Saturday, May 01, 2004

The Political Bell Curve

On a more distanced examination of Michelle's post, I liked the examples of the ideas from both ends of the Left/Right spectrm. The immediate result, the trainling ends of the bell curve to either side, at least the loudest elements of those tails, largely seem to be idiots. Short sightedness and obsessive focus seem to be the defining factors.

Shortsightedness is what leads to populating the tails of the Left/Right spectrum (whereas one has to look wide a very wide angle to have a reasoned opinion on the Libertarian/Totalitarian spectrum). The idiots for whom the first thought was "Goody, this is really going to hurt Bush," or "Wish I was there for the fun," are both judging the world through a very narrow set of values. The first is the home of the person who thinks that the sun will or will not rise the day after election day depending on who wins. The second is, if possible, a little scarier to me, in that the thought that they can devalue an enemy so much and allow that such a thing might be fun. Granted, both characterizations are over the top, but I sincerely believe that such views exist even if they were not explicitly cited.

A broader view of the world tends to create a more centrist position. I believe that it results from a person being exposed to a set of influences in which the majority of influences in one direction are countered by a similar influence in the other. By limiting their visions, or perhaps by simple bad luck of only seeing one flavor of influence, the extremist comes to a point where they self-censor any data foreign to their pre-conceptions.

That's my opinion, and, pending further data, I'm sticking to it.

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