Craig Robinson from The Iowa Republican said something today that totally fits in with the conversation we've been having the last couple days on strict adherence to ideology.  He says some of the problems with GOP leadership in Iowa the last few years was a lack of focus on winning elections--that people at the top of the party got hung up on making sure everyone was in lock-step ideologically.  Remember what we've said on the show about strict ideologies?  

This also ties in to our conversation about development in the Old Ames Middle School Neighborhood, and the experience of a pair of my friends who live there.  They took some really nasty comments after they chose to publicly break with the neighborhood's party line that the proposed compromise with the developer was "of the devil."  Again, strict ideology's incongruity with reality.

Both examples typify one of 2014's biggest problems--a genuine lack of nuance in our public discourse.  We've made it entirely too easy to see the world only in black and white--no grey.  You know who also sees the world like this?  My six-year-old son.  Think on that for a moment.

I mentioned best-selling author John Green's assessment of this, and was able to find a quote.  This is actually a transcription of something he said during a panel conversation recently.


"...what drives me crazy about the internet is a couple things. First off, a lot of spaces on the internet are not super great at nuance. When I think of nuance, we’re not good at imaging others complexly.

Another thing we’re really not good at is we’re not good at hearing voices that are different from our own respectfully and generously. We’re not good at assuming the best from the voice of the other. That’s really problematic to me because then you have a choice. You can either live in a world filled in which you only hear voices that you know you already agree with you which is what most of us do or you can live in a world where you fight and scream at each other about whether or not it makes sense to have an individual healthcare mandate and instead of having an actual conversation about that all you do is scream and parrot talking points and try to make your enemy capitulate."