by Russell Johnson
People who work for political depolarization, as I do, get quizzical looks from people who focus primarily on other social issues. Republican-versus-Democrat, after all, is not as significant as gender, race, class, religion, worldview, or culture. More often than not, the dichotomy between "liberal" and "conservative" conceals more than it reveals. While I don’t want to make the Brett Kavanaugh drama about myself, this week’s events provide me with an opportunity to explain why I study and write about political polarization.
When we hear about a new event, our first impression depends on which series of events we interpret it as being part of. One may go on to revise one’s interpretation as one accumulates more evidence, but often evidence serves to confirm the narrative one initially uses to make sense of the event. What you find plausible depends on how you initially categorize an event.