Also foundational to this divide, is the human impulse to form “tribes”. We want to be with other people with whom we can relate. That like-mindedness strengthens, underscores and confirms what we’ve decided to believe. The “others” aren’t so much wrong – they’re probably not very bright and we often feel free to belittle unintelligent people.
I believe that even as recently as when we were kids, in many ways, adherents to the 2 basic world views actually were able to get along fairly reasonably, because we all still basically also adhered to a certain level of civility.
We really don’t do that any longer, and if you’re talking politics, people are encouraged by leaders to do the exact opposite – we’re to stand on either side of an ever-widening street – hurling insults, invective, talking points, “facts”, accusations and derision at one another. That is how leadership gains power over those following them – followers become so deeply entrenched in their point of view, that they have no place else to go. The middle ground – that place where thoughtful, intelligent, kind, understanding, compassionate people could once stand has been yanked away.
That is what we have to begin taking back.