Here’s something to chew on- a few years ago there was a study done concerning the beliefs of liberals and conservatives. The questions were carefully formulated to avoid partisanship and political buzzwords. The study found two interesting things- the first being that the beliefs of self-proclaimed ‘Liberals’ and ‘Conservatives’ were 80% similar. This means that we have four time as much in common as we disagree on.
The second thing was that among these groups on average there was only roughly 87% agreement with other people of their own self-proclaimed affiliation.
Think about that.
Other studies since have shown that both sides dramatically exaggerate the negative qualities of people on the other side of the political spectrum.
Here’s the thing- the internet encourages this; people ‘narrowcast’ to only view things that they agree with. I have friends from all across the political spectrum, and I read, consider and fact-check the memes they post. Over 70% of these posts are distortions if not outright lies- on both sides of the political divide.
So, my friends on the Left and the Right, it seems that if we abandon our prejudices we have hugely more in common than we thought. We keep ourselves from seeing this by focussing only on things that support our beliefs and ignoring anything that we disagree with. We disregard out of hand anything that does not support our ‘party line.’ This is helped along by the leadership on the left and right, because blind prejudice keeps us at each other’s throats and keeps us from thinking about what is really happening to this country. Make us fight over the 20% difference in our beliefs instead of focussing on the 80% we have in common, because if we do that we might see through the veil of lies and bullshit and move to stop them. We live in virtual worlds based on lies and illusions as surely as the people in the movie ‘The Matrix.’
It’s a lot easier to simply demonize the other side. Equate ‘Liberal’ with communists and socialists. Equate ‘Conservative’ with redneck sensibilities, ignorance and facism. It’s easier to spend all our energy hating each other than to look for common ground and compromise. And while we do this our country has been stolen out from under us.
This country has had Liberals and Conservatives since the very beginning. For two hundred years they achieved workable compromises and generally kept the country moving forward. This is no longer the case. Ask yourself- who benefits? Who gains from us being at each other’s throats instead of working together, compromising and moving the country forward?
Follow the money.
The only way we are going to be able to take back this country is if we can all put aside the 20% difference, open our eyes and hearts to the truth and stop being sheep and believing without question. Stop the bastards that are taking our country and our freedom. Get the country moving forward again, rebuild the middle class, always the strength of this great nation.
Sure, we quibble about the details- but for now we have bigger problems. Fix those and we’ll have the luxury of all the time we need to argue about our differences.