(Source of photo: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/c6/af/80/c6af80d9162024aeec4ee6c8f006cbb3.jpg)
Republican vs Democrat.
Conservative vs Liberal.
Coke vs Pepsi.
Ford vs Chevy
Alabama vs Auburn
McDonald’s vs Burger King
It’s amazing to me how easy it is to manufacture a rivalry out of almost anything, from the sodas we drink, to the vehicles we drive, to the fast food we prefer to eat, to the sports teams we root for.
It is no surprise that this applies to more important matters such as the political ideologies we subscribe to or to the political parties we vote for.
All of this is the result of the human penchant for dichotomous (either-or) thinking.
Corporate America and our political elites capitalize on our collective dichotomous thinking. The former does it through its clever marketing and advertising. The latter, mostly through the prism of political ideology.
As a political scientist, I fully realize what purpose political ideologies serve…
To rally the faithful and the gullible.
This is not to say political ideologies are completely nefarious and do not serve a constructive purpose. Having a conduit to rally people is a very powerful tool that can and has been used to do great works. It really depends upon the cause.
The Civil Rights Movement, the American Revolution, and other such movements and events are examples of political ideology used toward a constructive purpose for the overall good of society.
However, the danger of ideology is that it offers comfort in the form minimizing or even eliminating the need to think. In fact, if you listen to a conservative or a liberal or even a libertarian pundit on television or other media, the pundit is often regurgitating the ideology vs proffering their own thoughts.
There is a fine line between words that persuade and words that inculcate, or even worse, incite.
Different topic for a different post, but political ideology is the politician’s way to convince us that dichotomous thinking in everything we do is the way things should be.
Political ideology almost always breeds hypocrisy because the world is not ideal (the root word of “ideology”) and governance can never be ideologically pure, if for no other reason than there is always an opposing side(s) that will thwart governing in such a way.
All of the above said, this effect of ideology is very much desired by the political and economic elites because it ensures that the electorate will remain malleable and sufficiently bifurcated, and that’s the point.
I submit that We the People learn to tap into diunital cognizance or diunital thinking (both-and thinking).
I can be BOTH a Coke drinker AND have a Pepsi every once in a while.
I can own BOTH a Ford AND a Chevy (and I do).
I can be BOTH a registered Democrat AND vote for a Republican that I think is, or can be, a better representative of my city, county, state, or country (and I have).
I can BOTH entertain and consider a point of view in opposition to my own AND not lose sight of my own perspective or allow myself to be disagreeable in the process.
Diunital thinkers are far harder to hoodwink, bamboozle, or lead astray.
-The Rational Ram