Guest column, Douglas Young: The roots of our deep political divide

Guest column, Douglas Young: The roots of our deep political divide

Douglas Young There are many culprits for why so many Americans of different political persuasions today have trouble maintaining or even starting a rational dialogue on controversial topics without angry emotion and name-calling soon taking over. Before TV, we were a far more literate society where folks read much more and thought in a more rational, linear manner. But TV is arguably a much more emotional medium. A long time ago, people asked, “What do you think?” about an issue. Now it’s “How do you feel about that?” The rise of 24/7 cable news networks bringing on a never-ending news cycle and the ascendancy of openly biased journalism, have further politicized us. So have all the biased talk radio and internet news sites. These new media love to frighten folks into watching, listening to or reading them. Everything becomes “a crisis” requiring immediate action. This creates far more fear and even panic — look how easily the press and politicians exploited the coronavirus. When I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, everyone read the same local newspaper, which was usually unbiased except on the editorial pages. We all watched the same 30-minute CBS, NBC or ABC newscast, and there was virtually no talk radio and no internet. Now conservatives read the Wall Street Journal, listen to Sean Hannity, read the National Review online and watch Fox News. Liberals read the New York Times, listen to NPR, read Slate online and watch CNN or MSNBC. So the two sides […]

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