Thursday, July 28, 2016
Twice in the past week, I've gone out of my way to greet a neighbor at the community pool and say hello. Twice I've wished I hadn't.
The first guy, who was there with his two young grandkids, replied to my generic, "What's new?" with bizarre rant about low sales taxes in other states, and his dislike of the gummint and that "goddam Muslim" running it. "OK," I said, standing to walk away, "Sorry I asked."
"You're not a conservative, are you"? he said.
A few days later, I said hi to another guy. He wanted to know if I'd received his email. It was about supporting our local Issue 1 -- it would totally revamp our city council -- and he wanted me to forward it to the entire neighborhood. I got it, but told him I wouldn't share it because our HOA Board doesn't get involved in politics.
"Really? But it would give us real representation from this area" he said, "not some 26 year-old like Shannon Hardin. The only reason he's on city council is he's black and gay." Whatever, dude. I'm still not forwarding your email.
In psychology, this condition is called the "false consensus effect" or "naive realism." In my experience, it's fairly prevalent among conservatives and relatively rare in liberals.
I wonder why that is.