Politics, Polarization, and the Average American Citizen

To those who have been following the political scene here in America in recent years and the most recent presidential election has probably noted that the average American citizens are more divided than ever before. It seems that mentioning anything political runs the risk of provoking an argument or possibly worse. One could possibly be fascinated at what factors cause this and how it possibly could be avoided.

It seems that now, more than ever before, people are more prone to engage in a process known as groupthink. While groupthink has some benefits in creating loyalty among the members of that group, the drawback to it is that those people are more prone to becoming brainwashed and programmed to think in a certain way. Also there is a power imbalance as often times the more assertive and dominant members of that particular group will coerce and manipulate the more passive members. In political terms this would be viewed as polarization.

Another theory as to why political disagreements may become violent is because of a lack of information. While the MSM provides us with a lot of outlets and different channels to view our information about the current news and political scene, it may often be biased or misleading. The best example I can give of this was the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson several years back and the riots that ensued. Drastically different reports of eyewitness accounts of the incident and what actually lead to the shooting were on display. One could question as to whether it was the same incident everyone was seeing or not? It seems that this groupthink mentality and biased information lead to the unfortunate turn of events that happened in Ferguson and in other incidents around the country surrounding the Trump campaign.

So how can one keep from polarization and groupthink? It would seem the best methods in avoiding these are looking behind the scenes and gaining information from alternative sources. Often times 3rd party sources or source that are lesser known and established may hold information that the MSM doesn’t. Not always, but occasionally. Also viewing overseas news and websites contain information not well known. Again, not always the case but it’s worth a try and often successful. This way one can avoid being possibly harmed or lead down a trail that may ultimately lead to disaster. ThinkstockPhotos-176936509_1

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