Thursday, June 10, 2021

Meating Of The Minds

Not all Trumpublicans are brainwashed. Some are the ones doing it. It’s a question of which came first, the chicken or a horse of a different color.

Many scientific studies have confirmed that liberals and conservatives process information differently: reactions to tense situations; response to facts that disprove beliefs; which parts of the brain light up on scans when seeing stressful images. Consistently, they show that liberals tend to respond more rationally, more evidence-based.

Published in “Science Advances,” titled “Conservatives’ susceptibility to political misperceptions,” the latest such study summarizes, in part, thus: “… Results confirm that conservatives … perform worse at distinguishing truth and falsehoods. This is partially explained by the fact that the most widely shared falsehoods tend to promote conservative positions, while corresponding truths typically favor liberals…” [think climate change, election fraud, adenochrome, vaccines, “fake” vs. fake, BLM.]

Only hardcore science and statistics nerds will plow through it. Even more improbable is that people who should see it, will; much less give it serious consideration. But, by methods careful and transparent, the findings are well-supported. Given the unabashed preference for spreading and receiving falsehoods that characterize today’s Republican Party, tightly bound to Trumpism, the findings aren’t unexpected. It’s doubtful they’re remediable. Which makes trying for “bipartisanship” a fool’s game. 

An intriguing enigma remains: is this democracy-threatening dupability the cause or effect of nonstop disinformation? Did the decades-ago founding purveyors of it, like Gingrich aping Goebbels, deliberately create gullibility by bombarding their followers with so much untruth that they became unable to distinguish it? Or, like Karl Rove, did they recognize the preexisting defect in certain conservatives’ judgment, then exploit it for power and wealth?

Maybe it doesn’t matter. But if this blindness is connate, not created, reversal is fantasy. Either way, with deception being prevalent for so long, enlightenment seems unobtainable. Weirdly, the optimistic view is that what we’re witnessing, namely the majority of Republicans believing Trump’s election lies and other laughable but unfunny falsehoods, sprang from intentional manipulation by unscrupulous, democracy-rejecting, lower-sphincter-adjacents. At least that would suggest the possibility of rehabilitation.

Among other doubtful occurrences, though, it’d require old-school, honest conservatives regaining ascendency in their party. It’d require more Republicans (and two pudding-brained senatorial DINOs) choosing country over clout. And it’d require enough Trumpists to recognize that every piece of legislation beneficial to them is being blocked by the powers behind their own party. Which, in turn, would mean overcoming their mysterious inability to discern lies. Not likely. 

For today's Republican leadership, still prostrate before Trump, afraid of the radicalized, conspiracy-believing base they so painstakingly created, there’s too much at stake to let it happen. Because they have no positive agenda, and, given Trump’s failures, particularly with but not limited to his response to Covid-19, they’re determined to change the subject, by manipulating the aforementioned vulnerability. The insurrection wasn’t. Or was liberals in disguise. Or, as described with a knowing smirk by “President” Putin, to whom Trump consistently kowtowed, the insurrectionists were simply “making political requests” for which they’re being unjustly prosecuted. Right. Putin, Trump, Fox, OAN, and Newsmax.

Because a party without policy needs diversionary scapegoats, Dr. Fauci is their latest Hillary Clinton. He, not Trump, bears responsibility for America’s nearly six-hundred-thousand pandemic deaths. Waving the fascist playbook like Trump’s Lafayette Square Bible, Junior Trump joked about murdering him. Trump himself said there’s worse coming. Let’s not only forget Trump’s lies and inattention, his mismanagement, his mockery of people who cared. Let’s also erase his pulling CDC experts out of China before the pandemic, as part of his ineffective “tough on China” posturing.  

Another example: Because President Biden’s rescue plan actually decreased economic stress and food insecurity by forty percent, Republicans have supporters focusing on people still not working. How can such unquestioning acceptance of misdirection be overcome? 

Resurrecting his “Shower Me with Adulation” claimbakes for the wool-eyed, Trump, when not lying about the man who defeated him sound and certified, teleprompted these words last weekend: “The survival of America depends on our ability to elect Republicans at every level, starting with the midterms next year.”

He’s right. If, by “America,” he means the country where not all citizens have equal access to voting. Where the needs and political preferences of the majority are quashed. Where the means of escape from poverty are repeatedly blocked, lest taxes be raised on people who never experienced it and don’t care. Where lies are truth and the mysterious inability to divine the difference is explicitly employed, by their leaders and media stars, to benefit the wealthy few who control Trump’s Republican party. 


  1. Holy Trumpian crap, Sid! I think it's one of your best. I imagine that the Herald title editor will struggle with this one, given their recently expressed desire to even the keel of the Opinion page.

    Thanks for the link to the research. I'm anxious to read it through. For a moment I thought that I might send it to my brother (the one whose words I posted previously), but even if he were receptive his eyes would glaze over at the abstract.

  2. "Not all Trumpublicans are brainwashed. Some are the ones doing it."

    That's quotable! Brilliant

  3. Brilliant. Again. Wrapped in a flag and carrying a bible- an intentional design for the genetically challenged!!

  4. Very interesting that it appears some of funding for the study published in Science Advances was provided by Facebook. Did I read that correctly?

    1. Looks like it, sorta. I hadn't noticed. It says "Facebook Integrity Research Academic Workshop" which, one assumes, gets its funding from Amazon. What strings there are, if any, would be interesting to know. If Facebook and integrity are kinda mutually exclusive, if they're actually serious about it, that's good.

      And it's interesting, in that context, that the study has shown disproportionate gullibilty. Maybe it'll lead to more scrupulous oversight.

      Or not.

    2. My gut says they are serious enough. They are gonna get some strict scrutiny if the Feds have to step in. So they are launching an all out preemptive war.

      Determining the difference between fact and fiction and if they should change the way it feeds its users the same crap over and over. AKA, their business model. Outrage clicks. Print misinformation, then sit back and watch the fur fly as the world burns. A page click is a page click. A click is money made and paid to facebook.

      A 2 year ban on Drumpf is a joke. He should be banned for life in any sane world. Them clicks are important!

      So are they serious? In the same way all the greedy people do. "What's the least we need to do to make them shut up and go away?"

  5. "Only hardcore science and statistics nerds will plow through it. Even more improbable is that people who should see it, will; much less give it serious consideration."

    No truer words...

    "It's biased." That's what they'll say w/o reading it. And that's what the study tells us will happen. The people who need the most help are the most resistant. If they were forced to learn, they would. But left to their own, they are lost and getting further away from reality.

    We got people here claiming to be "D-democrat" who ALWAYS say, under ANY circumstance, "read this Bible if you want knowledge..." but in the same breath can't be bothered to read anything that's on the subject of the discussion at hand.

    Nopers, can't be bothered with give and take that doesn't suit their word choices or references or opinions or facts. That's strongly indicative of an alt right type according to all the studies, not just this one. AKA...Completely oblivious to any notion of fair play, common sense and self awareness.

    Turns out in case after case, the most progressive of us tend to know what's fact. What's likely or not. In other words...Who's full of crap and who isn't. Progressives have an acute sense of smell. And keen eyesight, progressives can see it coming a mile away, good, bad, indifferent, progressives tend to see it all, as opposed to alt righties who vote to take their own rights away while thinking their rights are being protected. Something as simple as wages for work.

    "Right to work for less" and "Corporations are people"
    How stupid do you have to be to believe that garbage, never mind taking the time off work or probably been out of work and still unemployed if they live in a red state and VOTE it into law!

    People who know can only lead you to the water.

    I watch and read a lot. It keeps me busy. I know a lot of stuff. I can tell you what FOX is talking about almost daily. About the same on MSNBC and many other outlets for news and info. No twitter or facebook ever, I repeat everrrr. It's garbage. You can get better services elsewhere, almost anywhere really. There's more, but simply having good study habits is critical imo.

    Keeping an open mind is not the same as zipping your lips when you see or hear something that's wrong. You don't politely nod in affirmation while looking for the exit. Stand idle while cops assault someone.

    Keep an open mind until you've decided, then continue keeping an open mind, but don't budge until real evidence says otherwise. There's usually a right and wrong. Not much in between. I love to play in the grey areas, but I camp in the black and white. I like knowing as opposed to not knowing, just name the subject. I constantly stop reading to find definitions of words. Even if it's a word "I know". Once in a while the definition is a teeny bit different than what I thought it was. Learn a pronunciation is another reason I'll stop mid article/video.

    The thing is I am learning daily. Not to be confused with rereading and rehearing the same crap over and over. I am all over the map in my interests. Alt right types seemed to be laser beam focused on the worst of the worst. I'm not sure how you fix stupid. And neither are scientists it appears. But they are trying.

    1. "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy."
      Three guesses where that's written. Four, if you guess wrong three times.
      What more needs one be taught? What more needs one be told? Is there anything else to learn? Is that too complicated?
      Sid's challenge of "only hardcore science and statistics nerds" was met by me. You? If you choose to investigate, realize there is an additional paper to download, and the article references no less than 33 studies, each worthy of much time.
      But, I get a kick out of the questions of the article's study; they require binary answer to M/F. Should that be allowed (?), if you are indeed, Progressive?
      Signed, D, truly D, though most Progressives aren't D enough for me. I've authorized our military to go git the Bill-ionaires. And it would be the perfect place for the disabled to show just how very able they are on the internut. Ready to be called up?!

    2. ...and...ouch!...45 studies! Unless I missed the 46th. Hey, I'm still working through them. It will take a week if I don't get bored, which, so far, isn't a problem. And if I get there, then there will be at least 2 who have reviewed it all (the article author being the first one). Anyone else?

  6. PART 1

    Mitch McConnell Shamelessly Says “The Era of Bipartisanship Is Over”

    Well? Where's the alt right? Please explain to us progressives how that is going to help 'merca? Anyone?

    Corporate bribes are flowing in cuz it's election time! These days, "election time!" is the day after the last election. Everyone is campaigning everyday. Meaning you need money and people everyday. So everyone wants to hear their stooges 'say the magic werds to gets the moneeee' early, before the primaries even begin. KOCH and the Heritage foundation et al. has gots to know right this second if you will be their lap dog because too many people go off the reservation once all that money is tossed around. And they are very insecure people who love control.

    But now we have dark money. Thus, now, today, you can strategically bribe without anyone being the wiser.(remember, there's no coordination between corporate donors and candidates)...It's an ala carte menu if you will. That way there is no 'lull' for politicians to think for themselves even for a second. Those little perks and the dark money trickle will turn to a drip then disappear instantly. Gotta love the immediacy of twitter!

    Now that Joe "The W.V. Bunghole Snake" Manchin is in the tank, Mitch can do what he loves doing the most. Smearing it the faces of anyone he sees fit and giving them that evil grin as he does. The alt right loves to spike the ball. Right? How great is that?

    W.V. voters are being screwed. Why are they not in a complete hissy? They voted for the Biden agenda overwhelmingly and sent Manchin to get it done. Why is there not outrage? I can assure everyone if the same was happening here, we'd be out in force.

    So sit and pout everytime Lucy pulls the ball away? For decades? Do nothing? Be nothing? Funny...All I hear is tough talk from these red states. Yet they can't even fight for themselves. They just want to lash out and redneck radio tells them it's those libs in Seattle that is bringin' 'merca down.

    Tucker Carlson the Nazi pied piper of Nazitown. Carlson barely plays his dog whistle anymore. Can't get an infrastructure plan through congress w/o fully funding the wall.

    How much more of a pathetic mess do these states have to be in before they clean house and quit biting the hand that feeds them? Specifically the generous blue state taxpayers.

    1. Joe Manchin needs to be investigated.
      Just like it was on que...Bribery as I described just days earlier. I must be looking into a crystal ball? *HEAD DESK*

      Help us help ourselves? Please?


    Naw...Be like Louisiana and Mississippi and sell your souls to the chemical and fossil fuel industries for a lousy job. Then die faster than anyone in 'merica. (Talking to you too southern Indiana/Mike Pence). Those KOCH industries and others are the richest companies in 'merca and pay no taxes. Sweetheart deals from govt., aka. corporate welfare. And their states are last in every single category. Seattle/Washington is the most livable and 1st in almost every category.

    Gee, I wonder what magic is going on their? I mean, they do everything wrong and are smug elites from the coast...says the red state tough talking ball spikers.

    Yeah, if blue state federal dollars stopped flowing out of our state we'd be way better off for sure. The fellow American in Mississippi would be devastated. Completely devastated. Mass homelessness. The economy would collapse on the heads of the poorest all the way up into the high middle class.

    What would happen?

    I am sure a few would use their last dollars to go to a blue state walmart and shoot the place up. But I think more would go to their own states capitals. I think they'd see the problem more clearly. Because it's not in our yards. The reason why progressives tell alties that they are a mess and it's all because of them and themselves alone. That's because it's the truth!!! They are doing it to themselves! A protest in Seattle has nothing to do with some other redneck state, clearly, because we'd have fixed it long ago. Thus Seattle/WA.  is the most livable, Louisiana and Mississippi are the worst.

    But hey, the gas, beer and ciggies are dirt cheap and that's all that really matters in the life of "Joe 6-pack". The day I can't afford my ciggies and beer it'll be war. Go take over a blue state park that's closed for the winter and beg for food because we forgot it. (Because they didn't have money is They were depending on their fellow red state people for support and got nothing. The libs sent sex toys. Lots and lots of large black rubbery devices.

    That right there should tell them it's time to change...But they won't.


    @4:14 you'll hear what Reagan's economic advisor thinks about the poor, minorities and the young.

    Not exactly a ladder to the top policy for the "job creators". It sounds more like racist oppression to me. Work shall set you free. Drive them back to the mines.

    It's another great Chris Hayes segment

  9. I suspect that the underlying reason conservatives do so poorly has less to do with ideology and more to do with their relative discomfort doing metal and emotional heavy lifting.

    Conservatism is mentally and emotionally less demanding. Complying with the powers-that-be and rejecting 'weakness' is simple and, once you accept the underlying premise of blaming the victim it is both self-reinforcing and easy.

    The logic works like this: Strength is rewarded and weakness is punished. The poor are poor because of moral/mental/ spiritual failure. Christian alternative: God rewards faith and punished disobedience. Secular religious alternative: The Secret/ Law of attraction. Economic alternative: Capitalism works.

    The dynamic is that because God/ Life/ Capitalism rewards virtue and punishes sin, the victims have brought their misfortune on themselves. As a result of this perfect system there is no reason to help the weak, or burden the powerful. You are not even required to care. Larger systems are going to automatically keep things right. It is both self-cleaning toilet and self-licking ice-cream cone.

    The message is that everything is working well. No changes are required, or desired. Unless the system isn't working for you. In which case you are told you need to get right with God/ life/ capitalism if you don't want to suffer.

    It all makes perfect sense until you notice that those doing well are no more virtuous than the lowest bums. That there is no meritocracy. That birth in to wealth and power is the most popular route of prosperity. That race and family are more predictive than talent, education or effort.

    1. Wow...great response!

      That's EXACTLY how it it. I have seen the studies etc. but as usual I've lived it too. The evil hypocrisy is what I will fight against till death.

      Those folks don't have a clue if they can't buy it or buy someone. Any actual 'living' is too much of a struggle. Too much of a hassle. Let nothing get in the way of my privileging. When the 'right path' is not as effective as cheating, then we cheat cuz' if you ain't cheatin' and hustlin' you ain't winning.

      The law is applied differently as well. From tickets to prison terms to custody cases, you name it. Being white and wealthy is good to be in those situations. The kind that can change your life forever.

      When it comes down to cases, most people take the money and shut up. Silence is easily bought. People of strong character are few and far between. Bullies who wear badges, don't even get me started.


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