We, as Americans, cherish the freedom and right to disagree—which we do, often deeply about important issues that need resolution. But polarization undermines that freedom by tightening prejudices rather than opening thought, thus diminishing the chances for finding resolutions and moving forward. So while polarization may feel like a righteous champion of freedom and right, it is in fact just the opposite—a stick jammed in the spokes of the democratic discourse of freedom. Here are some of the common ways it does it:
- SEDUCES with loaded, heated language and childish name-calling that appeals more to emotion that reason.
- BLINKERS by using cherry-picked facts, and ignoring or mocking opposing arguments and evidence rather than actually addressing them.
- TRIVIALIZES by focusing on “straw-man” issues whose value in re-enforcing biases is clearly greater than their substance.
- BULLIES by making you feel like a dupe or a traitor if you even listen to the other side.
- FLATTERS with language and a tone that makes you feel like an insider, who, of course, agrees with them because you “get it” … just like they do.
- FRIGHTENS by portraying the other side as not just wrong, but a dangerous, evil enemy, replete with wicked hidden agendas.
- “CLANS,” that is, plays the “us vs. them” identity politics game of associating the other view with groups or people (implicitly) “inferior” to “us.”
- “TRIBES” by using the knowing winks and nods of sarcasm, coded language, words in quotes (suggesting they’re misleading) and innuendo which you, as a member of the tribe, of course, will understand without explanation or justification.
The aftermath of the horrific mass murder in Las Vegas shows once again how polarizing the issue of gun control is—and how counter-productive polarization is. Gun controllers accuse gun advocates of not caring about life. Gun advocates accuse gun controllers of not caring about liberty. Both sides say their position saves lives. Neither side backs down nor considers the perspective of the other. And no one dares “break ranks” to explore their potential common ground of reverence for life, love of freedom, and grief over the loss of Jenny Parks, 36, kindergarten teacher, mother of two, and the other 57 victims of the Las Vegas killing grounds. So the strutting “us vs. them” standoff of bullying, blinkering, flattering, fear-mongering and righteous indignation continues…along with the slaughter. It’s easy to deride this as “just politics.” But this is polarization not politics. Real politics is the art of resolving conflict through discourse rather than violence. So perhaps it’s time take the politics of this life-and-death issue seriously enough to tune out the polarizers and open our minds and mouths and ears and imaginations in a sincere effort to listen and learn and move things to a better place.
More guns mean more crime
We’re going to take on the NRA and show that we care more about lives than they care about guns
Jimmy Kimmel tells Republicans to pray to God for forgiveness after Las Vegas massacre
‘We cannot wait’: John Lewis blasts trump for refusing to talk about gun violence
House Republican rejects gun control, compares assault rifles to trucks
Rhetorical question: What’s a bigger priority for Republicans, children’s health or the NRA?We need gun control,’ Ariana Grande claims
Republican leaders say ‘there’s not much we can do’ about gun violence. There is.…
New gun safety bill is so undeniably sensible even some Republicans may support it
How could anyone deny the need for tougher and more stringently enforced gun laws in the wake of the Vegas slaughter?
Tightening gun control could prevent more tragedies than you think
Don’t tell the left: More guns means fewer homicides
Another mass shooting this week….And as predictable as sunrise and sunset, politicization of tragedy by the left.
All-out war against the NRA begins after Las Vegas massacre
Left-wing politicians, activists and journalists are using the worst mass shooting in modern American history to attack one of the nations oldest civil rights organizations.
The 3 massive lies Jimmy Kimmel told about guns after LV massacre…
Americans were shocked and horrified by the utter carnage wrought in Las Vegas when a murderous gunman in the Manadalay Bay casino-hotel opened fire on a densely packed crowd at a country music concert below him Sunday night, killing 59 people and wounding more than 500 others.
The left pushes gun control with emotion, not facts
Now, when I mentioned the politicization of this, the full mad dash is on for gun control. Now, what does that mean? What does the left really want? Ill tell you what they want. They want the confiscation of every known weapon in this country.
Radicalized establishment to expand gun control
The globalists are coming after the Second Amendment
Even 538 admits that sweeping gun control doesn’t stop mass shootings
Like with any mass shooting that happens in the United States, the central conversation shifts almost immediately to what our lawmakers in Congress can do to restrict the sale and purchase of firearms beyond what is already regulated.
NRA slams liberal hypocrisy over Las Vegas massacre
National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre reacted to Hollywood’s and the left’s “hypocrisy” on gun control in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre.
The left pushes gun control with emotion, not facts — but one stunned liberal journalist learned the truth
Now, when I mentioned the politicization of this, the full mad dash is on for gun control.
Leftists despicably use Vegas massacre to further their agenda
It has always bugged me how fake news media helps Leftists portray themselves morally superior, more caring and compassionate than the rest of us.
Gun control in Europe is almost total. It hasn’t stopped mass shooting attacks like Las Vegas
Within hours of the horrible attack in Las Vegas, before we knew most of the relevant facts about the tragedy, gun control advocates were calling for more gun control.
Expert: Liberals don’t realize gun control punishes blacks, poor people the most
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., center, calls for gun control legislation June 16, 2016, on Capitol Hill in Washington, in the wake of the mass shooting at an Orlando LGBT nightclub.
Democrats commit more firearm crime than Republicans
Stats show liberals are more likely to shoot someone than conservatives