Politics is hard. Talking about politics is hard.
It becomes a competition of who has the most facts and knowledge and statistics and hope and the tete-a-tete style-renderings soon hit an emotional boiling point. The momentum has built up into a head of steam, and after awhile it becomes more about winning than discussing. It becomes more about defeating than collaborating.
I bring in articles, links, infographics, anecdotes, and before long, the winning is what I’m invested in, and soon recency biases, slippery slopes, and confirmation biases be damned, I am going to plant my flag on this hypothetical war of words and win, damnit.
I bet my face gets red too, from all the steam.
And then I retreat back to my corner of the world, and think. What did that accomplish? Did I change minds? Did I expand my own horizons? Did I learn something I hadn’t learned before?
The answers are no, no, and maybe.
Why do I care so much? Why must I win? Why must I poke holes in the other side’s theories and ideas?
It’s because I’m afraid.
I’m afraid of a world of black and white.
The binary system. Where things are an either-or. Trump-or-Bernie. Fracking or no fracking. Paying your fair share or not paying your fair share.
It’s a simplistic world, where categories are neat, organized, and carefully bundled.
And I admit, I delight in pointing out the greys around the fraying boundaries of the black and white.
It’s just that sometimes I get carried away and turn red.