All Americans Matter: My Side Politics and the 2016 Election
Alternatively called confirmation bias, anchoring, or the framing effect, my side bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor or recall information in a way that confirms one’s belief. It is also the tendency to give disproportionately less consideration to alternative possibilities. Where my side bias is concerned facts are irrelevant. What is important is that my beliefs are confirmed. All that matters is that my side wins. Consider for example this disaster of a Presidential election.
One side has already predicted hell if it loses. It will be a bloodbath. The government will be shut down if they attempt to steal this… No, we will not stand for it articulated one political adviser. The same doomsday scenario was echoed by Republican Governor of Kentucky, Matt Bevin. If the wrong person wins, then the bloodshed of patriots and tyrants may be necessary. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2016/10/trump-supporters-promise-bloodshed-if-trump-loses/. It is not difficult to surmise whom the Governor sees as patriots versus those he condemns as tyrants.
Given to bizarre claims, innuendo, conspiracies and blatant lies, my side bias requires neither logic or consistency. Intelligence is ignorance and ignorance is bliss.
It is therefore easy to believe that voter suppression, purges and intimidation are fantasies from a demented mind but in-person voter fraud is real and exclusive to one side. It makes perfect sense that the election is rigged, the polls are biased and the media is in the tank for the opposition. Otherwise, my side would win.
As such, compassion and human kindness is reserved for us but not for you. The right to vote, take a mate or use the bathroom of choice is ours but not yours. Any problems on my side is caused by your side. But for your racism my life would be perfect. If not for your illegal immigration jobs would be plentiful. But for your killing of us we would not kill each other. Any who disagree with my truths are either crazy, Uncle Toms or socialists.
Some believe themselves above such bias; such pettiness. This election proves otherwise. To varying degrees, we all avoid that which challenges our beliefs. We are all quick to judge, affording ourselves the benefit of every doubt while denying same to others. Blackacre was slow to accept the worst about Bill Cosby but quick to condemn Trump for the same offense.
And we all see ourselves as victims, the ‘poor, poor pitiful me’ mentality wired into our cerebral cortex. To argue otherwise is like the alcoholic who denies his addiction by reasoning I don’t have a problem. I can quit any time I want.
If you don’t care for yourself few others will. A certain amount of self concern is therefore appropriate. The problem occurs when my side bias becomes my side politics. This election has done nothing to bring us together. It has instead had the opposite effect.
No matter who wins, one side will be pissed. Someone will swear they were cheated and pledge not to cooperate, throwing a hissy fit simply because it lost. Their goal is to achieve not whats best for the country but what is best for their side. Unconcerned with the common good, their sole focus is self.
Even worse, the means fully justifies the ends. Ergo, the dangerous talk of violent revolution should the wrong side win. Where my side politics is concerned nothing is beyond the pale.
On the eve of this Presidential election, at least three Senators, Ted Cruz of Texas, John McCain of Arizona and Richard Burr of North Carolina, have threatened to indefinitely block filling the Supreme Court vacancy left by the late Justice Antonin Scalia, thus breaking with a 150-year precedent for having nine justices serving on the nations highest court. https://www.theguardian.com/law/2016/nov/01/republican-senators-oppose-clinton-supreme-court-nominee. No greater example of my side politics exist than this.
Don’t be fooled. Greatness is not achieved by going backwards. Moreover, my side politics is not necessitated by the decline of the nation. America has never been greater. Despite our challenges, the best is yet to come.
We are nevertheless at a crossroad. The required change is not political but attitudinal. Demographic change is inevitable and no group has a monopoly on America’s bounty. Like all lives matter, all Americans matter.
So choose wisely. To focus only on my side to the exclusion of everyone else is more than unwise. It is no way to move us forward.
Leo Barron Hicks, Founder and President
Blackacre Policy Forum+