By Chris Zuver, A and E Editor
There is a simple, yet complicated reason that people disagree: we are all different. We come from various upbringings, faiths, sets of values, and cultures. What we gather from these life-shaping experiences often determine what we think to be correct, at least for a time.
But when it comes to politics, there only seems to be two sides. Yet, most of us, it seems, fall somewhere in-between these two sides. However, the media and other social outlets have continuously catered toward certain ideals and we’ve seen two sides of the political spectrum continue to divide over time.
In recent months, we have seen major news outlets like CNN, MSNBC, and the New York Times cater toward the left. They write up editorials denouncing the president and focus on every bit of negative evidence against him as well as the right. Extreme left advocates call the Republican Party and those they do not agree with racist, homophobic, and fascist.
Meanwhile, sources like Fox and the Drudge Report continuously cater toward supporters of the President and focus on the far-left extremists. They conflate anyone on the left as “liberal” or “leftist.” Far-right advocates label the Democratic Party as “socialists.”
The division of the two political wings once came down to a few simple disagreements about the economy and social issues, but nobody wants to hear that these days. At least the opinion-leaders don’t. And that’s what scares me. As the radicalization of the narrative continues, we are hearing more and more stories pushing a division.
The media is quick to point out the appearance of white supremacists, Neo Nazis, and the KKK, as we saw recently at the Charlottesville protests. They covered the violence that broke out between both sides, however, they tended to remain quiet about the left-wing radical group Antifa, who also arrived at the scene, ready for action.
During a press conference about infrastructure last month, President Trump was asked about the violence and responded that violence came from “many sides” in the conflict. After being pressured from both political parties to address the white nationalist groups more directly, he spoke again two days later, denouncing the KKK, Neo Nazis, White Supremacists, and said that “racism is evil.” Yet, the next day, while responding to reporters, he doubled-down on his first statement, saying, “I think there’s blame on both sides…I’ve condemned many different groups, but not all of them were Neo Nazis.”
While all of this is happening, media outlets continue to put their spins on the coverage. CNN’s hard article on Trump’s comments leads with a neutral title: “Trump says both sides to blame amid Charlottesville backlash,” but then begins to paint the President in a negative light by describing the conference as “staggering” and claims that he equates “the white supremacists on one side with the ‘alt-left’ on the other side.”
So, the media does not seem like they’ll be stopping their war with the right and the Trump administration. But neither does it seem that Trump and the right will stop doubling down on the “fake news” label.
In a world of perpetually-dividing narratives, we see less and less of the moderates. What is truly sad is that there are so many people who have nuanced views but are afraid to speak about them. On top of that, people continue to hold their opinions without wanting to open discussion with those that may disagree with them. Discussion and debate is undervalued and often ignored. If nobody will reach out, then we really are divided.