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Radicalization is a Threat to Constructive Conversation

One good conversation can shift the direction of change forever.

-Linda Lam

Think about how many political issues we all take a side on that we never plan on changing. How many of those issues are you absolute on? Are you pro-choice and will always fight for women’s rights to have abortions? Are you pro-life and believe that abortion is morally wrong and that there are no exceptions? On immigration, many people either take the side of “Build the Wall” or open borders. Aren’t there in-betweens we should be considering?

Maybe we shouldn’t close the borders off completely, but maybe we shouldn’t allow hundreds of thousands of immigrants to enter our country all at once. Maybe there’s an in-between. Depending on what media you engulf, you may not agree that there is possibly a less radical solution to immigration in this country that may actually solve a decades long debate.

Solving debates isn’t good for business. How is your pro-immigration cause going to raise funds if the issue of immigration reaches a resolution? You may not even believe that it’s possible to solve the immigration issue. That’s what they want you to think. Consider climate change, for example. There used to be objective goals such as picking up waste and recycling. Now, they’ve tagged so many additional problems with climate change that I don’t even know what we’re paying for anymore.

Polarization also funds the media. Ever wonder why there aren’t enough “good stories” being told in the media? Well, that’s because they don’t believe you’ll watch them if they were focused on “good news.” They tailor to their market, and mainstream media is most utilized when we’re divided. So what do they do? They keep us divided. They manipulate messaging and have it down to a science. They no longer tell us a story…they sell it.

And we buy it. We, as a nation, appear more polarized than we’ve ever been before, at least since the Civil War. We love tragedy. We love getting angry and taking extreme stances. We’re all performers for Big Tech at the end of the day, aren’t we? Just like the media, we also know what will bring in the likes, loves, and shares. We know what will outrage what people, and we put on a performance…sometimes in 280 characters or less.

This over-radicalization is driving the polarization, and the divide is only getting worse. Consider how much wealthier the top 1% has become over the course of the past two years. Is it just a coincidence that we become more divided as they achieve more wealth? Is anybody paying attention?

My solution to radicalization is constructive conversation. Talk to your neighbor, even if you assume you disagree with them because of the political sign in their yard. I would take a gamble and guess that your neighbor is not a racist, hate-filled misogynist or a radical, socialist marxist. They’re likely to be human beings struggling with the same day-to-day problems you are. We’ll never know, because we refuse to communicate with those who disagree. We haven’t had a constructive conversation over the entire course of the pandemic, and that’s because we keep falling victim to their radicalization.

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