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Discussion (21)¬

  1. WalterWalcarpit says:

    Amazing indeed.
    This morning via YouTube I watched a spoof of the US presidential debate and then followed a link to the real one.
    I cannot for the life of me understand how it has come to this. And genuinely fear for what might happen next.

  2. jean-françois gauthier says:

    sadly, i don’t think anyone of us feels like asking. in what alternate universe will we have to live to think about something else? will even religion be enough of an alternate universe?

    and it’s not just the united states, it’s headed to france (juppé-le pen, now that promises to be an interesting runoff), and turkey, hungary, and poland already have a nice taste of it, and italy has grillo, humorist-with-a-penchant. i can’t wait to hear people say that they voted for him because they “wanted to send a message” and never thought he would actually be elected. you know, a boris type of hangover.

    atheists are so pessimistic!

  3. Matt says:

    Nicely circular. Incidentally, I saw an amusing cartoon today: “I’m not religious, but I am spiritual. I believe in recent nonsense.”

  4. JoJo says:

    Sorry, I”m lost. Is this about Trumo or Corbyn..?

  5. E.A. Blair says:

    The only time Donald Trump settled for second-best was when he heard that honesty was the best policy.

  6. Ah, the Donald even gets appreciated outside of the untied states. Comedians are having a field day. Nothing more fun than “I didn’t say that.” followed by a video clip of him saying that. Pass the popcorn, eh.

  7. Michael says:

    American conservatives have an intellectual superstructure that exists almost solely to provide backup for conservative beliefs. Facts contrary to Republican logic are derided as “politically correct” when they’re acknowledged at all. This has created an electorate that doesn’t really care about facts anymore—or, at least, is convinced that they aren’t worth worrying about since the facts are so plainly on their side. So along comes Donald Trump, the ultimate fact-free salesman, and it should be no surprise that the Republican base is fine with him. They’ve been trained for decades not to be concerned about trivia like telling the truth.

    Fox News and talk radio encouraged this thought process. Rush Limbaugh and his ilk owe their popularity to the fact that they channel their listeners’ views, but they’ve also influenced them over the years. It’s a vicious circle, Limbaugh et al and their audience basically egg each other on. The Rush/Fox/Drudge axis has had a big influence on the conservative movement. It’s created a take-no-prisoners style of conservatism that disdains facts, encourages conspiracy theories, creates secret enemies around every corner, rails against compromise of any kind, and insists that conservatives could win if only their leaders were strong enough.

    Republicans created a field that turned out to be fertile ground for someone like Donald Trump and guess what? They got someone like Donald Trump.

  8. UncoBob says:

    Methinks, Author, that you speak in parables. Could be about one pollie or another., or perhaps how some ‘know’ the truth of their religion. Much depth in this episode. Keep it up, and we’ll have you annointed a prophet, which in one case led to a very uncomfortable Easter.

  9. Theo H says:

    Hi Michael,

    Thank you for eloquently expressing what I have been saying (generally not so clearly) to colleagues and friends for a while. As you indicate, I think an important lesson is that if we let things slide (i.e. not picking up on sloppy thinking) it ends up where we are suddenly wondering how we got here (e.g. Trump possibly being president or any similar event)… and hence the importance of pushing critical thinking at the expense of being labelled a killjoy, pedant, not appreciating the beauty of the world etc.

    I remember, some many years back now, having an argument with the Chaplain at our School (I was a final year student). He could not understand why I was arguing against religion – I was trying to explain the importance of thinking “straight”, he somehow couldn’t understand how one could break down the mechanisms of love, flowers etc. and still love, see the beauty in flowers etc. As well as trying to explain how understanding the biochemistry in the body (for example) to me made the concept of love even more amazing… but I was also trying to get across the importance of thinking in a way such that we discovered these things… i.e. evidenced based, critical thinking… if one doesn’t, one can justify anything, if one doesn’t have to rely on evidence and think critically, one ends up with Trump etc.

    It’s like the old division by zero in maths. If one allows division by zero one can prove anything!… and maths breaks down. If people rely on their wishful thinking they open the doors to anyone’s wishful thinking and it will often not accord with theirs e.g. Republicans turning on their own party in unprecedented numbers.

  10. Henry ford says:

    Mr Michael. Not just American conservatives. Our local ones here in the U.K. Do just the same . After all, the nincompoops voted to leave Europe just because they don’t like Jonny foreigner. Stuff any cultural or economic arguement…. Trumpery is alive and well in the U.K.

  11. plainsuch says:

    People who are dependent on emotional reasoning are susceptible to conservative and/or religious dogma. In my experience they tend to vote based on their likes and dislikes. They will follow a leader that projects boldness and self-confidence, especially if they are frightened. Six corporations now control 90% of US media and they work hard to keep everyone distracted but frightened.
    If you try to talk about real facts they are usually resentful because they can’t back up their beliefs with facts nor do they care to. They are likely to assume that you are just trying to prove you are smarter than them.

    People relying on logical reasoning do care about facts and are susceptible to the belief that everybody else does too. If they’re immersed in constant religious instruction or corporate media bias they can be misled, but, they are able to experience cognitive dissonance and can learn from it. They tend to vote for what they consider to be the better qualified candidate and assume that everybody else will put the good of society above their own personal emotions. They tend to assume that if we all discuss the facts rationally we can find common ground.

    The oligarchs here in the US seem to know how to play these two groups against each other to keep themselves in charge. Just like our Southern Aristocrats have keep themselves in power for 150 years by playing the poor whites against the poor blacks.

  12. plainsuch says:

    Yes, I know. There are two kinds of people in the world. The kind who think there are two kinds of people, and the kind who know it’s more complicated than that.

  13. pink squirrel says:

    Trump is a self made man

  14. Suffolk Blue says:

    This recent disdain for facts in politics is frightening. It’s not just lying (when have politicians ever done that, eh?) … it’s the contempt for the need for facts.

    Michael Gove – this country has had enough of hearing from experts.

    Donald Trump – I like uneducated people.

  15. plainsuch says:

    How does that reasoning work if a dishonest media is portraying an arrogant, deluded liar in a distorted way that advances their own agenda; while the grandiose liar is dishonestly presenting himself in a way that entices the media to advance his agenda.

  16. Plainsuch, the interesting thing is that the “distortion” done by the media consists almost entirely of video clips of the subject saying disgusting things. It’s a very effective method of distortion, since the poor victim can’t even deny that he said it…oops. Scratch that. He usually does deny that he said it, or claims that it was taken out of context, or claims that it was totally justified. “She gained a lot of weight. That was a real problem.” (So I publicly shamed her and called her Miss Piggy. What else could I do?)
    And the edit function has returned. Hurray. Thanks, Author.

  17. plainsuch says:

    But, the disgusting things he says are all plagiarized from AM radio shows. The media give him free advertising because a large audience waits to see what he will say next. They make a profit selling that audience to their advertisers. He’s always been an arrogant delusional rich brat that that believes he does no wrong, because, he could fire, sue or buy off anybody that disagreed.

  18. postdoggerel says:

    “Dear God, let me be damned a little longer, a little while.”
    – William Faulkner, Light in August

  19. postdoggerel says:

    to celebrate the coming inaugural
    there’s a big steaming pile of my doggerel
    for the donald to eat
    when he suffers defeat
    but if not, it’s bound to be bugger all.

    with the worst of my verses redacted
    and the donald’s ascendance enacted
    we’ll know in our guts
    with no ifs ands or buts
    we’ve all been severely impacted.

  20. smartalek says:

    They [conservatives] are likely to assume that you are just trying to prove you are smarter than them.”

    Well, they get at least one thing right…
    (That we are smarter, NOT that we are just trying to prove same when we attempt to argue with them.)

  21. postdoggerel says:

    if you’re wondering, like me, how alas,
    christians could give trump a pass,
    the best clue that you’re liable
    to find in the bible;
    the infernal jawbone of an ass.


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