The echo chamber is getting louder, we tune out damn near everything not matching what we already believe and we’re much more likely to distrust people who aren’t like us.
Partisan agreement between spouses was around 60% in the mid 60’s, it’s now closer to 85%. Pew research shows partisans have few friends from the opposing side.
And the coup de grâce, we’re passing it on to our children. I can count the number of ways I’ve likely screwed up my kids with my crappy parenting. I run out of fingers and toes pretty quickly. I’m going to need an extra appendage.
Kids haven’t gotten more partisan or strident, roughly the same percentages identify with a party and as having a strong or weak leaning today as compared to 40 years ago.
What they have gotten is radically more intolerant of the other party per the orange dots moving much lower over time and in relation to the green dots. This is a definition of bias, ignoring the individual and applying a weak-minded, stereotype to a group – e.g., the other political party.
Some might advocate for collectivism over individualism but surely this isn’t a change for the better?
The study included a parent sample whose data points looked identical. The researchers also built a model to affirm what you’d suspect: the parent and child data aren’t independent; the former caused the latter.
Beware of cul de sac fundraising.
It’s one thing to promote in-group loyalty, it’s quite another to trash the out-group. This is the trifecta of “tics” – simplistic, antagonistic and nihilistic.
It’s worth noting this in-group/out-group split has an infinite number of applications; your school, your community, your country, your favorite sports team, your religion… In each instance there is a responsible, non-negative, non-demoralizing way to promote ingroup loyalty that doesn’t require trashing the out-group.
Splitting into two groups is easy and convenient. And if you’re comfortable trashing the out-group to gain compliance with your request for money to the in-group then you’ll seemingly have an audience today (some parents) and tomorrow (their offspring).
What you’ll miss is a cornucopia of difference that exists within each group and between the two. Thinking all conservatives or liberals are the same, respectively, is cul de sac fundraising. In a lot of ways, it’s no different than treating all your donors the same.
I feel genuinely sad about what this chart suggests about politics and civic mindedness (and parenting).
This is why we spend so much time and energy promoting a better way forward for fundraising, recognizing and operationalizing the innate traits of people that turns donor-centric from slogan to strategy.
The oft-cited data point of the charitable sector not having grown (by any useful measure) since the 70’s is not unrelated to our sector’s one-sizing. The in-group of donors is getting smaller every day.
Sure, politics has made a vice of trashing the out-group and so it’s more divisive but no more or less of a fundraising dead end than one-size fits all.