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View Diary: Science, “Epistemic Closure”, and How To Burst The Bubble. (43 comments)

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  •  I think it's all much simpler and more cynical (3+ / 0-)
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    sfbob, DBunn, MT Spaces

    than all this.  Appeals to philosophy and science and psychology to explain how Republicans got themselves into their predicament seem overblown to me.

    I think David Frum had it right.  There are groups within the Republican Party that profit from kookiness and failure.  They profit by:

    1) Power and influence.  
    2) Cold hard cash.

    There's nothing inherently left or right about that.  It's just plain failure.  The people who profit from this, like the AFA and Rush Limbaugh, are quite content to make quixotic pseudo-attempts at electoral victory because it doesn't really matter that much to them.  I suppose if you nailed them down, yeah, they'd like to win elections, but that's less important than making outrageous blowhard hateful statements attacking other people.  Anything from within the Republican Party that tries to temper and control the hatefulness of the statements is a threat to the source of their own power and money.

    In this view, then, individual psychology is irrelevant.

    •  I've often suspected as much (1+ / 0-)
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      Which is why people like Rush Limbaugh are willing to make guest appearances on shows like "Family Guy." They know that what they're saying is a bunch of bull but they have an audience that's willing to accept their every utterance on faith and that makes them money.

      It would be both funny and scary were we to discover that people like Limbaugh and Coulter, in the privacy of the voting booth, actually consistently vote Democratic (or at least privately acknowledge that their public utterances are complete nonsense) and continue to say what they say in public simply because it's how they earn a living.

    •  Corruption (0+ / 0-)

      I think that your theory paints you into a corner, and prevents any action other than out bidding the agents of corruption. You may be correct, though. How would test this theory?

      •  They exploit the hatred of The Other. (0+ / 0-)

        I don't know how you could prove that they're in it for the money.  That goes to their psychology, which we have to interpolate from their results.

        However, I've suggested many times that politics at the effective, practical level, is almost always a battle against The Other in one way or the other.  When The Other is blacks and hispanics and gays and secular Jews (as O'Reilly puts it when he condemns us, and gets away with it) or Arabs or Muslims or anybody from San Francisco, they get a certain type of person who is afraid of these Other people intruding on their all-white Christian cul-de-sac neighborhood.  

        Now, before you get snippy and suggest we never do that and we never should, let me point out to you that we DO do it.  For instance, the effectiveness of Occupy Wall Street was the distinction that it drew between the needs of the 99% and the 1%.  It wasn't done with the same vitriol and air of superiority and entitlement that the Republicans bring to it, but it did define us as separate political classes.  That's a necessary first step towards any kind of significant political change.  

        The left has traditionally drawn this distinction between Us and Them along economic class lines.  We shouldn't be ashamed of doing that.  At one point, during the height of the Occupy movement, Frank Luntz came out with a study that panicked him that showed that the language of the 1% and 99% was making large inroads and risked ruining them.  

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