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Hold The Presses! November 8, 2006

Posted by gordonwatts in life, politics.
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I can’t believe it. I actually agree with something that Tierney of the New York Times says [registration and $$ required, sorry]:

But what really happens when people discuss politics? Consider an experiment last year, when groups of Coloradans convened separately in Boulder and Colorado Springs to discuss global warming, affirmative action and civil unions for same-sex couples. Before the discussions, the people in Boulder were on average more liberal than the ones in Colorado Springs, but there were also moderates in both places whose opinions overlapped.

This is called the echo chamber in the blog-o-sphere. A group, talking to itself, becomes so self-convinced of a argument they decide everyone who doesn’t believe in it is crazy. It is especially bad in the political blog world — Tierney makes a reference to this towards the end of his column:

Of course, these ideological divides are small compared with the ones in the blogosphere, which is one giant version of the Colorado experiment. You can always find a group online to affirm your brilliant opinions. It’s immensely satisfying…

This election has really gotten to me — in a way no previous one has. Everything is polarized. When Bush had to declare, to shore up the Republican faithful, that there was no way he would let Rummy go — that is when I knew we were in trouble. If you have to go to the mat to assure your party faithful, this leaves you no room to govern to the population of the USA in general (ok, Rummy was an example to me, as a died-in-the-blue-guy).

As I write this most papers and web sites are predicting democratic control of the house and the senate will be at a tipping point. I hope, I really hope, that however it comes out that people can actually govern. If the next two years are just one side going after the other we will be in no better shape two years from now. Don’t. Please.

Congratulations to the winners, condolences to the losers, and good luck to all of us.

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