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  1. #1
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Default Why Nobody Cares the President Is Lying

    Why Nobody Cares the President Is Lying


    There's quite a bit to work with in that article (which anyone else is welcome to copy/paste here themselves), but I'm primarily interested in this:

    Perhaps just as important, it will be incumbent on conservative media outlets to push back as well. Conservatism should be a reality-based philosophy, and the movement will be better off if it recognizes that facts really do matter. There may be short-term advantages to running headlines about millions of illegal immigrants voting or secret United Nations plots to steal your guns, but the longer the right enables such fabrications, the weaker it will be in the long run. As uncomfortable as it may be, it will fall to the conservative media to police its worst actors.

    Does anyone agree with this? Not agree with it?

    I'm not sure I believe it. I want to believe that ultimately (actual) facts will win, but I'm dubious. Studies done by Leon Festinger are coming to mind. From Festinger's Wiki page:

    Festinger and his collaborators, Henry Riecken and Stanley Schachter, examined conditions under which disconfirmation of beliefs leads to increased conviction in such beliefs in the 1956 book When Prophecy Fails. The group studied a small apocalyptic cult led by Dorothy Martin (under the pseudonym Marian Keech in the book), a suburban housewife.[50][51] Martin claimed to have received messages from "the Guardians," a group of superior beings from another planet. The messages purportedly said that a flood would destroy the world on December 21, 1954. The three psychologists and several more assistants joined the group. The team observed the group firsthand for months before and after the predicted apocalypse. Many of the group members quit their jobs and disposed of their possessions in preparation for the apocalypse. When doomsday came and went, Martin claimed that the world had been spared because of the "force of Good and light"[52] that the group members had spread throughout the world. Rather than abandoning their discredited beliefs, group members adhered to them even more strongly and began proselytizing with fervor.

    Festinger and his co-authors concluded that the following conditions lead to increased conviction in beliefs following disconfirmation:

    1. The belief must be held with deep conviction and be relevant to the believer's actions or behavior.
    2. The belief must have produced actions that are difficult to undo.
    3. The belief must be sufficiently specific and concerned with the real world such that it can be clearly disconfirmed.
    4. The disconfirmatory evidence must be recognized by the believer.
    5. The believer must have social support from other believers.[53]

    Festinger also later described the increased conviction and proselytizing by cult members after disconfirmation as a specific instantiation of cognitive dissonance (i.e., increased proselyting reduced dissonance by producing the knowledge that others also accepted their beliefs) and its application to understanding complex mass phenomena.

    While it might seem overblown to compare Trump supporters to full on doomsday cult stuff- the point I'm trying to make is that "disconfirmation of beliefs leads to increased conviction in such beliefs", especially when a person is surrounded by social support from other believers.

    Paired with this (more from NYT article linked above):

    The Russian dissident and chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov drew upon long familiarity with that process when he tweeted: “The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.”

    Mr. Kasparov grasps that the real threat is not merely that a large number of Americans have become accustomed to rejecting factual information, or even that they have become habituated to believing hoaxes. The real danger is that, inundated with “alternative facts,” many voters will simply shrug, asking, “What is truth?” — and not wait for an answer.

    In that world, the leader becomes the only reliable source of truth; a familiar phenomenon in an authoritarian state, but a radical departure from the norms of a democratic society. The battle over truth is now central to our politics.


    Will actual facts ever start winning again? It seems to me like there needs to be a strong incentive for people to question the 'truth' a leader is asserting- what could provide that incentive?
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  2. #2
    captain steve williams Typh0n's Avatar
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    The problem is that Trump uses intimidation like so many authoritarian "leaders". Conservatives who disagree with Trump like McCain are in a really tough spot right now. Whenever Trump is challenged, he shows his true colors: he can't stand to be corrected, or rebuked. He sees himself as above criticisim. That's like some abusive manipulator tactics right there; whenever someone challenges you, act like it's your very person being threatened.

    And that is how Trump behaves. So I dunno. My guess is that America is in a scary situation right now. Like you say, people are exhausted mentally. People don't know what is true, and there is more truth in the accusation that the media leans left than there is in any claims of "alternative facts" being true. Yes, the media leans left and Trump supporters are right about that. But Trump is also factually innacurate in most of what he says. So while Trump's attempts at discrediting "the other guy" (the media) make sense, since the media should be questioned, but not to the point of being rejected in favor of non-facts.

    So yeah, people are exhausted, but people aeren't used to thinking for themselves either. I see nothing wrong with people questioning stuff, if an issue they are investigating is worth their time. So long as they are equally skeptical of what Trump says.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    While it might seem overblown to compare Trump supporters to full on doomsday cult stuff- the point I'm trying to make is that "disconfirmation of beliefs leads to increased conviction in such beliefs", especially when a person is surrounded by social support from other believers.
    Oh I don't know that it is (watch some Alex Jones videos). And I'm certain those Trump supporters looked at Obama supporters the same way. Why do you think they keep screaming that no one understands them and remain at a high level of angry even though Trump won the election? Because they believe they're thinking for themselves and don't want to be labeled a follower or in a cult. It's also why they feel Trump is an innovator. But I'm not confident about facts winning at all. At all.

    Here's a bit I saw over the weekend. Listen to these women closely.

    Women Trump voters praise the President - CNN Video

    One loves Trump's "transparency".
    One worries about American's judgment if they have issues with anything Trump is doing.
    They seem to have an issue with not showing up.
    Loves Tweeting - leaves out the media who don't back off and basically tells Marty that he's part of the resistance they don't understand.
    Stop demonstrations.
    Trump absolutely is "checking out" the voter fraud.

    I read this awhile ago but it's a good article addressing this sort of thing (have not seen the documentary). If you needed some proof that disconfirmation exists, here you go.

    How Fox News Made My Dad Crazy - The Daily Beast
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

  4. #4
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Typh0n View Post
    The problem is that Trump uses intimidation like so many authoritarian "leaders". Conservatives who disagree with Trump like McCain are in a really tough spot right now. Whenever Trump is challenged, he shows his true colors: he can't stand to be corrected, or rebuked. He sees himself as above criticisim. That's like some abusive manipulator tactics right there; whenever someone challenges you, act like it's your very person being threatened.
    McCain endured years of torture in a Vietnamese prison camp. I'm sure he can stand up to Trump, provided he wants to. I am disappointed to see so many of those traditional conservatives who repudiated Trump strongly during the campaign, fall into line behind him now. Whether it's being spineless or hypocritical, it speaks poorly for themselves as public officials or community leaders, and for the party and ideology they claim to support.

    Before the election I joked about the "Seven Days in May" option, which refers to a novel in which the Joint Chiefs of Staff plot to take over the government from a president viewed as weak and ineffectual. Such a scenario is starting to seem less far-fetched with every passing day of the Trump administration, though in this case they would be acting to remove a narcissistic, egotistic (is that redundant?), hotheaded charlatan.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...
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  5. #5
    captain steve williams Typh0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    McCain endured years of torture in a Vietnamese prison camp. I'm sure he can stand up to Trump, provided he wants to. I am disappointed to see so many of those traditional conservatives who repudiated Trump strongly during the campaign, fall into line behind him now. Whether it's being spineless or hypocritical, it speaks poorly for themselves as public officials or community leaders, and for the party and ideology they claim to support.
    Isn't McCain currently standing up to Trump?

    Though I guess he is pretty much alone, a few Republicans are stanidng up to him, but not many.

    I also think that many Republicans in Congress are simply just trying to work with the current admininstration, even if they don't like Trump. It's also dissapointing to see Democrats unwilling to work with their Republican colleuges, while I can understand disagreeing, simply walking out and not wanting to negotiate anything no matter what seem ineffective, at best.

  6. #6
    Meat Tornado DiscoBiscuit's Avatar
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    The Problem of Two Unreliable Narrators: Trump Versus the Media

    The public can't trust the media to represent the American peoples views (as opposed to the medias own views), and Trump is just an unreliable narrator.

    The medias job has shifted from informing informing the populace about the worlds goings on, to advocating for a political position, hence the lack of trust in the media.

    The article sums up all of this pretty well.
    Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
    - Edmund Burke

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  7. #7
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Typh0n View Post
    The problem is that Trump uses intimidation like so many authoritarian "leaders". Conservatives who disagree with Trump like McCain are in a really tough spot right now. Whenever Trump is challenged, he shows his true colors: he can't stand to be corrected, or rebuked. He sees himself as above criticisim. That's like some abusive manipulator tactics right there; whenever someone challenges you, act like it's your very person being threatened.

    And that is how Trump behaves. So I dunno. My guess is that America is in a scary situation right now. Like you say, people are exhausted mentally. People don't know what is true, and there is more truth in the accusation that the media leans left than there is in any claims of "alternative facts" being true. Yes, the media leans left and Trump supporters are right about that. But Trump is also factually innacurate in most of what he says. So while Trump's attempts at discrediting "the other guy" (the media) make sense, since the media should be questioned, but not to the point of being rejected in favor of non-facts.

    So yeah, people are exhausted, but people aeren't used to thinking for themselves either. I see nothing wrong with people questioning stuff, if an issue they are investigating is worth their time. So long as they are equally skeptical of what Trump says.
    I want to say, the problem is that Trump uses intimidation and (I think the even bigger part of the problem is that) people still trust him as a source of truth.

    The thing about people 'thinking for themselves'- even the smartest person among us hasn't figured out everything they know completely on their own. While some of us* scrutinize incoming information more than others- we all screen it through our own sensibilities and values for what to adopt as our own beliefs, and there aren't any of us who think entirely for ourselves. We have to rely on other sources sometimes- especially in medicine, child care, scientific fields, finances, etc- and we do the best we can in deciding which sources deserve the most credit. And social support often leads us to believe we're choosing the best source, when we're not (deindividuation).

    And I mean, there's always going to be a degree of spinning numbers around in politics. But....yeah, the stuff that comes out of Trump isn't just factually inaccurate, it's wildly factually inaccurate. Like, mentally ill caliber of factually inaccurate. And yet people still seem to trust him as a source of truth. IMO, it's a sad fucking reflection of the human race's ability to 'do the best we can in deciding which sources deserve the most credit'.

    *By using the word "us", I don't mean to imply I'm among those who scrutinize exceptionally well. I mean "us" in the sense of "all people".


    Quote Originally Posted by ceecee View Post
    Here's a bit I saw over the weekend. Listen to these women closely.

    Women Trump voters praise the President - CNN Video
    That was almost a wasted opportunity. There are so many better questions to ask, imo. I'd love to ask if they prioritize investigating voter fraud in US over investigating Russian involvement during the election (and dig further with some more specific follow-up questions), or what they think about Trump's preoccupation with attendance at his inauguration (again, specific follow-up questions- bringing in irrefutable facts used to estimate the attendance, like public transit use and whatnot). Or ask their opinion about the hypocrisy in Trump's tweets (the guy asked them about his tweets- but didn't specifically point out the tweets from when Obama won and how they directly contradict his own situation, or any number of clearly hypocritical or patently dishonest statements). If I had the opportunity to ask some die-hard Trump supporters some very calm, rational questions- on a medium that would be widely seen- I would not have simply given them a soap box on which to state their beliefs, I would have more aggressively challenged them. Not in an aggressive or hostile tone, but simply pointing out how their beliefs run contrary to facts and asking exactly why they don't believe the facts/what it would take to believe the facts are true. Like, "So why don't you believe the numbers provided by the public transit system, on the day of inauguration?"

    Overall, it wasn't surprising. It would have been surprising before the election, but now it's just disheartening.

    I read this awhile ago but it's a good article addressing this sort of thing (have not seen the documentary). If you needed some proof that disconfirmation exists, here you go.

    How Fox News Made My Dad Crazy - The Daily Beast
    It began when the filmmaker’s father took a new job that required long commutes and he started listening to right-wing talk shows on the radio on his drives. They turned out to be merely the gateway drug. As Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Channel took off and ushered in a new era of 24-hour news cycles and rabid punditry, Senko’s dad became more obsessed. He started sleeping in another room, leaving his wife in their bedroom, so he could watch Fox News all night.


    That's fascinating. The tone of that piece was a little too strong for me to entirely buy it- but that piece above alone makes me want to see the documentary.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  8. #8
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Typh0n View Post
    Isn't McCain currently standing up to Trump?

    Though I guess he is pretty much alone, a few Republicans are stanidng up to him, but not many.

    I also think that many Republicans in Congress are simply just trying to work with the current admininstration, even if they don't like Trump. It's also dissapointing to see Democrats unwilling to work with their Republican colleuges, while I can understand disagreeing, simply walking out and not wanting to negotiate anything no matter what seem ineffective, at best.
    Come on man, the Republicans and Democrats do this equally. Neither side is without blame here. I want them to put the country ahead of themselves, as they are public servants. That's never happened, on either side, in the history of ever so I don't expect it now.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.
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    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    That's fascinating. The tone of that piece was a little too strong for me to entirely buy it- but that piece above alone makes me want to see the documentary.
    I'd like to see it too. Since I read that piece, I've payed more attention to the people around me and I've seen the almost identical thing happen in a couple people. It isn't so much that they've radically changed their beliefs. It's that they don't want to hear anything but the rhetoric. On any subject. What do you do with that? I think that's the question the article and documentary is trying to answer.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.
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  10. #10
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Interesting:

    Franken: GOP colleagues question Trump's mental health (The Hill)

    Bernie Sanders calls Trump a ‘pathological liar’; Al Franken says ‘a few’ Republicans think Trump is mentally ill (Washington Post)

    This is something Franken said on an episode of Real Time With Bill Maher. I haven't seen the episode yet, but probably will (not a fan of Maher, but I am a fan of Franklin).

    ****

    In somewhat related news, I recently saw the suggestion (can't remember where) to get in the habit of saying "Republican party" instead of saying "Trump Administration"- as a way of baiting Republicans into feeling the need to point out the difference and explain the ways in which they don't stand behind Trump's administration. Something about it seemed just a bit slimy to me. But I do agree with this sentiment [by former Rep David Jolly (R-FL)]:

    To be silent is to be a follower, not a leader. And in silently following Trump, Republicans in Congress now own the fate of his presidency just as much as President Trump himself.

    In the same place I saw the above suggestion, the person further suggested people start referring to Trump as "45". That suggestion I liked.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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