Prius or Pick-up?
This segment came up in conversation between my mom and I yesterday because she was annoyed that CNN was giving air-time to a concept based on cars determining our political opinions. Before having seen the segment myself, I agreed, thinking it sounded like a stereotypical way to judge others. For example, if you drive a pick-up truck, you love Trump; and if you drive a Prius, you love Bernie Sanders. But now that I’ve seen the piece, I actually think the author, Jonathan Weiler, raises an interesting point, and I’m glad that CNN decided to highlight it.
Ultimately, he’s not saying that the cars we drive should determine our political opinions, nor should it cause us to make assumptions about others. But it does, and we do. At the end of the interview, Weiler describes the political landscape as a place that’s become deeply identity-based, cultural, and emotional, and I for one completely agree. I also believe these factors contribute significantly to the media-biases that exist today. Politics has become personal, and we feel attacked and defensive when someone doesn’t feel the same way as us.
That being said, Weiler concluded his interview by noting the importance of keeping an open mind with those who possess different political opinions. He said that people don’t disagree because they’re evil, bad people. They just have a different way of thinking. I think that’s a concept that journalist should keep in mind when approaching political subjects. If we try to understand both sides, we’ll be telling the whole story- the truth.