And yet, what other method do we have of creating mutual understanding? What other tool shines a light on what matters most to each of us? How do we expect anyone’s mind to ever change if no one is willing to talk? How can we move forward without dialogue?
Wow Jeff- you have written this with palpable zest! Electric, succinct, direct writing. Thanks so much, a pleasure to read.
My take on why we think like we do is based on the takeaways from Jonathan Haidt's excellent book - The Righteous Mind. It goes someway in explaining why we are so tribalistic. We are essentially intuition-driven information processors, constantly scanning the world around us, morally interpreting information and colouring narratives with our unique worldview. We readily allow intuition to lead us and then use our rationality to come up with evidence to support our beliefs - the absolute arse-backward way it should be. Our reasoning seeks justification, not the truth. i.e. it’s more like a politician looking for votes as opposed to scientists looking for truth.
I'd really appreciate if you could read my article and feedback - the parallels between your take for WHY we are so polarized and partisan and HOW our brains are literally wired to be this way according to Haidt, are uncanny.