Whenever I hear someone complain about polarization in US politics, I reach a level of annoyance that, if allowed to sit for too long, could only be alleviated by applying LSD directly to my exposed brain. One example of just how small the difference between parties is comes amid a Glenn Greenwald post about foreign policy hypocrisy: someone at Kos — y’know, that site that the self-proclaimed Serious minds out there constantly refer to as a rabid left-wing fever swamp — posted a video clip of Joe Biden endorsing the view that questioning a war makes one a pussy.
The Kossack who put it up saw it as a positive, and endorsed Biden for the Democratic veep slot.
The kicker: he’s actually being considered for it…
See, the acceptable range of discourse has long been narrow, especially on foreign policy. It’s to the point where you can either outright express love for the concept of indiscriminately raining down death, or complain about strategy while not questioning the reasoning that led to the conflict in the first place — and you’ll still get called a damned dirty hippie for holding the latter view. But arguing that it’s pointless to police the world is automatically fringe, and gets no representation.
I’ve long had my issues with surveys, and don’t see majoritarianism as any sort of salve, but I’d be willing to bet that if the global dominance strategy were put to a public vote it’d lose.
Clearly, the problem is not polarization, but the amount of things both halves of the ruling class agree with on which they are both dead wrong. The portrayal of deep division is a tool to encourage the unintentional co-signing to what they REALLY want to do to continue, by making it seem like everyone has their stake in the outcomes. These things aren’t normally aired in public because the cumulative effect of such questioning is to undermine politics itself — which I’d argue is and should be the point.