It took an us against them mentality fueled by decades of online chatter, a deep mistrust of others and widely repeated false claims of voter fraud to spark the violent riots Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol.It will take an all-out effort to rebuild some of that trust and needs to start by leaders telling a shared truth about the elections, according to two Wisconsin experts in anger and government.The riots, which left five people dead including a U.S. Capitol police officer, might become a turning point for that change, said Arnold Shober, professor of government at Lawrence University in Appleton.
Ryan Martin has been watching that lack of faith develop for two decades since he began to study online anger. Martin is a psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay who has studied anger for over 20 years.
He noticed that two topics “bring out the worst in people.”
One was sports. The other was politics.
The most significant reason for that, Martin said, is both sports and politics tend to push people so far toward opposing sides that they begin to see each other as actual enemies.