How Partisan Media Polarizes and Blinds America

How Partisan Media Polarizes And Blinds America

This is how partisan media polarizes and blinds America from seeing the truth. The continuous misrepresentation of the facts hurts everyone.

Partisan Politics Holds People Back From Seeing The Truth

Partisan politics holds people back from seeing the truth, simply because, they’re not willing to let their adversary claim credit for success. In other words, when one is so opposed to the other side, they willfully ignore any positive aspect of the competition.

It lends itself to group-think, to uncritically condemning the opposition when clear evidence exists to the contrary.

Because of confirmation bias, and the fear of challenging one’s own world-view, a partisan will push aside any evidence threatening how they perceive the world.

This is definitely the case when it comes to the Democrats and Donald Trump.

Donald Trump and The Democrats

There are a lot of things wrong with Donald Trump. His views on environmentalism alone are grounds for removal or at least widespread condemnation.

While every other country in the world is moving toward renewable and alternative energy sources, Trump is colluding with companies to kick-start coal again.

While every other country is legalizing drugs, or at least decriminalizing it, Trump is saying that drug dealers should get the death sentence (even though he was just exaggerating for the sake of getting cheers from his audience).

For the last two weeks, media reports have focused on the fact that the economy right now is doing exceedingly well.

Currently, we’re looking at low unemployment, economic growth, flourishing stock markets, and very high levels of consumer confidence.

The level of the average person’s faith in the economy is the highest they’ve been since the late 1990’s and early 2000’s with the dot.com boom (1).

Despite the flourishing of the American economy and the strength of the US dollar, it appears that, due to over-sensationalism and misrepresentation, no one is willing to just come out and say that they’re happy the economy is doing well.

It’s kind of pitiful.

Bill Maher And The Hope For Economic Failure Just To Get Rid Of Trump

Democrats and people like Bill Maher, don’t want to say that the economy is doing good, because they don’t want to give Donald Trump any credit at all. Bill Maher recently (sort-of) joked that he hopes for an economic recession so that Americans would boot Trump out from public office.

To most working-class people, this sort of thing is just completely reprehensible.

The fact that you would hope for a recession, costing people their jobs, their houses, and livelihoods, just for spiting Trump is emblematic of the divide on the American political landscape right now.

People in the ivory towers, the untouchables, the ones who won’t be affected by an economic recession, are obviously the ones who are the most hopeful for an economic crash, and also the most likely to vehemently hate Trump.

And regardless if he does something good or not.

According to the New York Times, the divide between Democrat and Republican perception on the economy right now is evident.

The Times claims that 60% of Republicans believe they were better off now than they were a year ago, in comparison to just 17% of Democrats (1).

Through their online firm, SurveyMonkey, the publication reported on the division between Republican and Democrat perception, showing that pretty much across the board, Democrats say things are worse and Republicans say things are better.

Democrats Are Pessimistic About The Economy And Republicans Are Thrilled

Republicans are increasingly becoming optimistic while Democrats are pessimistic. And could you even blame the Democrats?

All it takes is for one to look at CNN for a minute, and you’ll see the media’s negative representation of pretty much everything including the meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jung-un.

Yes, Kim Jung-un probably won’t denuclearize, and North Korean governments have claimed they would get rid of their arms programs several times in the past (5).

But still, the fact that the two men even sat down to talk with one another is a good sign.

However, if you’re a Democrat, a vehement Trump hater, you’ll probably watch CNN and think that everything is terrible right now.

The roles have reversed since before Trump’s inauguration, as the Democrats before were very hopeful for the American economy while the Republicans were not (1).

Right now, the unemployment rate is at 3.8 %, the lowest rate since 2000 (2). Many economists think that this is the run-off effect of Obama’ s administration, rather than a by-product of Trump’s policies.

Truthfully, it probably doesn’t matter who is the president. The economy fluctuates due to a plethora of factors, and the government can rarely save any economy – although they can certainly tank it.

It’s Human Nature To Blame Others For Problems While Taking Credit For Success

Because of human nature, Republicans are now taking credit for any positive news regarding the economy. And you know that whenever something bad happens, it will be the fault of the opposite party.

The same could be said for the Democrats.

Paul D. Ryan, the House Speaker, said the “economy is on a roll,” and they’ve “worked hard” to make this happen (1). Trump, as well, has been tweeting about it constantly, a fact that the traditional media hates.

According to The Time’s survey, SurveyMonkey, 56% of Americans give Trump at least a little bit of credit for the improving economy (1).

Americans like Joe McGrath, a manager for a lighting manufacturer, has claimed that the loosening of regulations and tax cuts has allowed his business to flourish, while he claimed that initially, he hated Trump.

But, because he followed through – or at least tried to follow through with campaign promises – Trump had won him over.

According to the Times, the state of the economy is “rarely” a factor when determining the account of an election (1). Republicans have lost seats during a flourishing economy, and they’ve gained seats during an economic downturn.

The Times states that political scientists claim the presidential approval rating plays a much larger role in determining if their party will win rather than economic success (1).

The Economy Is Actually A Great Predictor Of the Success Of The Incumbent Party

However, according to a research paper from Alan S Blinder and Mark W Watson at Princeton University, the success of the economy plays a very significant role in the future success of the incumbent political party (the party who is currently in power) (4).

According to their paper, a large and widely acknowledged body of research shows that “macroeconomic performance is a strong predictor of U.S. presidential election outcomes(4).”

In many cases throughout the history of the United States, the economy made more of an impact on the race for the presidency than the presidential candidate’s strategies, debating skills, and physical and personality attributes (3).

Black-Americans’ confidence is currently the highest it has been since Barack Obama’s administration (1). Trump has frequently pointed to rising rates of employment in the black community.

As it was previously reported, the Republicans passed their $1.5 trillion tax cut and Americans have – for the most part – loved it (1). However, now, Americans are divided by 48% and 47% on their approval of the new tax rollbacks (1).

While Democrats have the general tendency to think the tax cuts don’t matter, Republicans, of course, feel better about them.

American families who say they’re better off – who jumped from 29% to 36% from the previous December – are overwhelmingly Republican.

Laura Wronski, a scientist at Survey Monkey, said that it’s “clear” the tax cuts had a positive effect on Republican confidence (1).

Either way, the average person’s tendency to conform to their social group, whether its based on political affiliation or not, is very strong.

It isn’t that the media is “corrupt,” it’s just that their partisan way of looking at things bleeds into everything they say and do, and it’s easy to see it with the rise of unconventional journalism.

Alternative Media

With the advent of alternative media, traditional outlets and publications don’t have a stranglehold on the narrative anymore.

If a person is curious, as to whether or not something is true, or if an outlet is being honest, one can simply Google it, and find if the evidence backs up the story.

For instance, when Donald Trump referred to MS-13 gang members as “animals,” traditional media cut out the portion of the interview where the journalist explicitly referenced the MS-13. The result?

It made it seem as though Trump was referring to all Latin Americans and illegal immigrants as “animals” (6).

This is how partisan media polarizes the American public, in addition to tanking the public’s trust in traditional media outlets.

It doesn’t take long for the average person to look up the real video on YouTube, and figure out what Trump actually said. 

And it makes it look even worse when the alt-media calls them out for their partisanship and misrepresentation of the truth, and then they back-track on it and try to justify their initial statements.

This kind of dishonest reporting isn’t good for anyone.

All it does is shake the average person’s trust in both government and traditional media, and it paves the way for disillusionment with the system, as opposing parties continue to attack each other for things that we all know are merely for the sake of making each other look bad.

Sources

The New York Times (1)

USA Today (2)

History Network (3)

Princeton University (4)

Wired (5)

Huffington Post (6)

image sources

  • How Partisan Media Polarizes and Blinds America: reactionarytimes.com

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