Polarization is the Problem

Like a lot of us, I’ve been thinking about polarization and how that plays out in the public reaction to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. I appreciate this segment from Fareed Zakaria. In it he gives an empathic look at how class issues influence individual responses to the stay-at-home orders issued by experts.

FZ reminds us that only 36% of Americans have four year degrees, only 13% have advanced degrees. Yet the politicians, public health scientists, and news anchors that inform the public are most likely 100% college educated with relatively stable employment. While much of the public listening to them have had their lives turned upside down. It’s probably hard for them to trust the experts when they feel so alienated.

I’m not sure how to bring the country together to respond to this crisis in a united way. But I think an important first step might be empathy.