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Why We’re Polarized by Ezra Klein

Toxic systems compromise good individuals with ease

This is a book about systems

We try to fix the system by changing the people who run it, only to find that they become part of the system, too

When division exists inside a party, it gets addressed through suppression or compromise. Parties don’t want to fight among themselves. But when a division exists between the parties, it gets addressed through conflict

Democrats and Republicans spend billions of dollars in election ads emphasizing their disagreements on health care, because the debate motivates their supporters and, they hope, turns the public against their opponents

Political psychologists argue politics emerge from our psychological makeup

The least engaged voters tend to look at politics through the lends of material self-interest while the most engaged voters look at politics through the lens of identity

Nothing brings a group together like a common enemy

Our reasoning is most vulnerable when our identities are most threatened

The human mind is exquisitely tuned to group affiliation and group difference

We often prefer outcomes that are worse for everyone so long as they maximize our group's advantage over other groups

Democrat now means liberal and Republican now means conservative in a way that wasn’t true in say 1955

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings famously said his biggest competitor is sleep

It’s much easier to organize people against something than it is to unite them in an affirmative vision

Within the economy of attention, conflict always gets more people to look

We’ve cocooned ourselves into hearing information that only tells us how right we are, and that’s making us more extreme

The alternative to polarization often isn’t consensus but suppression

The National Interstate Popular Vote Compact is trying to get rid of the electoral college so candidates need to try to get any and all voters

Voting should be easy, not hard. The harder you make it to vote, the surer it is that only the most polarized Americans end up at the polls

A mindful person is an acutely aware person, a person who proceeds with careful attention to all relevant factors

The point is to get to the next era with the most progress and the least violence

If we can do a bit better tomorrow, we will be doing much, much better than we have ever done before

#SharedFromTwos ✌️



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