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The nastiness in politics grows, and agriculture suffers

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Increasing polarization is leading to negative outcomes for society, and agriculture isn’t immune to that. (Pixabay photo)

Years ago, in a different professional existence, I wrote a news article on two farmers — each the other’s closest neighbor geographically — who were running for the same state legislative seat. (One was a Republican, the other a Democrat.) Both candidates said respectful things about their neighbor/political opponent, but I remember the exact response from one of them. She said, “He’s a good neighbor. We just disagree on some things.”

Sadly, that we-can-disagree-but-still-get-along attitude has dwindled in recent years, or so it has seemed to me. Now, a study recently published in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing of the American Marketing Association concludes that things really are getting worse. More information on the study, written by researchers from six universities, is available at https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0743915621991103?journalCode=ppoa& and at http://www.uwyo.edu/uw/news/2021/02/researchers-find-broad-impacts-from-political-polarization.html .

According to the paper:

“Partisan incivility is a major reason for failed dialogue: Uncivil exchanges result in disagreement and greater polarization regardless of the evidence presented.”

Further, “Political polarization increases the salience of political identities, alters inter- and intra-group dynamics, and amplifies cognitive biases. These effects negatively impact consumer welfare, including financial welfare, relationships, mental and […]

Click here to view original web page at www.agweek.com

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