You know, this right here is where it all falls apart.
You look at people in a “very economically depressed area”, you notice all the character flaws and crime and substance abuse and you think “man, these are such shitty people! Look how they live! No wonder they’re poor! We need to keep them away from the rest of us so they don’t lower our standard of living.”
Meanwhile, we look at those same people, notice all the same things, and think " Man, what shitty conditions! Look how they live! No wonder there’s crime and drug abuse. We need to change these environments so that the people there have the opportunity to reach their full potential."
So is this why we are so divided in the US today? And if so, what can we do about it?
It was just a question. “No” is an acceptable answer, but I thought it would be insightful to understand where your perspective on this is coming from. Your response here does mean the answer is “no”, right?
It’s even more insidious than that. There are people living in the economically depressed area, who are struggling with substance abuse, who are living off of government benefits, who still believe that it’s wrong for “those people”, meaning some other group of people who are not them, to get government benefits. Because of course their problems are because of bad circumstances, while the problems of “those people” are because they are just horribly flawed, bad people.
Agreed. Humans have a loooooong history of assuming that poverty, crime, sloth, and mental defects are all one and the same thing. And so we end up with a world where poverty is criminalized, prisons are used in place of mental hospitals, and politicians tell stories about “welfare queens.”
Most things in life are a certain balance of internal vs. external factors. Few would attribute it entirely to one or the other. It’s just that liberals tend to weight it more towards the latter and conservatives towards the former.
Yes, but that’s a superficial and not very informative observation. The more revealing insight is why this difference exists. Numerous studies – some of which have been discussed here – show that conservatives tend to prefer simple, clear-cut answers to questions like the underlying causes of poverty and crime – often driven by preconceived “gut-feel” beliefs and enshrined values – while liberals tend towards more analytical approaches that better assess complexity and ambiguity, and are more inclined to be influenced by academic studies and their empirical evidence. Just look at the liberal-conservative divide on issues like climate change and evolution. Of course there are intelligent conservatives with evidence-based beliefs, some of whom are even scientists, but where do you tend to find the anti-science bias on things like climate change?
The inability to compromise is primarily due to one, or more, or all, of the negotiating parties refusing to accept the possibility that the other side has valid concerns. When any of the negotiating parties hold the belief that the other side’s values, opinions, reasons, or goals are useless, or worthless, or not even worth mentioning, then compromise is impossible. Compromise requires a willingness to actually compromise.
I wonder when these so-called “people low on authoritarianism” will finally rid the Democrat Party of the Pelosi, Schumer, Clinton, Warren, Cuomo, and de Blasio-types. It must be those “white people high on authoritarianism” that are holding the people down.