Blog: (VIDEO) Extremism in Politics - The Need for Critical Thinking - 2016-05-12

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F0.png (VIDEO) Extremism in Politics - The Need for Critical Thinking May 12, 2016, Chris Shelton, Critical Thinker at Large

Hi everyone. This video is not about my personal conservative or liberal views and it's not about endorsing any particular candidate or issue. Instead, I want to present some ideas about extremism and critical thinking in politics.

Here in the United States, we are in a Presidential election cycle of extreme views and divisive attitudes, perhaps more so than ever before in our history. I'm not a political pundit but lately I feel like I'm becoming one because of how much we've been talking about politics on my podcast and how much work and research this has involved. It's become more clearer than ever before that extremist views are not just something one encounters in destructive religious cults like Scientology. Politics is a passionate subject for some because they not only become invested in a particular candidate or issue, but because they feel that their very survival is predicated on the success or failure of that issue or candidate. This kind of passion can be dangerous when it crosses the line from rationality to fervor.

There is nothing wrong with having strong beliefs or ideals in any part of life, so long as those passions do not then exclude the rights of others to have different or even opposing ideas and allowing them to express those ideas rationally and openly. While this sounds great, what happens all too often is people on one side of an issue bash or insult those they disagree with or even attempt to frighten them or overwhelm them so they won't communicate anymore. it equates to irrational behavior to silence opposition and that actually has shades of totalitarian thinking. In a free society, everyone has a voice and should have a chance to use it.