11.05.08

Blogs fomenting partisanship? No, conservatives.

Posted in Politics at 5:03 pm by ducky

In his post today, Scott Rosenberg suggests that there are people who blame the blogosphere for how intensely nasty and partisan our political world is right now.

Excuse me????

Partisan nastiness has been going on far longer than people have been blogging.  The Web was pretty well unknown during Clinton’s first term, and in its infancy during the second.  I seem to recall a whole lot of partisan bickering back then.

I don’t think that divisiveness is due to the Web, I believe that it’s due to conservatives.

That’s a little hard for me to write because I want to be fair.  But I really think it is true.

I recently read an article on research in morality that points up values differences between liberals and conservatives.  One thing that researchers found was that liberals put a much higher value on fairness than on group loyalty, while conservatives value them about equally.  This research suggests that a liberal is more likely to sacrifice group loyalty in the name of fairness than a conservative, e.g. to help a conservative do the work to send in an absentee ballot.  This research suggests conservative is more likely to toe the party line, even if he/she doesn’t believe in it.

When Palin was insinuating that Barack Obama wasn’t a “real” American, she was exploiting her white audiences’ high value on group loyalty.  By making it look like Obama had a different in-group, Palin made her audience worry that they might end up as the out-group.

(Being a member of an out-group might be particularly scary if you have yourself treated out-groups unfairly.  I’m just sayin’.)

I was totally unconcerned about being in Obama’s out-group.  You would think that I, a 45-year old, hot, white woman with an upper Midwest accent, who lives above the 48th parallel, might identify more strongly with Sarah Palin.  However, I am a liberal, and I believe that Obama is a liberal.  As such, I absolutely believe he will be fair.  I absolutely do not believe that Palin will be fair.  And I think that is part of her appeal to her base.

(P.S.   I was kidding about being hot.)

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