Break out of your bubble and attempt to regain the ability to reason

Too many Americans live inside of partisan bubbles. In a country that is pretty much split 50/50 into two camps, that’s not a recipe for progress or getting much of anything done. 

Worse, many Americans prefer to get their news from biased sources that present just one side of an issue as legitimate. As a former journalist, I know that there is always another side to the story. It may not be the right side. It may be an evil side. But there always is another side, and if you ignore it, you are sabotaging your own ability to reason.

There’s a reason why I listen to right-wing radio, NPR and CNN on my commutes. There’s a reason why I flip back-and-forth between ABC News, Fox News and PBS on TV. There’s a reason why I follow left- and right-leaning media outlets in addition to those who at least make an effort to be balanced.

If you get your news only from a one-sided outlet, you will run with one side of the story, totally unchecked. You may find yourself swayed by emotion or inflammatory videos and rhetoric. And you may find yourself believing …

  • That U.S. energy production has been stymied and we must get back to “drill baby drill” when, in fact, the U.S. is producing more oil than at any other time in American history — and more than any country on the planet ever has. So much for the “war on energy.” In fact, U.S. oil production has been higher under Biden than under Trump.  
  • You might think that immigrants commit crimes at a higher rate than native-born Americans. Um, sorry, but that’s not true.
  • You might also think that violent crime is spiraling out of control. Any violent crime is bad, sure, but those crimes and especially homicide are sharply down to pre-pandemic levels. It’s not down enough, but it’s not as out-of-control as anecdotal video clips would have you believe.
  • You may remember that Trump had gas prices at $1.80. Um, yeah, that was for about a month while the world shut down and oil prices literally hit $0 a barrel and we were scrambling to find toilet paper. Yes, gas prices have surged under Biden’s watch as the economy bounced back from the pandemic. However, the Trump years were not all days of $1.80 gas as some would want you to believe … and many of you have done just that. In fact, during the Trump years, gas prices in the U.S. averaged $2.53 in 2017, $2.81 in 2018, $2.69 in 2019 and $2.26 in 2020. In other words, Obama’s final year in office of 2015 with $2.25 average gas price was lower than any of Trump’s years, and there wasn’t even a pandemic to cite for his final year. (And Exxon-Mobil and Chevron have notched record profits in recent years.)
  • Speaking of inflation and excessive profits, while overall inflation may be up 3.4%, the input costs for companies are up just 1%. They are not passing along the costs; they are taking advantage of the perception and making record profits. In fact, corporate profits now make up more than 50% of inflation, while in the 40 years prior to the pandemic that number was just 11%.

All this is easily researchable, but only if you step out of the bubble. 

What do you think about this?