Sunday, September 4, 2016

Republicans' Attitudes About Things They're Completely Wrong About

Why don't they trust Hillary? Any sober investigation of the facts shows that she's actually unusually frank and forthcoming -- or at least, unusually frank and forthcoming for a politician. Likewise, it's easily demonstrated that Trump, whom some refer to as a "straight talker," is unusually dishonest even for a politician.

And why do they think that the economy isn't recovering, and that the climate isn't warming?

Someone may have actually answered all of those questions.

Someone -- I think it was Lawrence O'Donnell -- pointed out that many Republican positions are emotion-based, by their own admission. They (probably Lawrence) gave many examples with video clips from the Republican Convention. Seeing the entire montage all together was very striking, and suddenly some previously baffling behavior and rhetoric made sense to me: "The numbers may say otherwise, but it just FEELS to me like the economy is stagnant." "I may have no evidence, but I'm convinced that Obama is a Muslim. That's how it FEELS to me." "Yes, those scientists have all of those numbers, but it doesn't FEEL to me like the climate is warming." "I don't know... I just don't trust her!" "Okay, so actual cases of voter fraud in the US have been extremely rare for decades... but that's not the way it FEELS to me!" Etc.

This may be surprising to some people who "FELT" that conservatives were hard-headed and fact-driven, and liberals were wussies who were controlled by their emotions and refused to face unpleasant realities. File that one alongside the one about conservatives spending responsibly and liberal running up huge budget deficits.

I wish I could say that a quick and effective solution had occurred to me, now that someone, probably Lawrence, pointed out the nature of the problem to me. But no, knowing the nature of the problem just points out how extremely difficult it will be to solve it. Tripling the budget on education might put a dent in it after a few decades. That won't be easy, because there a lot of pinheads out there who vote and who FEEL like money is being wasted on education as it is, and that there is a huge liberal conspiracy to hand control of the world over to lesbians (and by the way, they can't prove anything, but for a long time they've had this FEELING about Hillary...), and that academics are an integral part of this liberal-lesbian world-conspiracy.

Still, understanding more about the nature of stupidity can't hurt. The problem, the enemy, is stupidity: the deliberate cultivation of ignorance.

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