Two recent polls shed some light on the power of motivated reasoning, confirmation bias, and active information avoidance to keep Repubes in office, sell the middle class cheap to industry, willingly allow their hard earned cash to be transferred to the wealthy, and quietly die of avoidable cancers and other god-awful environmentally induced diseases. Even knowing as much as I do about how lazy the brain has evolved to be — shortcuts such as emotional decision-making, habitual regular behavior, and stereotypes save energy and time — it still defies reason. Let’s take a look:
The esteemed Larry Sabato from over to the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia reports their recent poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies to take the temperature of the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s voters. These are the results of asking 1,000 the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s voters online from 17 to 19 April.
- 70% believed the country was heading in the right direction! Seventy as in seven-zero seventy fucking percent! How can two seemingly intelligent well-educated people look at the same evidence and come away with two polar opposite conclusions unless some extreme cognitive dissonance and other mental gyrating gymnastics is mind-fucking one of them?
- Two-thirds (their reporting not mine) believe the economy is improving. This is the stupidest since in less than 100 days it is impossible for the president to have a noticeable impact on the economy especially since the economy isn’t not directly influenced by presidential policy.
- For what it’s worth, strong approvers of the Ol’ Pussy Grabber had majorities in two demographic groups: men and the high school educated.
- HALF blamed Democrats for the failure of the Repubic repeal of the ACA! HALF! It is mind blowing. My mind is blown. I will now go into the bedroom and wrap the bared lamp electrical cord around my testicles and plug it in. If this is the level of failure to engage that we’re up against, we are fucked.
- Another we’re fucked finding: 88% thought that media criticism of the Ol’ Pussy Grabber showed that the country was on the right track and 88% agreed that THE MEDIA IS THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE. How is this possible?
- One glimmer of hope: 19% were undecided whether they would vote Repubic or Democratic in the 2018 Congressional election. These people tended to be independent (53%) and moderate (37%).
- Did I mention, we’re fucked?
Over at the WaPol’s Plum Line, we get news of a Post-ABC News poll (conducted 17 to 20 April of 1,004 randomly selected adults over land and cell phones) suggesting that the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s voters are gobbling up his shit like it was chocolate and begging for more.
- 80% of his voters think the problem is that the media is publishing fake news!
- 69% of Repubes think the problem is the media is publishing fake news!
- 76% of his voters think that the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s WH does not make false claims!
- 65% of Repubes does not believe the BS coming our to the WH is BS!
- 78% of his voters think the news media regularly publish fake news.
- 70% of Repubes do.
- 84% of the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s voters think that he is keeping most of his campaign promises.
- 89% of the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s voters think that he is honest and trustworthy. Take a moment to scream into a pillow. We are so fucked. This is the dissolution of America as we know it. How can we co-exist with people so blind that they will sing the praises of a man who is literally fleecing them for his own enrichment?
The Ol’ Pussy Grabber repeating his accusations of fake news is having its desired effect. His base is questioning every news outlet except those that tell them what they want to hear. Repetition is the easiest way to convince someone of a lie. If you hear a lie often enough, you’ll begin to accept it as truth. There are two reasons for this: one it is because our memories will lose the details of where the lie was hear and any ancillary information like, that’s a fucking lie! and simply recall the lie. Since it is easily recalled, we reason, it must be true. This is called the availability heuristic. And two, repetition lulls our brain into assuming something is normal. If it occurs often enough without hurting us, it must be safe.
The last piece of this puzzle is the credibility or authority given to someone. If that person, like a parent, is lying to you (gaslighting), you’ll believe it. If you really really want to believe the person, then it makes it easier to dismiss (confirmation bias), argue against evidence (motivated reasoning), or actively avoid information to the contrary. While a child or spouse may not be able to do much about abuse, voters can.