[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Officer in nurse arrest was reprimanded for sex harassment

Is anybody wathching Trump on TV?

Hillary Clinton: Women Only Voted For Trump Because Their Husbands Told Them To

Entire Volume of CIA Files On Lee Harvey Oswald, Set to Be Released in October, Has ‘Gone Missing’

Cops Execute Student for Holding a “Tiny” Multi-tool

7 Best Video Sites, YouTube Alternatives

Hobby Lobby’s ‘offensive’ decoration

America's Broken System: Left & Right Authoritarianism

Workmen Allegedly Find Bone Fragments of Saint Peter Inside Medieval Altar in Rome

"Shut down ICE!": Amnesty activists shout down Pelosi over DREAM deal with Trump

Hillary Clinton still wants to challenge election results

An Unworthy Pope

Hollywood is finished - TV ... in the sense they influence - steer the public --- for the exception of the uninformed zombie radical left communists Antifa types.

Video shows purse snatching from elderly woman in scooter at Burbank Ralphs

Profs: Boys are better at physics because they play ‘pee games’

NO AMNESTY IS A GOOD AMNESTY(Ann Coulter)

Trump Let a Kid Mow the White House Lawn. Idiot Asks: What About Child Labor Laws?

Kim Jong Un - Rocketman

Catholic Internet poster -God raised a lizard and a mouse from the dead because I said please. Claims God healed his broken neck and spine. Also says Christ does not treat Christians' diabetes or cancer. He let's them bear that cross, die

Biblical prophecy claims the world will end on Sept. 23, Christian numerologists claim

Should You Tell the Cops You Have a Gun?

WHY "FAITH ALONE" SALVATION IS WRONG! (From a Protestant)

83-Year-Old Grandpa Saves the Day By Pushing Suspect Off Roof

Liberals sick of the alt-left are taking 'the red pill'

My Father Died This Morning

Another Reason for the Electric Car Push?

The 28 States Where a Little Pot Can Still Send You to Jail

When cops commit armed robbery

How Bullwinkle Taught Kids Sophisticated Political Satire

Seeing Is Not Believing: Steel and Concrete Became Mid-Air Dust on 9/11

Rosie O’Donnell’s ex Michelle Rounds dead in apparent suicide

Praying repetitive words using Rosary beads is forbidden

Trump Extends Post-9/11 State of Emergency

The commie push leaves standing what it will

15 September 2017 Charles Spurgeon Devotion

Shapiro to Antifa: America is laughing at your inferior intellect, you know

Sweden Releases Sex Guide for Migrants Explaining Why Rape Is Wrong

Mayor: Investigation found arrest of nurse broke policies

Police culture questioned after phone recordings come to light

Tucker Carlson on DACA and Shamnesty

Trump Backpedals on Amnesty Deal After Massive Blowback from Base

Rand Worries Trump Has Caught ‘Potomac Fever’ in Pursuit of DACA Deal

A "Read-My-Lips" Moment for Trump?

"WHO AM I TO JUDGE A GAY PERSON?" says Pope Francis

Old Think

Janet Reno, American Saint

Curse of the Woke Conservatives

isn't time we put a stop to this?

NFL TV Ratings Slump Again

Report: Trump Caves on DACA, Wants ‘Quick’ Amnesty for 800K Illegal Aliens


Status: Not Logged In; Sign In

United States News
See other United States News Articles

Title: In Trump Era, Many Political Activists Follow Their Leader, Not Their Principles
Source: Reason
URL Source: https://reason.com/archives/2017/04 ... ra-many-political-activists-fo
Published: Apr 19, 2017
Author: A. Barton Hinkle
Post Date: 2017-04-20 05:56:41 by Deckard
Keywords: None
Views: 152
Comments: 1

The reward centers of the brain light up when partisans reject information that contradicts their political preferences, the same way drug addicts' brains do.

Politics is a team sport, so it has always required a certain flexibility on matters of principle. But two recent studies suggest that, for many Americans, only one principle really matters: following the leader.

And the Trump administration is proving it in spades.

An idealized account of how we reach our political loyalties might look something like this: First, we study the issues, weighing the facts and the applicable ethical standards—liberty, justice, equality, fairness, etc. Having thought long and hard, we then reach a set of conclusions about the correct public policy. Then we look around to see who shares our conclusions. Finally, we align ourselves with them.

In one well-known experiment, political scientist Brendan Nyhan presented political partisans with news stories that contained incorrect information—e.g., that the Bush administration had banned stem-cell research. Nyhan also included a correction pointing out the inaccuracy. Partisans were actually more likely to believe the inaccuracy after reading the correction—a phenomenon called the backlash effect.

People seem to be hard-wired to act this way. Using brain scans, Emory University researcher Drew Westen found that the reward centers of the brain light up when partisans reject information that contradicts their political preferences, in the same way the reward centers of a drug addict's brain light up when he uses drugs.

This would be troubling enough if people were consistent in their beliefs. But they aren't. Far from it.

For instance: Four years ago, during the Obama presidency, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that just 22 percent of Republicans supported a missile strike to stop Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his own people. But a poll taken after Donald Trump ordered air strikes for the same reason found that 86 percent of Republicans supported it.

The same phenomenon has played out with regard to Russia. Republicans used to view Vladimir Putin with hostility, and ridiculed efforts at rapprochement such as Hillary Clinton's "reset" button. Since Trump took office Republicans view Russia more favorably than Democrats do.

Democrats exhibit similar changes of heart. Although their views are more consistent on Syria, Democrats' positions on a host of other issues have shifted markedly. The anti-war movement that had bedeviled George W. Bush largely disappeared when Obama took office, as did concerns about the dangers of the national-security state—even though Obama ratcheted up both the war in Afghanistan and warrantless electronic surveillance. As one research paper put it, "Democrats, who had been motivated to participate by anti-Republican sentiments, withdrew from antiwar protests when the Democratic Party achieved electoral success."

Even political identity itself is undergoing a shift. The Atlantic reports on recent findings by two political scientists examining the views of the conservative base. Grassroots activists now judge senators with very conservative voting records—such as Jeff Flake of Arizona and Ben Sasse of Nebraska—as moderate, while deeming others with moderate records more conservative.

The researchers posit that this is because Flake and Sasse have sharply criticized Trump—never mind that Trump himself deviates from traditional conservatism on a whole host of issues, from free trade to eminent domain.

If they're right, then many people now define conservatism not by a particular set of principles or a coherent political philosophy. Instead, they define it by the identity of the leader of the Republican Party. Since Trump is president, what he does is ipso facto conservative. Therefore, anyone who criticizes him—even from the right—becomes "liberal."

The phenomenon even extends to issues of morality. A recent poll by the Deseret News finds that Republicans and Democrats have largely switched places on adultery by public officials: "Today, 57 percent of Republicans say it wouldn't affect their vote if a presidential candidate had an extramarital affair in the past, compared to 47 percent of Democrats. In January 2016, the figures were nearly reversed, with 48 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Democrats saying it wouldn't matter, the survey reported." That's quite a change in less than 18 months—and quite a change from the Bill Clinton era.

Not all partisans change their views so easily, of course. Many Republicans remain deeply opposed to Donald Trump, and many Democrats disapproved of Obama's warmongering and Clinton's tomcat behavior. But for far too many, holding the right view on a policy question is far less important than being on the right team—or being opposed to the wrong one.


Poster Comment:

For instance: Four years ago, during the Obama presidency, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that just 22 percent of Republicans supported a missile strike to stop Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his own people. But a poll taken after Donald Trump ordered air strikes for the same reason found that 86 percent of Republicans supported it.

Interesting - we have numerous examples right here at Liberty's Flame.

Post Comment   Private Reply   Ignore Thread  


TopPage UpFull ThreadPage DownBottom/Latest

#1. To: Deckard (#0)

If they're right, then many people now define conservatism not by a particular set of principles or a coherent political philosophy. Instead, they define it by the identity of the leader of the Republican Party. Since Trump is president, what he does is ipso facto conservative. Therefore, anyone who criticizes him—even from the right—becomes "liberal."

It's simpler than that, I think.

You see a lot of people who support a candidate or cause just because it pisses off the other side the most. You see people actually say this kind of thing "You know you're over the target when they start shooting at you", etc.

It's simple contrarianism and in-your-face partisan hackery.

And both parties do it, pretty shamelessly.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-04-20   10:32:36 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


TopPage UpFull ThreadPage DownBottom/Latest

[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Please report web page problems, questions and comments to webmaster@libertysflame.com