As social media accelerate the velocity of political news, fact-free stereotypes and reductionist shorthand are increasingly substituted for accuracy and nuance.
Coastal blue states are now typically presented in the national press as one giant Berkeley campus, while heartland red states are portrayed as a confederacy of “Dukes of Hazzard” sets.
In this cartoonish mythology, liberals are all Birkenstock-clad socialists, conservatives are all Boss Hoggs — and politics is a perpetual conflict between these two warring tribes.
The trouble, of course, is that the folklore has a diminishing connection to reality. Case in point is the narrative that now defines the Washington debate over gun control.