see how it could lead to issues with friends and neighbors—but now I get why she wanted to keep that information private.

It was a pretty good guideline to follow, and for decades, it helped keep our country civil.

However, it seems that unwritten rule has gone out the window, and everybody talks about ALL the taboo subjects freely and openly.

As I wrote recently in an article about Facebook, I blame social media.

Social media will be the downfall of society because it gives people a platform to talk about whatever they want—and for the most part, it’s free from consequence.

Comfortable With Disrespect

One of my favorite quotes about the way people talk to each other over Facebook or Twitter is by the always-entertaining Mike Tyson, who famously said in an interview, “Social media made you all way too comfortable with disrespecting people and not getting punched in the face for it.”

People have become too comfortable overall, and they’re simultaneously proud of their politics and partisanship…which is weird for me.

I’m not “proud” to be a Conservative; it’s just who I am.

Being a Conservative or a Liberal isn’t an accomplishment. It’s just a shared ideology, and it’s one that can change. I’m proof of that because, for most of my life, I was very Liberal.

However, people are now living their lives in a partisan fashion in all aspects, and researchers are now saying that people are making decisions of where to work, who to be friends with, and where to live—all based on their political ideology.

According to a new study published in The Journal of Public Policy & Marketing by researchers from Arizona State University, the University of Wyoming, and others, “With political positions influencing decisions, people may sacrifice wages, lose out on jobs, make suboptimal purchases and disregard opportunities to save. For example, research has found that employees accept lower wages to work for politically like-minded entities, and people may select higher-priced products or ones that offer less-functional value. Polarization has the potential to prevent neighbors or colleagues of opposing parties from developing friendships. This ultimately deprives individuals of intellectual diversity, among other things.”

This has been something we’ve been talking about for years…

And unfortunately—not to be biased here—we see these actions taken by those that lean Left way more often than those that lean Right.

The Cost Of Partisan Politics

I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve lost due to my Conservative ideals, but I always figured that people who knew me really KNEW me and could at least separate their personal politics from our own relationship. But I’ve been proven wrong time and time again, as people have cut off contact with me over our political differences.

However, when it comes to brand selection, these researchers are dead on.

I straight up REFUSE to buy Nike or Gillette because both these brands have damaged America in my view.

But I refuse to let political issues dictate what job I take, where I live, or who my friends are.

I also know this divide isn’t going to get any better, either…

This divide is here to stay until some kind of unifying event brings us together as a country. The researchers talked about this in their paper, saying,

“[A]s society has become increasingly polarized, politicians’ objectives diverge and their animosity toward the opposition grows, thereby reducing opportunity for compromise. Partisan incivility is a major reason for failed dialogue: Uncivil exchanges result in disagreement and greater polarization regardless of the evidence presented.”

This problem is identity politics reflected in their own personal echo chamber where diversity of thought is eliminated…

As long as a person’s chosen political identity becomes self-reinforcing through associations with groups with shared beliefs, it makes it harder to relate to those with opposing views.

And soon…

It will be a part of everything. Welcome to the 21st Century…

Welcome to the NEW normal.

 

 

“It’s time for political leaders across the ideological spectrum to realize that, while partisanship is understandable, hyper-partisanship is destructive to our country. We need more visionary leaders who will earnestly strive for bipartisanship and finding policy solutions that can move America forward.” – Martin Luther King III

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Author: Sean Robertson


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