Thursday, January 15, 2009

If you're not one of us...

American society is splitting right down the middle, and I don't hear about how disturbing this is nearly often enough. Right now, we're slowly developing a split culture, with conservatives and liberals on opposite sides. There are historical parallels in older socialist movements, where members would live exclusively in the Party world, but I think that what's happening now is on a large enough scale that it should be regarded as something completely new.

Sarah Palin drove this home, in her own embarrassingly clumsy way, when she called on Real America - by which she meant the half of the country that thinks like her. You see examples of it occasionally, such as Conservapedia. People are trying to build an alternate, ideologically pure, parallel universe. I think conservatives are more guilty of this, for various reasons, but you see examples of it on the political left too.

The effects of the split are obvious. Wedge issues such as abortion become completely intractable, to the point that the two sides aren't even talking to each other any more, just yelling slogans. People acquire strong opinions on issues without even understanding them, based entirely on their party affiliation. Moderates and independents are marginalized, since everybody tries to classify them as siding more with one party over the other.

Who or what is driving this? I honestly don't have an answer to that one. What do you guys think?

1 comment:

Kiriska said...

I blame Bush.

But obviously that's a cop-out answer. The more problems that were added onto everyone's collective plate and shoulders, the more divided everyone is going to be, and the more comfort they will find in the world of their party. Hardship is always the driving force of division. I wonder what extreme consequences there might be if there's some kind of epic schism.

I like how Conservapedia clearly has a ideology in its title, but bills itself as "trustworthy." I can't decide if that's just intentional trickery or if they're just delusional.