From article in NYTimes “Ted Cruz Surges Past Donald Trump to Lead in Iowa Poll” by Trip Gabriel DEC. 12, 2015
“The poll provided a snapshot of how conservative Iowa’s likely Republican voters are. Nearly six in 10 say climate change is a hoax. More than half want mass deportations of illegal immigrants. Six in 10 would abolish the Internal Revenue Service.”
There seems to be a deep polarization happening. Was there such a divide prior to the ’60’s, let’s say, or in the 19th century? Perhaps there have been other periods like this. I’m not enough a student of history to know. In any case, is it the case that the divide has been growing greater over the past 30 or 40 years? And if so, what’s that about? What is the fear and the differences of perception? Some have commented on the internet factor in which the congregation of ingroups, able to be isolated in their web-based communication, increases extremism. I sometimes have the sense that humanity is also suffering from an increased existential stress, a stress that has always existed by definition given survival/mortality concerns and the mystery of existence, but that is perhaps growing given the pace of technological development, the planetary communication that new technology has made possible, the information overload also resulting, population growth, and the progress of the climate change event. We’re moving very fast, moving ahead very fast, and that speed will be invigorating for some and frightening and unsettling for others. Some will feel agency in their participation and others will feel swept along. I suspect more people feel a sense of no control. None of us likes to feel out of control. All of these factors will lead people to seek secure anchors wherever they can find them. Belief systems are classic anchors.
Sigh… meantime, we struggle along. History unfolds. The Paris conference an interesting moment along the way, a not insignificant stepping stone, a notable expression amidst the cacophony. The characters in Last Stop Before Tomorrow are trying to find sense amid the cacophony.