Social Question

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

Are Americans living in two different realities?

Asked by SquirrelEStuff (9184points) 1 month ago from iPhone

As someone who doesn’t identify as a Democrat or Republican, and has not for a very long time, I have not been able to ignore that fact that depending on which team a person identifies with in the two party paradigm, people’s perception of our country has seemed to have been broken into two separate realities.

George Washington’s farewell speech warned of the dangers of parties. Are Americans living in two separate realities because of political party affiliation? If so, how did we get to this point and how do we break the cycle?

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11 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

There are three types. The two different realities you speak of and then people like me who seems to live in-between, I guess you are one of those people also. I’m a Democrat, but I see all the manipulation going on. Some people would say I’m the blind one. Maybe I am.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Personally I don’t think we live in two different realities. I think politicians and the media have created a huge divide that isn’t necessary to anyone but them and their party goals.
When it comes to actual issues, we just see thing’s from different ends of the spectrum.

For example, illegal immigration. Reps generally seem to consider it illegal and against our laws, especially without knowing who is coming in and their legal or criminal background. Democrats consider it (from what I gather) to be the compassionate choice, legal or not, to let them stay. Neither party is all wrong.

If you don’t agree with Dems you are a racist with no compassion or empathy.
If you don’t agree with Reps you are a criminal, aiding and abetting criminal behavior.

Zaku's avatar

The US voting system is stupidly simple, and so has long been dominated by two “big” parties. Because our voting system only allows one simple vote “for” one candidate per race, they determine who gets to be a plausible candidate for the most significant elected positions.

Those two parties have fueled a narrative that US politics is about D vs. R, and have studied how to get tribal allegiance to either D or R. The more people are absorbed by the story of D vs. R, the less likely they are to ever think outside the D & R box.

Meanwhile, D & R are both essentially tools of corporations and the very rich.

And media corporations that dominate what kind of things people say about politics, support that narrative by reinforcing it and almost never talking about how corporations and the very rich use the D vs. R narrative to get voters as far away as possible from ever questioning that narrative, or fixing the voting system, or not having D & R representatives, or doing things about corporate control of our government, etc.

So yeah, more than ever, there’s now corporate media for D’s and corporate media for R’s, and people have become trained to a greater degree than ever to think in separate boxes.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL So, you don’t think people from the two parties see the country going over a cliff in two very different ways? I’m not talking about you personally, I think you have some objectivity, I mean at least 50% of the people in each party viewing the country and hazards out there in very different ways.

Like Democrats feeling Trump was going to transform the country into an authoritarian dictatorship and Republicans feeling he was preserving safety and freedom. Or, like Republicans thinking Biden is going to be a Socialist Dictator and Democrats feel he is going to preserve safety and freedom.

jca2's avatar

I recommend everyone watch the Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma” which talks about this and some of the causes (like social media causing and enlarging the divide).

KNOWITALL's avatar

@JLeslie Metaphorically, yes. Change is at hand and that frightens people.

What I think is that we all have political PTSD. Our perspective has been skewed and manipulated for four years by the two parties.

I may never again vote Rep or Dem, and I’m okay with that because I’m calling Bull S&!+ that this is the best we can do. Trump? Biden? Pelosi denying a second stimulus but extending unemployment?
This is nothing any of us should be proud of.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

It is “Moscow Mitch” that is blocking the stimulus package!

McConnell rejects bipartisan $900 billion coronavirus stimulus plan !

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Tropical It’s a little more complicated with several attempts, amounts and blocking along party lines. The parties are still playing games instead of putting the people above party. Really pathetic attempts at compromise.

This is the NY Times:
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/10/us/politics/second-stimulus-check.html

kritiper's avatar

50% of Democrats are Moderates, as are 66% of Republicans. (That’s reality! You must be one, too.) With basically two options to vote for, there is a wide variety of possibilities that you refer to as realities.

JLeslie's avatar

66% of Republicans are moderates?! And, the party constantly plays to the fringes? That sounds like a mistake right there.

si3tech's avatar

It does sort of seem like it. In the sense that there is truth ad then there is what people try to convince themselves of.

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