The Partisan Mind at its Finest

I don’t watch cable news. Sometimes people ask me why. This video explains as well as anything:

MSNBC’s Palin obsession is puzzling at first glance. There is no way she could win a presidential primary, let alone a general election. She polls poorly with independents, and not even everyone in her own party supports her. She is irrelevant to the 2012 election.

Why pay her any mind, then? Because she’s polarizing. That’s good for ratings. Palin has become a two minutes hate figure right out of Orwell.  Hence the video above. We must find something, anything, that will make this person look bad! And thus, to feel good about ourselves. It’s as base an impulse as there is.

The partisan mind is not rational. It suffers from clouded judgment. That’s been my hunch for some time. And it turns out that neurological research is bearing this out.

The left-right political dichotomy is obsolete and inaccurate. I propose replacing it with a liberal-illiberal split; conservatives and progressives might be surprised to find themselves firmly allied on the illiberal side.

Maybe then Sarah Palin’s 15 minutes of fame can finally, mercifully, end.

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