My friend Ben has started a new blog, BK, you should read it.
His post on diversity is very well done and I largely agree with him, but I have a small point on which I would refine. (And since I have been searching for something to write about today, I will stretch it into an entry.)
Ben starts out by saying: “Everybody loves diversity, except when it comes to ideology.”
I would refine this to say that people quietly crave a very specific kind of diversity when it comes to ideology, the duality. The us vs. them mentality is somehow part of the human psyche at a very low level. I don’t think that we are inherently looking for conflict, just that conflict is a required component of feeling a belonging to your own group.
Humans therefore create this duality even when there is in fact a continuum of opinions. Politics is the perfect example. There are not in reality two camps, left and right. There is a very smooth spectrum from Crazy pinko liberals to wack job conservatives. Or you could divide it into libertarians and authoritarians. No matter what metric you use, it will be a roughly even distribution. But acknowledging that makes for poor arguments and bad TV.
While the result is vitriol and animosity, I think the true cause is an attempt to identify self.