Social media is an amazing thing. More than any other form of communication it can display the amazing cultural disparities that exist in this country.
As I sat reading the real-time reactions on Twitter, Facebook et al to the Zimmerman verdict, I could not help but be struck by the scores of people that I know, seemingly thoughtful and rational, that saw exactly the same testimony & legal arguments but came to completely different conclusions.
In my opinion the lens through which we view world events is ALWAYS tainted by our own ideology and values. We can never be truly objective. I submit that even people with the highest intellect and therefore the greatest ability to reason are never truly able to view an issue with complete balance.
No event in recent memory has proven this out than the Zimmerman case.
The Conservative View:
Traditionally conservatives stick to the facts. In this case, the would say that Florida law states that a person under the perception that they are in danger of death or great bodily harm, has the right to defend himself. They would say that Zimmerman did nothing outside the law and that there was zero credible evidence to prove otherwise. They would say that at the very least there was no evidence to suggest that Zimmerman’s story was fabricated therefore the jury could not come to a conclusion meeting the high standard of “beyond reasonable doubt.” As a result Conservstives by-in-large believe the Jury had no choice but to acquit George Zimmerman. From the conservative viewpoint this is very cut and dried.
The Liberal View.
Liberals are much more feelings based in their viewpoints.
I heard from many of my liberal friends, “If Zimmerman had not gotten out of the car, Trayvon would still be alive. This is true of course but then the counter argument to that is that if Trayvon had just kept walking then he would still be alive.
Liberals also are holding on to the belief, mostly based on an edited version of the audio tape by NBC News that put a very different spin on events than what actually took place.
So as a staunch conservative, My point of view is that Liberals arrive at conclusions based on what they feel is true rather than relying on factual events. This can and often does lead to large leaps that do not necessarily represent truth. You see the liberal version of truth is often a moving target. It can often be spun to represent their point of view.
Here is a classic example of the differences. Most responsible Conservatives would say that in this case the State did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. They understand that George Zimmerman was not obliged to prove his innocence. Conservatives for the most part believe in Zimmerman’s version of events but that said, they will admit that they cannot know for certain that they are true. However, they would say that there were enough witness inconsistencies for the State’s case that burden of proof was not solidified therefore the Jury’s acquittal was valid.
Liberals, on the other hand seem to know in their hearts that Zimmerman stalked Trayvon, threatened him with a gun and Trayvon lashed out physically as a result of Zimmerman’s threat. The problem with this is that there is almost no basis in fact. In my opinion, because liberals ideology is mostly feelings based, this is the only way that they can reconcile the tragedy that occurred. It doesn’t seem to matter that there was no law broken by Zimmerman. They only see a dead teenager and believe that there must be some justice for this young man.
While social media is by-in-large a it will continue to show the divide that separates us ideologically in this country. I don’t believe it will ever be bridged.