Our country is so polarized right now because everyone relies on their unique feed of cherry-picked news.
There is no easy answer to this because:
1) Social media has flattened the traditional journalistic power hierarchy. Anyone and everyone with an internet connection can be a reporter or a publisher.
2) Corporate interests and political interference lead to bias and censorship.
3) Politicians tend to operate with as much secrecy as possible.
4) When politicians can’t work in secrecy they seek to “control the narrative.”
One must understand that:
* Politicians act the way they do not only in instances of shadiness but also to avoid disclosing their plans to the “other side.”
* Bureaucracies, federal and otherwise, also act to perpetuate themselves and this prevents them from being as forthcoming as they should.
* Businesses act to protect themselves so as to stay in business.
* And of course the wealthy individual in power seeks to keep that money and that power.
When you add national security interests, delicate national and international negotiations, and ongoing investigations to the mix, getting real data is hard.
And so we are left with independent research by reporters and citizens. But the problem is, it’s all too easy to make up a story when you just don’t have all the facts and so you are stringing together whatever is there.
Unfortunately we lack a shared repository of trusted independent investigative journalism to turn to for relief.
The government could fill in the gaps by focusing much, much more on communicating priorities, sharing status updates and releasing data in an easily digestible way.
My feeling is that President Trump, like Obama before him, is skipping this step. He is not trusting the people to deal with the same facts he sees. And so the choice is either to trust him blindly, attack him blindly, or try to make sense of his actions given very limited information.
He is President now and needs to reach out to the people who did not vote for him, as well as those who did. With more than just platitudes. With reasoned arguments and step by step progress updates.
It is not enough to just say “I’m right and tough luck if you don’t agree with me.”
All opinions my own.
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