07 April 2010

Us vs Them

A couple days ago, I wrote about an Eric Black post that covered a new study declaring "narrative" the buzz word du jour of political journalism and, perhaps more accurately, punditry. Today, Black has a follow-up that looks at the idea of paradigm.

In the U.S. Cold War paradigm, it was a "fact" that the Soviets were bent on world domination, whereas the United States wanted only to allow every country in the world to democratically choose its own system. There were dozens of other "facts," almost universally believed in our society, that mostly translated into a pure-good-versus-pure-evil simplification. One of the main points of my Strib series and subsequent book, "Rethinking the Cold War," was that we were more blinded than informed by such half-truths.

It's not much of a leap from the scientific or Cold War paradigms to the way many Americans see contemporary politics, believing that whichever side they are on is honest, clean, perspicacious and offers the policies that will be best for their state, the nation and for future generations.
I recommend reading the whole piece. It explains the concept in greater depth and looks at some of the implications for today's politics.

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