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“Coastal elites” are in a bubble. So are white working-class Americans.

The world could use more empathy from everyone.

A lot of digital ink has already gone to the question of how the media missed Donald Trump’s victory. The most common argument so far, at least on social media, is that the media is trapped in a bubble — walled off from the white working class that felt compelled to vote for Trump in droves.

But as Patrick Thornton argued on Twitter and Roll Call, this problem of being walled off to other communities isn’t exclusive to the media or “coastal elites”:

I’d frame this a bit differently than Thornton does in these tweets: It’s not that any particular group is living in a bubble; it’s that everyone is living in different bubbles. People, for the most part, tend to congregate based on shared traits in terms of culture, race, ethnicity, and especially class.

This applies to the white working-class voters who voted for Trump. It applies to people in the media who missed Trump’s rise time and time again. And it applies to just about every other community in America.

The internet was supposed to alleviate this, but in many ways it’s done the opposite. As Tim Lee has argued on Vox, Facebook’s algorithm tends to feed us content that we like. The result is we only tend to see articles that align with our views, creating the same problem online that our geographic segregation has created offline.

It’s hard to say what the proper solution is to all of this. It’s one thing to tell people that they need to be more empathetic toward each other, but it’s another to actually make that happen.


Watch: It’s now on America’s institutions — and Republicans — to check Donald Trump

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