Tuesday, February 28, 2017

How Conservatives Have Turned Out The Light

Post 2016 Election, it's as if we woke up in a pre-Enlightenment world. Trump and his genie Steve Bannon are medieval in their instincts and their sense of what people should be told by their master and what they should believe (always the same thing).

“It wasn’t Christianity, or religious faith itself in general, that helped make Republican voters more likely to be duped by fake news than their Democratic compatriots. (There were, and continue to be, lots of progressive or liberal people of faith.) Instead, susceptibility to fake news has its particular historical origin in Christian fundamentalism’s rejection of expert elites.” ~Christopher Douglas, The Annenberg Center, USC This article is worth the read. It goes into why conservative Christians are more easily conned than more progressive ones. At least in areas other than the usefulness of yoga for treating skin conditions.

Here's how the Right has rigged the internet, our knowledge marketplace, to steer the public to the Right. Do you hate when people finish your sentences for you? Google does this. When you type in search criteria it has a strong tendency to complete your thought in an angry racist or sexist way. From The Guardian

Why is it so hard to unlearn wrong information and false ideas and distorted feelings like hatred? Because they're written on our brains like tattoos. There are people who know this and exploit it. The New Yorker writes about this problem.

After carrying water for the anti-enlightenment side for decades, David Brooks muses about why the Enlightenment is losing out in the Age Of Trump.

Three reasons I can think of. 1. Stupid people are easier to cheat. 2. Gullible people are more obedient. 3. The rich Republicans who dominate our country prefer dumb, obedient people.

At Esquire.com Charles Pierce refuses to feel sorry for all the Trump voters who got tricked into voting for him and now realize Trump plans to hurt them.

Trump refuses to believe facts and expert analysis that contradicts what he knows in his gut. When he doesn’t like what he hears he demands reality be reconfigured to please him.

So instead of being guided by expert professionals American policy is being guided by the intestines of a man whose emotional disorders date back to his early bathroom training. Steve Benen of the Rachel Maddow Show writes about this.

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