It exists as a deafening echo-chamber primarily defined by the other “bad” deafening echo-chamber.
The risk of falling out of line from your team’s narrative and revealing your thoughts to be different than prescribed is as good as social suicide or, as Kenan Thompson instructs us, stabbing yourself with a steak knife.
This moral standoff is about as representative of the complexity of our modern reality as is Game of Thrones, which is a good thing if you want the next election to be a reenactment of the “Red Wedding,” but, in reality, it is an awful — and dangerous — misconception.
As convenient as it is to believe that the political left and right are monolithic, static, impenetrable walls of normative narratives, they are, in reality, amorphous yelling blobs, where the loudest yellers (generally with the most extreme and offensive versions of their team opinion) are the only ones to be heard.
The truth is that not one of any of us has the same, tidy alignment in opinions as anyone else, and yet, we struggle to speak authentically about what we think if we have the slightest feeling the people around us (our team) disagree.
Both good democracy and good people are made possible by prodding, questioning and pushing.
Real-life problems aren’t solved if we all sit around and pretend to agree with each other; it’s disagreement that creates the big ideas we can all be all proud of as we slowly step out of neat little boxes of thought.
It’s clear that we have a lot of work to do, and we are in need of the next big ideas more than ever. Today’s questions of American society are manifold, and the most important ones are just as hard to tackle if not harder than the questions of power, gender, and society surrounding the Ansari discourse.
If we are destined to fulfill the fate of that SNL skit — smearing meatballs on us, using wiccan spells to disappear or resorting to steak knives — in the most casual conversations among friends, how are we ever supposed to solve tough problems in the political arena?
So grab a beer with someone you don’t agree with, listen to them, challenge them and let them challenge you. Take a bit of the burdens of good democracy on your shoulders. The next few generations will be thankful that you did. To hell with boring conversation.