TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2023
An anthropology lesson: Reading between the lines, we sense Kevin Drum's frustration:
What Republicans believe, 2023 edition
What false things do Republicans routinely believe these days? I'm not talking about wild-ass conspiracy theories like QAnon, or matters of opinion, like whether tax cuts produce higher revenue or CRT is wrecking our schools. No, I'm talking about simple, factual matters that are 100% contrary to expert opinion but are accepted routinely by most Republicans. Here are a few:
- Trump won the election.
- COVID came from a lab leak.
- Climate change is a hoax.
- Joe Biden took bribes from Hunter's clients.
- Masks don't affect COVID transmission.
- The FBI is engaged in a partisan war against Republicans.
It's true! Many Republican voters do believe those things. Anthropologically, one reason is this:
Such voters have heard those claims again and again—then again and again and again and again—from the "news sources" they've come to trust. Because they trust the sources in question, they assume that their statements are accurate.
Also, given the way our "news" is now delivered, many of those Republican voters have never heard a serious attempt to challenge such factual claims.
They only hear the claims which come from within the silo of the red tribe. The old Crossfire model, in which factual claims were delivered in pairs, is long since dead and gone.
For the record, widespread belief in unlikely claims predated the age of the silo. Back in the 1980s, many people believed an array of highly improbable claims claim about sexual abuse of children in various preschools.
As of 2002, many people believed the claim that 9/11 was an inside job.
We liberals are inclined to think that only the Others believe bogus claims. Also, why won't the Others listen to us? We're often inclined to voice some basic theories about that basic question.
We're often inclined to believe that the Others won't listen to us because the Others are racists (sexists / misogynists / homophobes / transphobes). Our question:
Could that be one of the darnedest things we humans are inclined to believe?