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View Diary: The Republican Party’s Willful Ignorance Problem (131 comments)

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  •  Thanks for continuing to try! (19+ / 0-)

    I really do think it matters.  I also didn't mean to imply that there aren't already people like you who are doing this.  This was mostly something I wrote for some of my extended family and friends and I thought I'd cross post here because I haven't tried a diary in ages.

    •  I have a few of (12+ / 0-)

      fact-resistant relatives, though not many friends of that persuasion. They are not stupid people, and they are not "ignorant" in the usual sense of the word (meaning unable to procure and critically evaluate information).

      However, they are willfully ignorant. I said that in a FB post to one of these relatives and naturally they all took offense, one taking the opportunity to inform me that that very evening he had been reading the classics. Well, that may be so, but you nevertheless are saying untrue things as though they are true, so I can consider you a liar or an ignoramus, and I choose the latter. It seems more polite.

      I feel like a scold at times when I post stuff on FB but having direct experience of this willful ignorance it seems important to put the facts out there for anyone who chooses to consume them. I won't argue or defend facts but I will make them available.

      I find that even among my like-minded friends there are sometimes fact deficits -- we're all busy -- and maybe reading a brief clip will clarify things a little.

      My own DH, who used to work in the news business and is still pretty interested in print coverage, and is also smart and good at reading comprehension, was misinformed about some of the facts of the Trayvon Martin murder. That's the sort of thing that makes me keep speaking up.

      •  It's very subtle sometimes. (4+ / 0-)

        Last  night our local news did a story about Trayvon.  The text was accurate but at the end they showed a ghetto neighborhood with a guy with a hoody and unleashed pitbull walking down the street.

        So now some who only see that story may think the whole thing went down "on the wrong side of the tracks", when it was actually a nice gated condo community.

        Stereotypes are hard to beat.

        Congressional elections have consequences!

        by Cordyc on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 07:25:49 PM PDT

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      •  Ask John Kerry about letting lies lie. (4+ / 0-)

        It is momentarily convenient and nonconfrontational to ignore the lies. But the price paid for Kerry was arguably the presidency. For ACA it was death panels, US bankruptcy, and the death of Freedom. Letting lies lie has given us the Iraq war, a depression, a declining standard of living, and a rapidly toxifying environment. That's a very partial list.
        Obama (finally) confronted the lies about his citizenship. And all but the hardcore haters were forced to drop that particularly pernicious lie.

        Confront. In whatever way you feel best, but confront. It is our duty.

        Class war has consequences, and we are living them.

        by kamarvt on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 05:58:44 AM PDT

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    •  you can't reason (9+ / 0-)

      with people that don't belive in reason.

    •  Excellent diary, but one small quibble -- (19+ / 0-)

      Here:

      Real democracy cannot long survive a widely uninformed electorate...
      That's true enough.

      But even worse than uninformed, is a deliberately misinformed electorate, and that is precisely what has happened to this country. The overwhelming majority of the hysterical, "Take Back My Country!!!" folks are not simply ignorant of the facts of recent history and events, and uninformed about the basics of economics and how government works, but they have been told lie after lie after lie -- and they've internalized all those lies.

      The "Obama is a Muslim" trope, for example, didn't come from a lack of information. It came from a lot of information -- all of packed with lies, distortion, innuendo, and just enough half-truths to lend it some credence with those who know just enough to drink the whole gallon of kool-aid.

      It's not enough to inform. We need to call out the lies, calmly but with persistence and patience, and show people the truth.

      And we need to hold every single yahoo who presents himself or herself as a journalist, or worse, a politician, accountable for mistakes of fact, or the outright telling of lies.

      Let's start with Mitt Romney. Just about every single sentence he has uttered in recent months is an outright lie. Everything he has said about President Obama is a lie. Said often enough, of course, lies become the accepted "truth". Swiftboating, unfortunately, works.

      Rachel has done a superb job in calling this out. But she remains, sadly, a very lone and lonely voice in the political and journalistic jungle.

      Silence is acquiescence.

      "But there is so much more to do." - Barack Obama, Nov. 4, 2008

      by flitedocnm on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 02:41:45 PM PDT

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      •  Does good information drive out bad? (5+ / 0-)

        I agree with you.  The average rightwinger isn't empty-headed.  Their heads are chock full of garbage that has been crammed in for decades.  Why or how they selected what to internalize is a question in itself.  These folks don't change their minds easily.  

        As a good-natured, well-meaning liberal, can I just fill in the missing information for a conservative, or explain to him why he reached the wrong conclusion and expect him to think and behave differently in the future?  No it won't work.  

        These are folks who have a lot in their heads but no critical thinking skills.  They usually have no knowledge of logic.  They run on emotions which crowd out thinking.  Fear, anger, resentment, hatred are what motivate rightwingers.  Once you understand that, you can begin to also understand what it takes to influence them.  

        "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

        by leftreborn on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 03:13:52 PM PDT

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