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The Damage of Bashing the Other Side

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This weekoffers a wonderful textbook case for one of the favorite technique of polarization: Instead of arguing the pros or cons of a controversial issue with the goal of working toward resolution, cynically use—indeed, supercharge— that issue to bash the other side with the goal of titillating your base and driving resolution farther apart. It would be comical if it wasn’t so damaging. Nice going, citizens.

When reading these examples, check the above list and ask yourself: regardless of whether you agree or disagree, is this really advancing an intelligent resolution through the persuasive, rational arguments of advocacy…or simply fueling the fire of conflict through the divisive, emotional manipulations of polarization?

Here are a few blue and red polarizing headlines from the past week.

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