My friends and family and I spend a lot of time het up about Those People on the Other End of the Political Spectrum. What are they thinking? They must be brainwashed. They are inhabiting some weird alternate universe.
I just stumbled on Jonathan Haidt’s What Makes People Vote Republican? (linked to from—and pointedly summarized in—this great Judith Warner editorial, which is sort of funny), and it’s the most thoughtful approach I’ve seen to this problem of alternate universes. Leave it to an anthropologist to reveal righteous indignation as just another form of incomplete understanding. Academic and thick-ish, but very, very worth a read.