Breaking: Most People Aren’t Crazy.

A redux of a 2017 observation of social polarization.

Jason Chatfield
2 min readNov 19, 2022

Back in 2017, I wrote about the polarization that I saw turning America into a bilious cesspool. I’d just returned from doing comedy in a bunch of Red States in late 2016, and noticed an unsettling number of Trump/Pence billboards and bumper stickers.

As an immigrant, it was a real eye-opener to see the gaping divide between the otherwise narrow state lines. That fall I witnessed social media becoming even more intense than it had ever been. I had no idea what was to come in the following 6 years.

The obvious but seldom recognized truth is: most of the noise on social media is coming from either the extreme left or the extreme right.

It gets clicks. The algo loves it. It gets eyeballs for ads. The problem with that is, the saturation creates a mistaken idea of what ‘everyone’ is thinking or talking about. A false sense of global insanity.

Jonathan Haidt dove into this sense of immersive insanity in his article “Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid.”

Click to read the article

This month’s mid-terms, however, was evidence of the middle part of the above curve getting to make the noises that actually matter. The majority of us in the background, without extremist views actually got the opportunity to say our piece. Bill Maher covered it in his New Rules segment last night. (Yes, he’s been a little too ‘get off my lawn’ lately, but I did like this one.)

There’s something to be said about America’s ability to correct itself like a sick immune system. Yes, it has to build up a fever to burn off the sickness, but in the end, it finds equilibrium.



Jason Chatfield

New York-based Australian Comedian & Cartoonist for the New Yorker. Obsessed with productivity hacks, the creative process, and the Oxford comma.