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Is today's Republican electorate the Dumbest in modern history?


IS the current GOP electorate the dumbest in modern history?  

107 members have voted

  1. 1. How dumb do you think the current GOP electorate is?

    • Dumbest ever - When you believe more lies than the truth and listen to Ivy League Elites rail against themselves and cheer wildly... it's hard to get dumber.
    • Just a bit dumber. Remember the Tea Party folks honestly believed that Obamacare was going to have "death panels" and the GOP had a health plan.
    • Average - Dumb is not a word I would use. Misinformed certainly, but grasp of factual information has not been a prerequisite to being Republican for a very long time.
    • Actually this group because of their access to social media makes them probably smarter than many past GOP electorates.
      0
    • One of the smartest ever probably. They are on the right side of most issues and as a group pretty damn well informed!


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After hearing some of the railing against everything by some of the most privileged white men ever at CPAC this weekend I wondered what your current opinions of the GOP electorate are?  Now I am no fool and I do realize the GOP picked up seats in the House as they lost the Presidency, and the Senate by losing a previously unfathomable 2 seats in Georgia.  The country is still narrowly split, but to me it is flabbergasting the amount of misleading and false information and characterization of facts that is now NECESSARY to be in the GOP fold.  

You have to believe guys with monstrous megaphones, are being "cancelled" by the left. 

You have to believe that while every person speaking to you is a graduate of an Ivy League school, "Ivy League elites cannot be trusted." 

You have to believe the GOP is being Ruined by "Country Club Republicans," while the American taxpayer foots a $150+ million country club secret service expense for the last GOP President.

You have to believe that right before the pandemic, that Trump created more jobs than the economy that he inherited.  even simply math must be rejected here.

I could go on and on and on... but why use my brain when I can use the collective brain of surly to point out completely contradictory shit.  But the real question before os is this particular collective of Republican voter's the dumbest in Modern history?  Please feel free to insert FACTUAL information to clarify your point of view.  I also think that one of the big contributing factors is that many of the assertions and reassertions of falsehood and stupidity that normally would have drawn embarrassing corrections in normal times were not contradicted during the Pandemic.  The smart folks were isolating and wearing masks and the Republicans were having crawfish boils and collectively talking about the fake virus designed to hurt President Trump this very time last year.  So voices not steeped in facebook falsehoods, and the occasional insertion of facts allowed the course of believing lies to accelerate in the last 12 months.

Anyhow how dumb is this GOP electorate.  

 

PS - a big enough group of stupid people can win elections just as easily as a group of fact based people.

 

 

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While there are plenty that are dumb as hell, there are many who are just assholes and/or think they are voting with their wallets, and they know exactly who, and what, they are voting for, and they give no fucks.

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I agree with both of you. You just have to wonder sometime how can a group of people be that ignorant and allow to believe the lies and distortions that are given to them. Are they that naive? And, I’ve seen this from people I always thought were smart. 

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A lot of the GOP electorate just plain doesn't like minorities. This hate has been amplified as they fall further and further behind and look to place the blame on someone else - whether is folks crossing the border illegally for low income ag and construction jobs or Indians and Chinese immigrants dominating Silicon Valley. 

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The GQP gourd fuckers/chuds (who are also assholes) follow the ‚Äúsmart‚ÄĚ GQP¬†assholes because they validate their white grievance¬†in just a teensy bit more nuanced way in order to adequately own the libs/deny science/freedom Eagle gun/etc. ¬†That is not to say I think the CPAC-speaker type is an intelligent human, more that they are adept at the grift game and¬†would dildofuck their grandma if it meant an ounce of media attention or a new way to fleece said gourdfuckers.¬†
 

I have zero respect for anyone that considers themselves a GQP voter, whether that be a Harvard economist or any number of cousin fucking, meth mouthed insurrectionist traitors. 

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The GOP base has always been basically what it is today. What's changed is that the generation of older voters who voted GOP but hated nazis has mostly died off and without them the suburban upper-middle-class business wing of the party that was fine with the racist polices as long as they were quiet on the racism part couldn't keep the base from taking control of the party. This drove some moderate Republicans like Brisket and GoLL out of the party and replaced them with former non-voters who embraced the new explicitly racist GOP, so today's GOP is objectively dumber than it was 10-15 years ago, but we're only talking like 10% of the party or so. The rest of the party is the same as it's always been.

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i didn't answer the poll.

but when faced with this question, i'm reminded of my father in law. very smart, very successful person. very republican. i've tried occasionally to break through with logic, but it doesn't work. he's really a very smart person, so it's difficult to reconcile. like, i think he's dumb for supporting trump, but he also has a very successful business. ???

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Just now, hayden_horn said:

i didn't answer the poll.

but when faced with this question, i'm reminded of my father in law. very smart, very successful person. very republican. i've tried occasionally to break through with logic, but it doesn't work. he's really a very smart person, so it's difficult to reconcile. like, i think he's dumb for supporting trump, but he also has a very successful business. ???

Plenty of very dumb people have successful businesses.

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And plenty of very smart people are abject failures. The key is in the application of whatever gifts you got. You know, play the hand you're dealt. 

I agreed with B00m and voted like him, but wildcat makes a good point and I'd probably change my vote but it's too late.

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1 minute ago, wildcat09 said:

Plenty of very dumb people have successful businesses.

yeah, but he isn't dumb.

i guess there is room for a discussion about intelligence vs wisdom, and stupidity vs dumb, but in the end, i'm still left wondering. i've had plenty of smart discussions with the guy, i know he ain't dumb (or stupid), but i cannot figure out how he can still be so hardcore trump. it's bizarre.

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Just now, hayden_horn said:

yeah, but he isn't dumb.

i guess there is room for a discussion about intelligence vs wisdom, and stupidity vs dumb, but in the end, i'm still left wondering. i've had plenty of smart discussions with the guy, i know he ain't dumb (or stupid), but i cannot figure out how he can still be so hardcore trump. it's bizarre.

Saw the headline of this article and thought of your post about trying to break through to him politically, a guy who is otherwise smart and commands your love and respect:

Next Time You End up in an Argument, Don't Use Facts. Do This Instead

When a discussion gets heated, a strategy based purely on data will backfire. Here's a better approach

https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/next-time-you-end-up-in-an-argument-dont-use-facts-do-this-instead.html

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8 minutes ago, hayden_horn said:

i didn't answer the poll.

but when faced with this question, i'm reminded of my father in law. very smart, very successful person. very republican. i've tried occasionally to break through with logic, but it doesn't work. he's really a very smart person, so it's difficult to reconcile. like, i think he's dumb for supporting trump, but he also has a very successful business. ???

I’ve thought a lot about this because I have many Republican friends and work associates. 

I think there are two things happening. First, they just can’t imagine other people not being able to succeed because they succeeded themselves, and therefore anyone who doesn’t is lazy and worthless. This view has been hammered into them over 200+ years of American cultural values. The American Dream. 
 

Second there are ideas within the Democratic party that sound profoundly frightening and unAmerican. They sound that way mostly because of poor communications and messaging by the Democratic Party, but in some cases are truly bad ideas, just like there are bad ideas in the Republican Party  

Put those two together and that’s how you get seemingly intelligent people perceiving the world poorly  

 

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55 minutes ago, hayden_horn said:

i didn't answer the poll.

but when faced with this question, i'm reminded of my father in law. very smart, very successful person. very republican. i've tried occasionally to break through with logic, but it doesn't work. he's really a very smart person, so it's difficult to reconcile. like, i think he's dumb for supporting trump, but he also has a very successful business. ???

One of the world’s biggest misconceptions is that there is a correlation between intelligence and massive wealth.  Even worse is the misconception that wealth is caused by intelligence.

 

Most people get their wealth from access to capital they were born into.  Others get it on their own, but through traits like ambition and will to achieve, not intelligence.  The idea that being smart and hard working are the main traits that lead to a person being rich is so so wrong.

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Since at least Nixon, the foundation of the conservative movement has been its latent and overt opposition to a multiracial egalitarian democracy.  The white man gets scared when non-white men and women aspire for the same rights, privileges, and prosperity he has.  They erroneously view wealth and power as a zero sum game.  More black/brown people voting and building wealth means their vote and opportunities are diminished. The problem is white supremacy and one party in America finally has a monopoly on it.  

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52 minutes ago, Paul Wesley said:

Alternate theory:

Propaganda works really well.  

Don’t disagree at all. Many on surly are aware I am a huge advocate for exposing the propaganda that is destroying the country. With that said, I’m getting a little tired of many Republicans having very little cognitive ability to stop following and reading propaganda, once they been CLEARLY SHOWN ITS PROPAGANDA. My personal experiences with friends and relatives is a prime example. I get that it’s like a cult, where you’re brainwashed, but many of these people are smart enough to not get hoodwinked by it all. It’s ridiculous. 

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1 hour ago, DonkeyCigars said:

Saw the headline of this article and thought of your post about trying to break through to him politically, a guy who is otherwise smart and commands your love and respect:

Next Time You End up in an Argument, Don't Use Facts. Do This Instead

When a discussion gets heated, a strategy based purely on data will backfire. Here's a better approach

https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/next-time-you-end-up-in-an-argument-dont-use-facts-do-this-instead.html

that link 404's for me

but also, it's a sad statement on where we're at that people act like we have to use kid gloves and not use data to back our positions. It's a cornerstone to good policymaking and predictable outcomes. Feelings don't make a difference in the face of cold, hard, facts and data.

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5 minutes ago, Captainant said:

that link 404's for me

but also, it's a sad statement on where we're at that people act like we have to use kid gloves and not use data to back our positions. It's a cornerstone to good policymaking and predictable outcomes. Feelings don't make a difference in the face of cold, hard, facts and data.

"You have no idea what you're talking about."

Those words just hit you like a ton of bricks. Without even realizing it, you find yourself in the middle of an argument. Frozen for a moment, you try to figure out what to say next. 

The problem is, our default way of responding--which usually includes spewing out "facts" that we are convinced the other party will be forced to acknowledge--almost never works.

Why not? 

Article continues after video.

FEATURED VIDEO

I discussed this recently with Jen Dalton, Founder and CEO of Virginia-based branding agency BrandMirror. Dalton addresses this question in her new book, Listen: How to Embrace the Difficult Conversations Life Throws at You.

"Humans are not rational so much as emotional," says Dalton. "We tend to rationally justify our emotions and responses." That's why any attempt to use facts or evidence will usually backfire.

"Using facts to change someone's mind just drives them to double down on their beliefs," explains Dalton. "When someone feels a threat, they will go into protection mode and not be open to discussion. You may have dozens of sources, hundreds of facts, and it will still feel like an attack on the person you are speaking with. Explaining your facts slowly and clearly is like slow torture that can explode quickly."

There's a scientific foundation to what Dalton describes. This source of this reaction is the amygdala, the part of the brain that acts as an emotional processor. Whenever we feel attacked, the amygdala overrules our typical thinking processes, resulting in a type of "emotional hijack."

So, what's a better way to convince someone else to consider your perspective?

You have to find a way to get your partner to re-engage with the other parts of their brain, those that embrace collaboration and creativity. Do that, says Dalton, and the other person may be more open to consider new answers or insights.

"As humans, we like to feel like we belong," says Dalton. "If our identity is threatened and we realize not only are we wrong, but our peers might be wrong as well...that is like being painted into the proverbial corner. Whatever our beliefs, if we want to move forward in the conversation, then we will likely need to agree to ground rules and acknowledge what we have in common first."

And how do you do that? Dalton recommends reconsidering how you present your information. 

"When sharing information, make it non-confrontational. Forget about trying to win an argument; if that's your goal, you've already lost. Instead, focus on the goal of learning and influence. Think of each conversation as an opportunity to collaborate and move forward."

For example, Dalton says it's good to let your partner know that you were learning more about an issue and were surprised to find out X, Y, and Z. After sharing what you've learned, ask your partner to share what they've learned. 

"Consider asking them questions about what they know about the topic--as a way for you to learn," says Dalton.

This technique is excellent, because it gives your partner a measure of control and puts you on equal ground. You're two people, learning about each other's beliefs, searching for a solution...

And you're doing it together.

The value in this approach is it promotes active listening and gives your partner something to think about, long after the conversation is over. 

Do it well, and you'll pave the way for future discussion--increasing the possibility that they consider your point of view...and maybe even change their mind.

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5 minutes ago, Captainant said:

Feelings don't make a difference in the face of cold, hard, facts and data.

Unless you’re a Republican voter in which case your feelings are all that matter. Facts and evidence be damned. 

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2 hours ago, dingleberryswitzer said:

I get the feeling the stupid was always there but now they are able to transmit their stupid all over the world because of Twitter and shit. The stupid used to hide in the boonies but now there’s 4g in the boonies

This post, along with the first two pretty much nail it.

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Just now, WhatTheBuck said:

Unless you’re a Republican voter in which case your feelings are all that matter. Facts and evidence be damned. 

I think y'all are missing the larger point, which is that there could be a correlation with how our brains are developed and how we are wired that we aren't optimally communicating with each other if our goal is to find shared beliefs and harmony and compromise and understanding. 

And it's even worse on the internet where you can log on and be an a-hole to people and argue and act like you are a genius because we don't know any different, rather than if we were friends or colleagues or, God forbid, family...which is why I posted this for the poster who said he was struggling with his FIL who is an otherwise respectable and good person.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah people definitely dismiss how emotionally tied we are to our views. Some people have a default disposition to sort of play devil's advocate against their natural inclinations and as a result are more likely to accept facts that go against their initial beliefs. However, other's disposition leaves them much more vulnerable to blind spots and tunnel vision. 

Edited by Catdaddyhorn
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6 minutes ago, DonkeyCigars said:

I think y'all are missing the larger point, which is that there could be a correlation with how our brains are developed and how we are wired that we aren't optimally communicating with each other if our goal is to find shared beliefs and harmony and compromise and understanding. 

And it's even worse on the internet where you can log on and be an a-hole to people and argue and act like you are a genius because we don't know any different, rather than if we were friends or colleagues or, God forbid, family...which is why I posted this for the poster who said he was struggling with his FIL who is an otherwise respectable and good person.

The problem is that there is a considerable contingent that believe non factual things and demand to be taken seriously. Trump is a great example with "many people are saying" to justify a thing that doesn't exist and make policy based on that. 

"""Election security""" is THE MOST important thing talked about by cons and they all share the same delusion that trump had the election stolen. There's no communicating with people who don't live in the same reality and base their worldview on fact instead of feeling. 

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18 minutes ago, TexArcher said:

Everyone still registered as a Republican today should be sterilized.

 

12 minutes ago, DonkeyCigars said:

Okay, I don't care who you are, that's funny!

 

I wasn't kidding.

 

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3 hours ago, atomheartbevo said:

While there are plenty that are dumb as hell, there are many who are just assholes and/or think they are voting with their wallets, and they know exactly who, and what, they are voting for, and they give no fucks.

I tend to agree with this.  Many conservatives are voting like they always have -- for their stock portfolio and pocket book.  Its just that many of Donald Trump's policies -- especially those regarding COVID-19 -- pitted their stock portfolios and pocket books against the greater societal good more than has ever happened in our lifetimes.  Its been revealing, but much more so about how shitty many Americans are vs how dumb they are.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Captainant said:

The problem is that there is a considerable contingent that believe non factual things and demand to be taken seriously. Trump is a great example with "many people are saying" to justify a thing that doesn't exist and make policy based on that. 

"""Election security""" is THE MOST important thing talked about by cons and they all share the same delusion that trump had the election stolen. There's no communicating with people who don't live in the same reality and base their worldview on fact instead of feeling. 

Things like this are expected and part in parcel with what happens when politics become completely divorced from any type of philosophical underpinnings and are now almost solely tied to one's identity or being. It basically becomes a team sport. When Terrell Owens played for the 49ers I had an irrational hate for him as a kid when he danced on the star. But when he played for my Cowboys he was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I've seen my republican friends make these same sort of illogical leaps numerous times over that last 5 to 10 years. 

Edited by Catdaddyhorn
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3 minutes ago, Goredho said:

I tend to agree with this.  Many conservatives are voting like they always have -- for their stock portfolio and pocket book.  Its just that many of Donald Trump's policies -- especially those regarding COVID-19 -- pitted their stock portfolios and pocket books against the greater societal good more than has ever happened in our lifetimes.  Its been revealing, but much more so about how shitty many Americans are vs how dumb they are.

How did so many people miss the fact that Barack Obama did a lot better for their 401K than George W. Bush did?

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11 minutes ago, Goredho said:

I tend to agree with this.  Many conservatives are voting like they always have -- for their stock portfolio and pocket book.  Its just that many of Donald Trump's policies -- especially those regarding COVID-19 -- pitted their stock portfolios and pocket books against the greater societal good more than has ever happened in our lifetimes.  Its been revealing, but much more so about how shitty many Americans are vs how dumb they are.

The above is exhibit A.  Below is exhibit B.  I'm really fucking conflicted here.

AP_Jade_Helm_15_ml_150508_2x3_992.jpg
 

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yeah, but he isn't dumb.
i've had plenty of smart discussions with the guy, i know he ain't dumb (or stupid), but i cannot figure out how he can still be so hardcore trump. it's bizarre.

Unless you give a complete pass for willfully ignorant - either because he refuses to listen to other sources - or because he refuses to investigate easily refutable lies - then he is stupid.

If he can’t tell easily disproven lies from fact and you say he’s smart- then he’s a deplorable who is hiding that deplorableness.
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7 minutes ago, Catdaddyhorn said:

Things like this are expected and part in parcel with what happens when politics become completely divorced from any type of philosophical underpinnings and are now almost solely tied to one's identity or being. It basically becomes a team sport. When Terrell Owens played for the 49ers I had an irrational hate for him as a kid when he danced on the star. But when he played for my Cowboys he was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I've seen my republican friends make these same sort of illogical leaps numerous times over that last 5 to 10 years. 

Fuck Terrell Owens.  Fuck Jackie Smith, too.  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, hayden_horn said:

yeah, but he isn't dumb.

i guess there is room for a discussion about intelligence vs wisdom, and stupidity vs dumb, but in the end, i'm still left wondering. i've had plenty of smart discussions with the guy, i know he ain't dumb (or stupid), but i cannot figure out how he can still be so hardcore trump. it's bizarre.

Not sure what the inability to speak has to do with intelligence....

v1.bjsxODU1NDY7ajsxODcyMjsxMjAwOzIyMDA7M

But apparently there's at least one dumb guy who can really play pinball.

Edited by DDD Dad
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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Captainant said:

The problem is that there is a considerable contingent that believe non factual things and demand to be taken seriously. Trump is a great example with "many people are saying" to justify a thing that doesn't exist and make policy based on that. 

"""Election security""" is THE MOST important thing talked about by cons and they all share the same delusion that trump had the election stolen. There's no communicating with people who don't live in the same reality and base their worldview on fact instead of feeling. 

I think the point the article is trying to make is a counterintuitive one and one that sucks to hear if you have a certain disposition of people who are politically opposite of you, both sides.

And that is, it is easy and seems obvious to be frustrated and upset and resent and despise people who you feel are not living in your same, shared reality and whose worldview is based 100% on feeling (which is easy to know) rather than fact (which has been muddied in modern technological times). But, you should view those people with patience and empathy and try to share feelings and build trust through communication if you ever have any hope of changing the hearts and minds of these folks, because it's really a deep, neurological issue more than it is people having a strong will and being stubborn. No different than something like addiction or mental illness in that, yes their behavior sucks and is offensive and selfish and even antisocial and hurts me, but if you want them to be helped you can't yell at them or only belabor facts without feelings or call for them to be castrated. That is what I think the article is trying to say.

And that goes for both sides; the crazy liberal who the conservative family can't get along with and they want to reason with and bring back into the fold, the same exact situation plays where you can't just be factual, you have to appeal to emotions. And the article explicitly states this is not a scientific formula, like with addiction, some people never can turn it around and be recovered. Such is life.

And all this is assuming you even care or want a relationship with that person, so while Captainant and DonkeyCigars might not see the value in putting in the empathetic work to try and change each others hearts and minds, ostensibly if we were brothers or father/son, the hard work of this approach would be worth it.

Edited by DonkeyCigars
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Posted (edited)
59 minutes ago, DonkeyCigars said:

I think y'all are missing the larger point, which is that there could be a correlation with how our brains are developed and how we are wired that we aren't optimally communicating with each other if our goal is to find shared beliefs and harmony and compromise and understanding. 

And it's even worse on the internet where you can log on and be an a-hole to people and argue and act like you are a genius because we don't know any different, rather than if we were friends or colleagues or, God forbid, family...which is why I posted this for the poster who said he was struggling with his FIL who is an otherwise respectable and good person.

agree with the second paragraph--the internet is largely anon and allows people to troll, something they'd be less inclined to do with their names attached.  Read something about this in the New Yorker recently about starting fresh, beginning something new later in life and why it's so imposing:  "In the U.S., we'll be living, for the forseeable future, in a competitive, individualistic, allegedly meritocratic society, where we can inspect and troll and post humiliating videos of one another all the live-long day."  Ugh.

I've voted for every party at least once if not more in my lifetime.  I learn shit.  I then measure whether the argument is worth the words.  If it's family, I ask questions.  But they don't ask questions, even if you lead them and if they did, they would research stuff on their own.  What matters is when it affects them directly--job downgrades healthcare.  Then suddenly, hey healthcare is fucked.  Yeah, no kidding.    

Edited by Mdhorn
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3 minutes ago, DonkeyCigars said:

I think the point the article is trying to make is a counterintuitive one and one that sucks to hear if you have a certain disposition of people who are politically opposite of you, both sides.

And that is, it is easy and seems obvious to be frustrated and upset and resent and despise people who you feel are not living in your same, shared reality and whose worldview is based 100% on feeling (which is easy to know) rather than fact (which has been muddied in modern technological times). But, you should view those people with patience and empathy and try to share feelings and build trust through communication if you ever have any hope of changing the hearts and minds of these folks, because it's really a deep, neurological issue more than it is people having a strong will and being stubborn. No different than something like addiction or mental illness in that, yes their behavior sucks and is offensive and selfish and even antisocial and hurts me, but if you want them to be helped you can't yell at them or only belabor facts without feelings or call for them to be castrated. That is what I think the article is trying to say.

And that goes for both sides; the crazy liberal who the conservative family can't get along with and they want to reason with and bring back into the fold, the same exact situation plays where you can't just be factual, you have to appeal to emotions. And the article explicitly states this is not a scientific formula, like with addiction, some people never can turn it around and be recovered. Such is life.

And all this is assuming you even care or want a relationship with that person, so while Captainant and DonkeyCigars might not see the value in putting in the empathetic work to try and change each others hearts and minds, ostensibly if we were brothers or father/son, the hard work of this approach would be worth it.

I don't think the article is saying make emotional appeals. It's saying to ask questions and try to learn the other's point of view, so you can gently plant seeds for them to consider and research. Y'know, rather than telling them they're wrong and dumb and here's why. This is a skill most of us learned growing up but don't use online because of time constraints and the fact that conversations on the internet are basically never 1 on 1. 

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3 hours ago, 6th Street said:

A lot of the GOP electorate just plain doesn't like minorities. This hate has been amplified as they fall further and further behind and look to place the blame on someone else - whether is folks crossing the border illegally for low income ag and construction jobs or Indians and Chinese immigrants dominating Silicon Valley. 

You left out Pakistanis.  They don't like to be left out.

tumblr_p8togawP0m1s29ptoo1_400.gifv

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The majority of the Republican electorate does not give a fuck about truth, integrity, or democracy because¬†they view the opposition as a threat to their ‚Äúway of life.‚ÄĚ ¬†They didn‚Äôt give a shit about Russia attacking the election because they perceived¬†the¬†effort¬†working¬†in their favor. ¬†They don‚Äôt give a shit how much Trump lies because he represents the preservation of their perverted¬†idea¬†of America. ¬†They only cared¬†about Benghazi because it threatened their perceived opposition. They view politicians¬†in terms of their allegiance to their worldview and Trump embodies their worldview.¬†

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Agree - with Boom.  

Aristotelean Rhetoric: Be able to state your opponent's argument coherently. Without that understanding, there can be no resolution. 

The unexamined life is not worth living, according to Socrates. He was put to death for those words.

image.png.3f9c605dd20e286fbb0addfd212ba0b4.png

 

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36 minutes ago, DonkeyCigars said:

I think the point the article is trying to make is a counterintuitive one and one that sucks to hear if you have a certain disposition of people who are politically opposite of you, both sides.

And that is, it is easy and seems obvious to be frustrated and upset and resent and despise people who you feel are not living in your same, shared reality and whose worldview is based 100% on feeling (which is easy to know) rather than fact (which has been muddied in modern technological times). But, you should view those people with patience and empathy and try to share feelings and build trust through communication if you ever have any hope of changing the hearts and minds of these folks, because it's really a deep, neurological issue more than it is people having a strong will and being stubborn. No different than something like addiction or mental illness in that, yes their behavior sucks and is offensive and selfish and even antisocial and hurts me, but if you want them to be helped you can't yell at them or only belabor facts without feelings or call for them to be castrated. That is what I think the article is trying to say.

And that goes for both sides; the crazy liberal who the conservative family can't get along with and they want to reason with and bring back into the fold, the same exact situation plays where you can't just be factual, you have to appeal to emotions. And the article explicitly states this is not a scientific formula, like with addiction, some people never can turn it around and be recovered. Such is life.

And all this is assuming you even care or want a relationship with that person, so while Captainant and DonkeyCigars might not see the value in putting in the empathetic work to try and change each others hearts and minds, ostensibly if we were brothers or father/son, the hard work of this approach would be worth it.

I hear what you're saying - and agree to a point - in that in interpersonal relationships it's important to not just shut down a family member or friend or loved one just because they earnestly believe in lies. However that is not a healthy thing to advocate in mass communication and public discourse. There MUST be things that are true and beyond question. There ARE things that are true and beyond question. And yet, a significant portion of the electorate and populace deny those true things because enough other people around them validate their false belief systems.

To give a real example of the caustic effect this has: have you watched the Chernobyl series or studied the engineering aspect of its failure? The series of events that led to its catastrophic meltdown was exactly what you propose: letting beliefs and feelings - in the Chernobyl case, that the soviet state could never be wrong - get in the way of acting to handle the disaster before them, and causing real harm to innocent people caught in the crossfire who relied on those "in the know" to actually know what they're talking about.

When it comes to an entire political party telling outright lies, and their electorate internalizing those lies to the point where just communicating with loved ones becomes laborious... We're in a real bad place. And meeting the earnestly but deeply wrong people in the middle does nothing but further give oxygen and validation to those lies. 

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8 minutes ago, Hugo Stiglitz said:

The majority of the Republican electorate does not give a fuck about truth, integrity, or democracy because¬†they view the opposition as a threat to their ‚Äúway of life.‚ÄĚ ¬†They didn‚Äôt give a shit about Russia attacking the election because they perceived¬†the¬†effort¬†working¬†in their favor. ¬†They don‚Äôt give a shit how much Trump lies because he represents the preservation of their perverted¬†idea¬†of America. ¬†They only cared¬†about Benghazi because it threatened their perceived opposition. They view politicians¬†in terms of their allegiance to their worldview and Trump embodies their worldview.¬†

Bingo. So long as the vast majority continue to buy into the propaganda that "the radical left" is out to destroy America values (whatever the fuck those are) and threaten their way of life, everything that their side does is either ignored or quickly justified. it's really damn easy to sell disinformation and anti-democratic agendas when the "enemy" wants all of your guns, religion, speech, freedom, and especially money. Ends justify means.

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