I have recently made my first foray into the world of fiction. My contemporary romantic novella The Lady Is a Mayor is set in a highly fictionalized version of the place where I actually live. The story involves a disagreement between townspeople who are in favor of economic growth and those who are determined to protect the environment. My book is a comedy, so it ends with the standard happily ever after. In real life, this isn’t often the case.
William Chopik, a psychology prof at Michigan State University, has published a study that indicates living among those whose viewpoint you don’t share can affect your personality. If you are on the Trump train and all your neighbors are Hillary supporters, you may distrust them so much that you withdraw from relationships.
Chopik says his findings could explain why many Americans seem to be consolidating into heavily red or blue geographic areas. This may also explain political gridlock. If you never communicate with anyone different, you don’t learn how to compromise.
Racial segregation is technically a thing of the past, but its implications are far from gone. Maybe we also need to take a look at political segregation.