More Scientific Evidence About Conservatives

Let’s take our recent discussion of healthcare as an example: We cite facts, figures, objective information. The conservative response; “America has the greatest health care system in the world” and “Why don’t you go live in Cuba.”

So we see anecdotal evidence every day that conservatives don’t live in a world of facts, they live in a world of pre-determined conclusions… and fear. Scientists Explain Why People Vote For Republicans.

Covering two scientific studies about political views, one of the things we’ve shown as rather obvious is that conservatives start with a conclusion and then accept only “evidence” that fits their original beliefs. Duh. We see it all the time right here!

One study started with the whole lie about Iraq and weapons of mass destruction. For the purposes of the study, they could have started with any story. Taking people who believed this trumped-up cover story for the pre-planned invasion of Iraq, the true believers were then shown evidence that the story was not true. This evidence included very thorough research papers and studies. More than enough facts to change anyone’s mind. But not conservatives. For them, they only became MORE certain of their preconceptions.

“This ‘backfire’ effect only worked on conservatives. Even when they varied the source of the refutations, it made no difference—corrections from the New York Times and Fox News both caused conservatives to believe the lies even harder. In other words, objective truth is dead, observable reality is a fairy tale, etc.”

The last poll I heard indicated that about 40 percent of Americans self-identify as conservatives. And as we’ve seen here time and again (and has been repeatedly proven in scientific studies) conservative=fact-free.

Or put another way, America is almost certainly doomed. I’d like to think better – I really would. I’d like to believe that facts and reality DO eventually penetrate the conservative mind; it just takes a lot longer.

At least give me that!

2 thoughts on “More Scientific Evidence About Conservatives

  1. DJ Ian

    Query: should liberals tolerate conservatives or pigeonhole them as “fact-free”?

    It’s a more complicated question than one might think…. In the traditional meaning of ‘conservative,’ the use of ‘fact-free’ is pure hyperbole. And of course within the context of a blog, hyperbole isn’t just an option – it’s God’s law. Anyone who reads blogs on a regular basis should understand that.

    If we were talking about traditional Barry Goldwater conservatives I wouldn’t have a problem with them, really – and it isn’t ‘tolerance’ in that case; rather I find that I can have a decent conversation with real conservatives like that and actually enjoy it.

    On the other hand, we have something else going on in America: There is a solid minority in America that could be rightly-classified as lunatic right-wing extremists who have managed to adopt the mantle of ‘conservative’ with the help of mainstream pundits and politicians. Now that group is truly fact-free, and basically exists to make-up and repeat ridiculous claims and accusations. They have become the face of the American conservative movement.

    I don’t like it, but it isn’t my fault. The official spokespeople for American conservatism have elevated these fringe nutjobs to the mainstream.
    Example: FBI says right-wing groups are planning violence – ‘conservative’ radio and television hosts go ballistic claiming that this is an attack on conservatives.
    Example: Many people rightly decry the intentional shutting-down of discussion in town halls by extremists who are there only to shout and prevent dialog – conservative radio/television hosts and Republican politicians can’t wait to get on camera/microphone to call this very proper criticism an attack against free speech.

    I’m sure you can come up with a thousand other examples by combing press releases; the bottom line is that conservative pundits and politicians have legitimized and mainstreamed their own extremists and now they have to pay the price of being lumped in with them. They did it to themselves.

  2. David Black

    Liberalism hasn’t done you any good, has it, Bob? Look at you, you’re an unemployed failure with nothing to show for your life but some silly bits you did on the radio. Oh, that’s right, you once interviewed Andy Kaufman. That’s Nobel Prize stuff right there.

    By the way, Bob, my family were conservative Jews who built up a clothing manufacturing business for over forty years in Manhattan and sold it for eight figures in the 1980s.

    Not once did their hearts bleed for anyone but their own flesh and blood. So suck on that, bubbie.

    David Black

    Ah, so your parents were selfish, self-centered assholes and you’ve grown up to be just like them. Congratulations. Too bad they reproduced, though; the last thing the world needs is more people like that.

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