I’ve long held, correctly, that Red America understands Blue America – its culture, society, ways, mores and the like – better than vice versa. Red America gets New York and LA in a way that neither of them gets, and I’d suggest don’t believe they need or care to get, the rest of the country.
And it seems it’s not merely geographic:
In his remarkable book The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, Haidt recalls a telling experiment. He and his colleagues Brian Nosek and Jesse Graham sought to discover how well conservative and what Haidt terms ‘liberal’ (ie: progressive) students understood one another by having them answer moral questions as they thought their political opponents would answer them. “The results were clear and consistent,” remarks Haidt. “In all analyses, conservatives were more accurate than liberals.” Asked to think the way a liberal thinks, conservatives answered moral questions just as the liberal would answer them, but liberal students were unable to do the reverse. Rather, they seemed to put moral ideas into the mouths of conservatives that they don’t hold.
That would explain why liberals are so very prone to arguing the straw man; it’s the only way they perceive conservatives.
To put it bluntly, Haidt and his colleagues found that progressives don’t understand conservatives the way conservatives understand progressives. This he calls the ‘conservative advantage,’ and it goes a long way in explaining the different ways each side deals with opinions unlike their own. People get angry at what they don’t understand, and an all-progressive education ensures that they don’t understand.
It’s been my observation that liberals, at large, can not effectively debate conservatives, because at no point in their education have they ever had to see conservatism and conservatism as anything other than cartoons.
I’ll urge you to read the whole thing.