Polarized thinking means that you can’t see both sides of an issue. (Don’t forget that F. Scott Fitzgerald observed that the mark of true intellect is holding two opposing ideas in your mind at the same time.) It means that the individual will not listen to or evaluate other positions. For example, a great many people who believe we’re contributing to climate change, when faced with legitimate opposition, will simply call the other people “deniers” and disregard them. There is a pejorative categorization of those who disagree.
It’s also represented when the polarized position is worked into every conceivable sentence and discussion. A lot of us joke that when you ask directions to a restaurant in Dublin the response is, “After 800 years of British oppression, it’s a mile down on the right.” Polarized people will say, in response to a comment about the beautiful moon, “You should have seen it before Trump was elected.”
I routinely unfriend, unlink, disconnect, and walk away from these people if I can’t engage with them. For one thing, after my best shot I’m not going to keep trying to gain their ear, and you can’t help people who don’t want to be helped.
For another, if I ever have the need to talk to someone who refuses to listen to other positions, I can just shout back at the TV screen.
© Alan Weiss 2017