In a recent article on The Washington Post’s The Fix, columnist Chris Cillizza discusses the disturbing hyper-partisan trend in American politics and how it has worsened since America’s news sources “splintered into a million pieces.” The article describes the following paragraph from Dan Pfeiffer as the single-most depressing paragraph about American politics:
“There’s very little we can do to change the Republicans’ political situation because they are worried about a cohort of voters who disagree with most of what the president says. We don’t have the ability to communicate with them—we can’t even break into the tight communication circles to convince them that climate change is real. They are talking to people who agree with them, they are listening to news outlets that reinforce that point of view, and the president is probably the person with the least ability to break into that because of the partisan bias there.”
Cillizza made the point that you could substitute ‘Republican’ for ‘Democrat’ and the truth of the statement would remain unaffected.
“The fracturing of the media means many things for how people consume information but one of the most important is that partisans can now read, watch and listen to only news and assorted punditry that agrees with their point of view,” he writes. “That development probably doesn’t impact people who were hard partisans to start with; they distrusted (and ignored) the other side long before the media splintered into a million pieces. But who it does impact are people who are, for lack of a better word, soft partisans; people who generally side with one party but, in the days before the silo-ing of the partisan media, would regularly be exposed to arguments from the other side. Those soft partisans are now, almost exclusively, hard partisans.”