Originally Posted by Scrappy Jack
This is a similar cognitive issue with people on the right who genuinely believe things like, "everything run by the government gets worse and more expensive over time" and "everything run by the private sector gets better and cheaper over time."
I tend to think this is a result of the continued polarization of the two party political system and the "red team versus blue team" mentality, which is a natural (?) offshoot of the binary mode of thinking most people tend to slip in to.
Red vs. Blue make perfect sense when you're playing an online multiplayer videogame. If you're Red, then the Blue people are your absolute enemy and you must do everything in your power to make them stop being alive.
Except, of course, when Monoculous or the Horseless Headless Horseman shows up. At that point you have a common enemy, and it's necessary to recognize that even though you'll go back to fighting after he's been destroyed, it is to everyone's mutual benefit to have the purple team (Red + Blue) focus their efforts on attacking the third party.
Which, of course, is why the two-party system is so successful. (Wow, I didn't even intend to make that point- it just sort of naturally happened.)
As much as I'd love to blame the media here, I just can't. The last time the US elected a president who claimed affiliation with a party other than Republican or Democrat was in 1850 (Millard Fillmore - Whig party). The "big" newspapers had already been firmly entrenched for decades prior to that, and consumer radio was still 70 years away.
No, you are absolutely spot-on in terms of the binary characterization. We, as humans, are well-adapted to the concept of "us vs. them." It worked for ancient man struggling against predators, it's worked in every major armed conflict since the beginning of written history, and it works in the electoral system as well. Even in those European nations where it is common for many different political parties to make up the parliament, there is still a firmly-ingrained concept
Originally Posted by olderguy
Bob's mind is made up, don't confuse him with facts.
Dammit, I reject your reality, and substitute my own.