The Pynx: On Ideological Diversity

Joshua Schuetz
Staff Writer

Exposure to ideas incongruent with one’s own ought to be one of the most important and interesting aspects of one’s life. I know that I enjoy conversing with people whose views might defy my own. I have friends who disagree with me about politics, religion, social structures, and, of course, football (I’m a Patriots fan, so that one is inevitable).

But far too many Americans rarely have constructive encounters with those who disagree with them about particular issues. There are a number of reasons why.

For starters, there’s Facebook and other social media sites. These websites enable us to personalize our news diet, thereby allowing us to engage in spectacularly bad examples of confirmation bias and information sorting. It causes fake news to spread like the plague.

Another issue is self-sorting. Simply put, liberals are moving to be with other liberals, and tend to have social circles composed mostly of other liberals. Conservatives, likewise, tend to live with and have social circles consisting of other conservatives. There even exists a company called ConservativeMove, which helps right-leaning people in states like California move to Texas. The problem with self-sorting is that it makes political divisions extremely rancorous. 

Increasingly, Americans of different political leanings don’t speak to each other, don’t live with each other, and don’t date each other. If we want to tackle partisanship and polarization, perhaps we should begin with our social lives. 

One thought on “The Pynx: On Ideological Diversity

  • March 6, 2019 at 5:56 pm
    Permalink

    Of course, Minnesota State University practices religious discrimination through its ties to Saudi Arabia. There are only Saudi Sunni students, not only at Minnesota State University, but also at all the universities in the USA that have a Saudi student program.. I have written to all these schools. There are no Saudi Shiite students at MSU, so you will never learn about how the Saudi Shiite cleric, Nimer Al Nimer was hung upside down and tortured and decapitated by the Government of Saudi Arabia.

    And yet, when I taught in Saudi Arabia, my finest students were by far and away my Shiite students. They were much poorer than the wealthy Sunnis, but worked all the harder because of it. You are not going to learn from any of your pro Muslim professors on campus about this. They can’t even speak Arabic or Farsi or Cushitic Somali, or Amharic or Tuareg any other Middle Eastern/North African language. They know virtually nothing about this part of the world. They just celebrate diversity.

    You will not learn about how America’s support of Saudi Arabia in the war against Yemen is a war against the Shiite minority of Yemen and involved such Shiite border towns as Al Najran in Saudi Arabia. You will not learn about this war from CNN. When I was living in Jazan down on the border of Saudi Arabia and Yemen four years ago, this war was just beginning and there were Scudds exploding over Jazan Airport near where I lived. While Nick from CNN was hiding out in the Jazan Marriott Hotel, I was out getting photos of Yemen refugees lining up in a mile long line at Saudi Immigration. Their homes had been destroyed by the Saudi military.

    So celebrate your diversity back there in the land of the free. I, by the way, have been designated somehow as an anti Muslim by the university and am blocked from corresponding with your faculty on this topic

    Daniel Sebold
    MSU Alumnus and ’91 Gulf War Veteran
    Former CTI Arabic Linguist, US Navy

    Reply

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