Being biased isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are times when your biases can literally save your life. When it comes to politics, however, if we allow ourselves to dive deep into an echo chamber, our positions will only become more extreme and our communities more divided.
The beauty of being a libertarian is that my viewpoints are rarely represented in the media, so I am forced to confront my biases daily to stay informed. No matter what news channel I tune into, there will be either a left or right bend to the information. I know this, I don’t pretend that I’m receiving “truth”. I analyze the information I’m receiving, and if something seems too ridiculous to be true, I look for another different biased source to help me form an opinion
Bias only becomes a problem when we rely on it so much that we are unwilling to accept any information that contradicts our bias, or don’t feel the need to. We’ve all probably laughed hard at Jimmy Kimmel’s Lie witness news segments, but that is what happens when you begin to believe that anyone who doesn’t share your political viewpoints is evil.
[Jimmy Kimmel Lie Witness]
Now you laugh, but the majority of you do that same thing every. single. day. I know because I have Facebook too. For the past 8 years I’ve been watching Republicans complain about the growth of the Federal Government and the terrible state our economy is in. Now, Trump hasn’t even taken office and they are already touting how the economy is rebounding! Also, last I checked, walls, religious registries, and war were not the outputs of small government.
Democrats are guilty of it too, Paul Krugman took to the NY Times and said the economy would never recover from the election (by the way, it did). The hypocrisy knows no bounds.
Things have gotten worse in the era of social media. Facebook is a business, and the goal of that business is to entertain you, so it is going to push articles and content that confirm your biases. It does so on purpose to entertain you because that’s what you have told Facebook it’s what you want to see, but that doesn’t mean the information you are receiving is necessarily the whole truth.
Here’s what I want you to take away: neither Democrats nor Republicans nor any other political group is inherently evil…except communists, fuck those guys…and Nazis….ok, I take it back….let’s start over.
Here’s what I want you to take away: Most people are not extreme left or right. They aren’t evil, and they don’t want to hurt you. We interact with each other every day, at work, out shopping, or at church. In the end, we all want the country that our children inherit to be better than the one we have.
Democrats believe that government is a force for good and social programs are a form of charity. Republicans believe in the free market and positive social change is brought about through a strong family unit. Libertarians take the best of both of those worlds and actually believe in freedom and the constitution unlike you statists (see my bias?).
The point is to recognize your bias and be willing to change your opinion. Take the shackles off your brain and look around, the world is more complicated than left vs right.