If the work of gathering evidence and reasoning through thorny, polarizing political questions is actually the process by which we trick ourselves into finding the answers we want, then what's the right way to search for answers? How can we know the answers we come up with, no matter how well-intentioned, aren't just more motivated cognition? How can we know the experts we're relying on haven't subtly biased their answers, too? How can I know this article isn't a form of identity protection?
I love that there is a growing amount of research that is actively questioning itself. I love that there are researchers who feel deeply troubled by their own findings.
At the same time, I understand why this emerging cognitive dissonance is happening at a time of increased partisan tribalism and shorter-sighted policy positions.
Of course, I've thought through all this social lekking, partisan tribalism and the evolutionary cognitive matrix behind our so-called conscious thought. I keep doing so, because I know the rabbit hole only goes deeper.
And I would be happy to share with you, point-blank, the startling, comforting conclusions I have found. I try to do so on this blog, regularly.
If I've learned anything, though, it's that there's purpose behind this little bit of aged wisdom:
Anyone can show you the door; you're the one that has to walk through it.
What happens when you let go of the tribe? You become part of something infinitely more satisfying.
But don't take it from me - I'm just a messenger.