In 2007, TV commentator, Gretchen Carlson, called Ted Kennedy “an enemy of America”. Her personal framework of ideaology viewed Kennedy that way, because she disagreed with his beliefs. Because of 24-hour-news, viewers hear more of that sentiment from both sides. It then stirs up the public to despise everyone in the political process.
A jury consultant once told me that everyone brings a certain bias to Court. Then, they take the facts of the case before them, and decide it early on. From that point forward, they put the facts in “their trial story”. Evidence that doesn’t fit within that thinking are then thrown out.
A writer for Forbes describes that viewpoint reaction as a bias process. She places such thinking and reasoning into 3 categories: Ignorance Assumption, Idiocy Assumption and Evil Assumption. The thinking goes like this:
First, when someone disagrees, then we assume that we can “share information with them”. In doing so, we believe that we can change their mind. When we can’t it must just be attributed to…
Second, Idiocy Assumption. When we have shared our thinking and can’t convince them of our viewpoint; then it must just be that they are idiots. Obviously, they would come to our way of thinking if they weren’t so stupid. Unless…..
Finally, when we find out that the person who disagrees with us, despite having the same facts as we do and are as competent as we are, then we draw a different conclusion about them. We conclude that they are deliberately distorting the truth for their own evil purpose. How else could they know the truth and not agree with us?
Here’s how it’s applies. Politicians like to use the phrase that “if we restrict (insert position)” or “if the government does/doesn’t (insert some action)” then “jobs will be lost or jobs will be created”; depending on the argument. It’s why Republicans and Democrats completely disagree on opinions, legislation and proposed solutions.
A political example of this “same fact thinking” is always present in elections. Apply it to Oil Drilling, Government regulation, or tax rates. Or, how about the allegations of sexual harassment against Herman Cain? Political commentators either cover it, embrace it, argue against; report it or interrupt a co-panelist that is discussing. It’s the application of the three categories of assumption.
You can either get angry about it or laugh about it. It happens over and over. Now, the jobs bill that is being considered in the US Senate, includes economic stimulus, tax issues and tort reform. It it impossible for legislators not to make every piece of legislation about politics.
During the Bush Presidency, he was pushing immunity for Pharmaceutical companies. The reasoning, at the time, was that you had to give these companies an incentive to work on new healing drugs. If they were worried about being sued, then they wouldn’t come out with necessary medications, which only hurts the public. So, it made the argument that, anyone who was against caps or restrictions for Pharmaceutical companies, must be evil; because they were against healing and helping the American People. The same thinking that Lawsuits cost jobs.
No broad based immunity made it into law. Contrary to the necessity of those claims that Drug companies would not have an incentive to keep producing new medications; the FDA just announced this week, that new drug approvals are going to set a record for the decade. 35 new drugs have been approved . The benefits of healing continue.
Self-professed liberal Chris Matthews used to work for Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill. He remembers how many philosophical differences President Reagan and O’Neill used to have. But, he said that Reagan and O’Neill “knew when to argue and knew when to have lunch”. He repeated O’Neill’s thinking that “here in Washington, we’re all friends after 6”. Wouldn’t it be great if laws were crafted by working together, instead of assuming that the other side is evil, because of disagreement.
Now, Pic O’ day is a reminder that sometimes you just have to dive in, to get things done!