Why is America so polarized? ...it's the Echo Chamber!
 by Stephen Mahaney

Why is America so polarized? ...it's the Echo Chamber! — by Stephen Mahaney

According to James Campbell, a political science professor at the University at Buffalo in New York. whose book Polarized: Making Sense of a Divided America published this past summer,

"We are so polarized that many Americans had not really come into contact with others who have opposite views. Because of this, it becomes unthinkable to those on either side that the other side could win the election."

It's not a secret that we tend to hang around others who share our world views. That's one of the threads that holds us together under the banner of "friends." However, the function of a "free press" (at least as our founding fathers envisioned it) was to provide an objective view of both sides of an issue, or of a candidate, so that the reader-citizen is exposed to viewpoints outside of their cognitive perspective.

After all, that is how we grow intellectually. It's how we identify common core values between differing viewpoints and begin to develop empathy, compassion and love for our fellow citizens who may not be of the same ilk as ourselves. By seeing both sides, all sides, we gain perspective. At least that's how it's supposed to work. And to a large degree, that is how it used to work, but not so much any more.

Enter the Echo Chamber...

You see, these days, virtually all of our news sources whether we find them through Google's aggregate news site, Facebook's news feed, or read them directly off the pages of NYTimes, Washington Post, USAToday, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, FoxNews, TheGuardian, Bloomberg, Reuters, Slate, Rolling Stone, Breitbart, etc., etc, and wow ... all have one goal and one goal only, and that goal is to...

sell "soap"
an old school marketing euphemism
referring to the fact that 50's era TV shows
were originally sponsored by soap products like Borax

And because putting the reader in a receptive mood (i.e. set you up to like what they're advertising) is the *real* objective of providing the "news," the last thing they want to do is disagree with your...