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Back in the day, was politics as partisan as it is now? Especially among regular citizens. Did people even really discuss politics with people they didn't know well? I was reading a book about how media (mainly the Internet) led to an increase in partisanship in political discussions, and I wondered how different things were before media (even phone, radio, and TV) was as common as it is now.
 

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I don't think it was nearly as partisan then as it is today. I remember adults talking politics calmly & both parties were quite similar from all I've read. At least in the 60s.
 

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Back in the day, was politics as partisan as it is now? Especially among regular citizens. Did people even really discuss politics with people they didn't know well? I was reading a book about how media (mainly the Internet) led to an increase in partisanship in political discussions, and I wondered how different things were before media (even phone, radio, and TV) was as common as it is now.
No way was politics as partisan as today. I reckon that is because more people are waking up to politicians and their lies and tricks to get your vote. I know I am one of those. I was never a pinko rabble rouser of the protesting 60s nor a Hitler saluting thug and over the ensuing decades as an ordinary working class bloke I was happy to just get on with life and accept what our politicians said. The older I get the more aware I am of what is happening to our great country. Reckon my views changed back in 1999 when I felt robbed of an Australian Republic and a chance for our great nation to stand on our own feet on the world stage and no longer be viewed as a colonial backwater of a long expired empire.
 

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6 Companies own almost all of the "media" (all types, all of it, digital, online, print, tv, etc).
Article:
https://www.webfx.com/data/the-6-companies-that-own-almost-all-media/
The implications of this are staggering. The ability to provide information and entertainment and "professional opinion" to everyone that reads the newspaper, accesses "news" and media online, listens to the radio, watches movies, etc.

The levels of ambient media noise is far greater than it ever was. And, the din of input effects most more than they might imagine.
 

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In years past the political process was not so contentious.

I remember Eisenhower running for office in 1952. It was the post-war period and a calmer time politically. Political conventions could be a bit raucous, but that seemed to be part of the election tradition. I asked adults the difference between Democrats and Republicans and the best answer I got was that Democrats were for the working man, or the little man, while Republicans were the party of the wealthy. People I knew were factory workers and they were told who to vote for by their trade unions. The average, or working class, American did not follow politics.

Once an election was over Americans joined together to support their president. The hubbub was over for the next 4 years. Life was simpler then and Washington, D.C. seemed as far away as the dark side of the moon.

The big change seemed to come during the Vietnam War. Young Americans began to join together against the war, and in their unified strength gathered momentum and political traction. Groups of protestors targeted the political process and made their presence felt at political conventions. I believe the Democratic convention held in Chicago in 1968 was a good example of political influence through civil disobedience and violence.

It is far different now. The internet allows users to hide their identity and speak with impunity, without accountability or real repercussion. People wax bold behind an electronic mask and separated by untold distance. Civility is no longer required or even expected.

More dangerous, the internet allows the ability to reach countless numbers of people, to form an army of like thinkers. It has turned the political process into a theater of war with the president the target. It does not matter which party holds the office, nor who the president is. The sitting president will always have naysayers. The dissemination of misinformation and disinformation will continue to flourish with detriment the intent.

Yes, it is different now. Media access by the masses has altered the political process. The technology of the 21st century has become the executioner of political civility.
 

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In years past the political process was not so contentious.

I remember Eisenhower running for office in 1952. It was the post-war period and a calmer time politically. Political conventions could be a bit raucous, but that seemed to be part of the election tradition. I asked adults the difference between Democrats and Republicans and the best answer I got was that Democrats were for the working man, or the little man, while Republicans were the party of the wealthy. People I knew were factory workers and they were told who to vote for by their trade unions. The average, or working class, American did not follow politics.

Once an election was over Americans joined together to support their president. The hubbub was over for the next 4 years. Life was simpler then and Washington, D.C. seemed as far away as the dark side of the moon.

The big change seemed to come during the Vietnam War. Young Americans began to join together against the war, and in their unified strength gathered momentum and political traction. Groups of protestors targeted the political process and made their presence felt at political conventions. I believe the Democratic convention held in Chicago in 1968 was a good example of political influence through civil disobedience and violence.

It is far different now. The internet allows users to hide their identity and speak with impunity, without accountability or real repercussion. People wax bold behind an electronic mask and separated by untold distance. Civility is no longer required or even expected.

More dangerous, the internet allows the ability to reach countless numbers of people, to form an army of like thinkers. It has turned the political process into a theater of war with the president the target. It does not matter which party holds the office, nor who the president is. The sitting president will always have naysayers. The dissemination of misinformation and disinformation will continue to flourish with detriment the intent.

Yes, it is different now. Media access by the masses has altered the political process. The technology of the 21st century has become the executioner of political civility.
I remember in the not too distant past the internet being touted as the great equalizer, essentially giving anyone/everyone their own voice. While there is undoubtedly good that comes from this, the consequence is, as you noted, that accountability and civility have been thrown out the window. What's left is a cacophonous melee that's drowning out the voices it gave rise to. Don't see it changing any time soon.
 

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Once upon a time...

USA citizens were more united in solving problems...

Bring back civility.
 
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