Both Sides Think They're Losing - BCB #10
"We're in danger of losing everything, but so are they"
A standard feature of intractable conflict is that both sides think they’re losing.
America is no exception, where nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) say that on the issues that matter to them, their side loses more often than it wins. Both Red and Blue think they are losing the culture war.
Each side can tell a compelling story by focusing on different facts and events. Red points to increased illegal immigration, “corporate wokeness,” what they perceive as persecution of January 6 participants, more diverse younger generations growing up to vote, and Blue control of media, entertainment, and academia. Meanwhile, Blue is demoralized over recent Supreme Court decisions, gerrymandering, also January 6, the Electoral College, and the way the Senate favors rural areas. (Everyone thinks large tech companies are biased against them.)
Perhaps the lesson here is to take disaster narratives with a grain of salt. Yes, politics matters and has real consequences. But nobody sees the conflict clearly when everyone is living in fear. This is everybody’s problem, because when you cannot afford to lose even an inch more, the most horrific actions become justifiable.
The Deck is Stacked Against Democrats - Aaron Blake
A “Blue is losing” narrative. Gerrymandering favors GOP control of the house, and both the Senate and the Electoral college over-represents rural states.
The Peril Of Conservative Culture-War Complacency - Rod Dreher
A Red narrative about “the magnitude of the coming darkness.” Dreher writes, “American conservatives are pretty good at talking about culture war issues, but terrible at coming up with effective policies to fight wokeness.”
New and Interesting
In a previous issue, we mentioned Better Angels’ workshop for Red Americans living or working in a Blue environment. The opposite is also available.
American Exchange Project students see red and blue in a whole new light
A free national project arranges for school seniors to live in a very different part of America for a summer. “A big part of this exchange is rather than focusing on politics, humanizing the other side that we don’t ever talk to.”
Is it Worse to Ban a Book or Never Publish it?
While most consider book banning an assault on free speech, the discussion now extends to whether refusal to publish a book also harms freedom of expression.
Mexico to pay $1.5 billion for US border security and processing
News that Biden administration is in discussions with Mexico about "a modernization effort for projects along the 2,000 mile border" will likely invoke an interesting wave of reactions from both Red and Blue.
Quote of the Week
All of your fears come back to vulnerability.
You don’t fear pain. You don’t fear dying. You don’t even have a fear of failure.
You fear that which you can’t control.
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