Whenever people think, "Wow the world has never been so divisive or crazy", I remind myself, "Have people forgotten about the 1960? People were being executed left and right - the Kennedy borthers, MLK, Malcolm X, etc. "
We think it's bad now but no prominent people are being executed.
I've asked my parents about this several times and never gotten a good answer.
You haven't received an answer because it's a ridiculous reference point. Those are a handful of incidents. It's like when Trump tried to dismiss global warming based on a particularly cold day. And those are examples with far more than one explanation. It might have more to do with secret service preparation and competency level and contacts than public mindset or intent. Anybody who attempts that type of thing right now knows darn well they likely will be caught on camera instead of easily fleeing the room like James Earl Ray.
The spotlight has to be on tens of millions, not handfuls, and on day to day realities. Absolutely it is a crazier world. It is a heck of a lot easier to believe anything you are told than to decipher the truth. And in this social media age we are now allowing friends and likeminded people to chose for us. Anything they share and spread is swallowed and endorsed, regardless of how biased or preposterous. Instead of Walter Cronkite or David Brinkley editing what we see and hear every night, tens of millions rely on echo systems that spread absurdities from sources like Facebook and QAnon. The greater numbers who believe the lie the more it is deemed to be accepted and certified. Plus anyone who fights against the lie, especially from within, is ruthlessly condemned as evil, as part of the enemy if not worse than the enemy. The Liz Cheney treatment, if you will.
There have been numerous recent related studies. Conservatives are more susceptible to lies because their side savors and spreads the lies. It is volume at work, not unlike Alabama with all the 5 star recruits in football. The 5 star lies are not difficult to track:
"One of the main drivers of the findings appeared to be the American media and information environment.
“Both liberals and conservatives tend to make errors that are influenced by what is good for their side,” said Kelly Garrett, co-author of the study and professor of communication at The Ohio State University.
“But the deck is stacked against conservatives because there is so much more misinformation that supports conservative positions. As a result, conservatives are more often led astray."
“We saw that viral political falsehoods tended to benefit conservatives, while truths tended to favor liberals. That makes it a lot harder for conservatives to avoid misperceptions,” Garrett said.
Although the information environment was the primary reason conservatives were susceptible to misinformation, it may not be the only one.
Results showed that even when the information environment was taken into account, conservatives were slightly more likely to hold misperceptions than were liberals.
“It is difficult to say why that is,” Garrett said. “We can’t explain the finding with our data alone.”https://news.osu.edu/conservatives-more-susceptible-to-believing-falsehoods/