At this level of conflict, emotion is driving the train. I admit to that myself. I remember, early on in Trump’s tenure, he did something—I can’t remember what it was, something about China. I remember having this sudden thought that, actually, that was not a bad idea—but not even wanting to have the thought in my head, let alone verbalize it. Then I realized I felt like if I gave him an inch, he’d take a mile—as if we were in a relationship. It’s a trick of the brain, as if he and I were in conversation, which we’re not. So, it’s a fear. It’s a lack of trust. It’s easier, in a way, to keep things binary: bad, good. There’s really cool research that haunts me to this day by Robb Willer and Matthew Feinberg, where they asked liberals and conservatives if they would reframe an argument for something in words that would get the other side behind it. Interestingly, they found that 20% of liberals would not reframe their arguments to persuade conservatives, even if it would work better to get what they want. That’s high conflict: when any concession, no matter how small, feels too threatening to contemplate, even when it would be in their interest.Yup. I remember how that feels. When I was solidly "liberal", I didn't want my holy words and thoughts to be desecrated by entering the Nazi ears of Fascists. Post-1968 leftists are RELIGIOUS, not political. Despite Persuasion's alleged intentions, their own religion pokes through as usual:
This is exactly how we get trapped, isn’t it? Because we don't get curious anymore. Journalists are captured by the high conflict. We’re not different. We’re human. I think there’s this magical thinking that we think we’re not. We think, “Oh, we're just dispassionately covering the issues.” That’s just not the case, as we see over and over again. If Trump wins the next election, or some version of Trump wins who’s more dangerous, everyone will say, “How could this happen?!”Note the flat assertion, riding through on the wave without being seen. They wish, or pretend to wish, for a ground connection, a standard measure, a readily available source of unbiased information. They don't go beyond wishing, don't try to imagine how such a source would work. Is independence possible? Yes, but independence requires independence. Independent thought requires independence from money and lawyers and licensing. I can't think of any examples at all in the political realm, but I know of one perfect example in economics. Wolf Richter remains carefully neutral between the bulls and bears, longs and shorts, scams and counterscams. He stands back and watches all of them with the same jaundiced glare. He sticks FIRMLY to actual data, and makes the best graphs in the world to COMMUNICATE the actual data. Wolf is a one-man shop. He works loosely with a few correspondents in other countries, sharing the wealth and sharing the pulpit. He doesn't need a lot of licenses and Die-Versity Compliance and Enviro Compliance. In current conditions, large media can't possibly achieve Wolf's level of independence. Large operations require large staffs and licensing and lawyers. You can't get money and licenses and lawyers unless you conform to Deepstate. You have to take the script that Deepstate writes, and read either the R character or the D character. There's no narrator in Deepstate's satanic stagecraft. Well, is there any way to have national well-financed media that sticks to facts? Hell Yes. Two little words. FAIRNESS DOCTRINE. From 1934 to 1970 the FCC rigidly enforced the FD and it WORKED. Don't take my word for it. Listen to radio news from the '30s and '40s. You won't be able to use the Seven-Second Rule because it didn't apply then. You couldn't tell immediately which side the announcer was on. The announcers were human, so they undoubtedly had sides; but the writers and editors were CONSTRAINED BY LAW to stick to the data, just as Wolf does with economics.
The current icon shows Polistra using a Personal Equation Machine.