You Are Not So Smart Uncivil Agreement
I loved that podcast. Lilliana Mason is smart and interesting. I`ve learned a lot. But she missed her target. Lilliana Mason: The traditional thing when I started my thesis is that polarization is based on editing. Americans are increasingly extreme in their thematic positions and are moving to both ends of the spectrum. Republicans are becoming extremely conservative and Democrats are extremely liberal. That would be polarization. The reason I started this whole project was to say, « What if there is another type of polarization? What if we weren`t polarized in our spending items? What happens if we have relatively moderate thematic positions, but we are so connected to our identities that, whatever the content of the problem, we feel very far from our « outgroups »? So problem-based polarization means we don`t agree, and identity-based polarization means that we feel that we are very different people from the other team, regardless of our actual emissions agreements. Another example I gave in this book is that Pew did a study right after the Sandy Hook shootings and asked people how far they had agreed to the government to create a basic verification law for the purchase of weapons. 90% of the American population agreed, including 80% of Republicans.
They agreed to adopt legislation on the application of substantive controls. Then they were asked if they had agreed to Congress to pass a bill that would impose substantive controls. It`s almost the same question. But now it`s Congress that`s doing it. And Republican support dropped 20%, and only 50% of Republicans supported the law itself. 80% of them supported the real thinking of the law, but only 50 percent supported the bill, which basically means that when it comes to the party`s victory in government, people have different opinions about what they want to do – when it comes to real politics on the ground. So many people would welcome a law that would impose this policy, with which everyone agrees, but the people on television would say that it is a great loss for this party. They do not want to confront the idea that their party has lost something. Your approval of the legislation is therefore reduced. These are two different things.
Our actual opinions, our levels of agreement, differ from what we are willing to accept our government because we do not want to feel that our party loses early in the book, the author includes a chapter that argues that the means are justified. It is necessary, because much of what he recommends is « unzivil » and a little misleading. He refers, for example, later, to when some members of his team question the ethics of personally attacking a « good » man who obstructed a particular policy they were defending.