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View Diary: I Finally Got to Talk to a Republican About Election Night (257 comments)

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  •  I beg to differ, and let me explain in what way. (40+ / 0-)

    You write that

    The Bob's are about as dumb as it gets.
    Several important people in my life happen to be Republican. I don't like it, and I don't agree with them most of the time, and they don't agree with me.  But they are NOT dumb.  They have blind spots the size of Texas; they rely on crappy sources of information. The sources of information that they access in the media are either bland and toothless or out-and-out-Republo-conservative shills.

    I suspect that what's really happening is that these folks, whom I love, want there to be easy answers.  FOX makes it easy for them.  Rush Limbaugh makes it easy for them.  Fundamentally, I suspect, they do not believe in their own intelligence enough to search any further. That makes me really sad.

    They may be ignorant at times, but they are not dumb. And they are, at least, respectful of people who believe differently.

    I am simple, complex, generous, selfish, unattractive, beautiful, lazy, and driven. ~Barbra Streisand

    by GreenMtnState on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 06:19:19 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry, You Just Hugely Contradicted Yourself (5+ / 0-)
      FOX makes it easy for them.  Rush Limbaugh makes it easy for them.
      With all due respect, anyone who depends solely on FOX and/or drug limpbaugh for their political education. information-- IS in fact very dumb, and lazy.

      and BTW, let's not go there yet again-- this is NOT the fault of reich wing media. numerous people were dumb ad lazy wayyyyy before FOX came on the scene.

      lamestream media is merely preaching to the choir-- to sell products-- to a choir that was already firmly in place.

      Numerous people in Bloggo world think getting rid of FOX, limpbaugh and the rest will magically solve this problem-- it won't.

      They may be ignorant at times, but they are not dumb
      I don't see the difference-- how is one better than the other??

      as comedian Ron White says: "You can't fix stupid".

      "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

      by Superpole on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 06:32:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I now have a bunch of very smart, (19+ / 0-)

      very rich, very conservative business clients. I agree: NOT dumb.

      Not really paying attention, other than to Fox financial news. They just buy off on the "47%" language, without any critical thinking.

      I am beginning to dialogue with them... gently.

      "I can't do it by myself. No president can. Remember: Change doesn't happen from the top. It happens because of you." B Obama, 2008

      by nzanne on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 06:32:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I had a chat just before the election with (22+ / 0-)

        the husband of a friend, who is a financial advisor, smart as a whip, honest, decent and successful.   He and I were talking about Romney, and he expressed his distress that Romney had bought into all the Republican social issue stances. This made him very conflicted about voting.  He said, "I mean, he's on the correct side of the economic issues, I think we can all agree with that, but he should just live and let live."  My eyes popped out with the suggestion that Romney's economic "policies" were clearly superior.  The situation wasn't appropriate for a political argument, so I simply agreed with him on the social issues part.  But I think that for many "smart"people, the fact that Romney made a pile of money in "business" led them to the assumption that his economic policies would be good for the country.

        “If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.” ~ Yann Martel

        by SottoVoce on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 07:46:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Financial Advisor <> smart (6+ / 0-)

          My ex-wife's father was our financial advisor and he made millions playing the market but also made some dumb as rocks moves that I refused to follow him on because I actually looked around me and saw disturbing signs that didn't make sense.  It became clear that his business gave him a different set of rules and a different level of risk than the rest of us.  Once he attained a certain level of wealth, he was pretty much assured of keeping it even with wide swings in the economy.  

          Ultimately, financial strategy boils down to extremely simple concepts.  Pay close attention to the giant sine wave of ups and downs which equates to periods of greed and panic in investors and the age-old concept of buy cheap, sell high.

          "A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism." -- Carl Sagan

          by artmartin on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:26:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Because your own experience and observations (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            artmartin

            of a particular advisor (or, indeed, any profession) has been negative, it doesn't follow that every single person in that profession is equally bad.  Also, I didn't say all financial advisors were smart.  I said this man is.

            The man I was describing is modest, decent, thoughtful and naturally conservative.  He doesn't really align with the description you give.  

            “If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.” ~ Yann Martel

            by SottoVoce on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:48:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  oh I didn't mean to imply (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SottoVoce

              that all financial advisors were dumb.  Just the title means nothing regarding their knowledge of economics.

              "A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism." -- Carl Sagan

              by artmartin on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 03:59:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Errr, How Are They Smart, if They (0+ / 0-)

        are not paying attention?

        Intelligence is not a requirement to become wealthy. and some wealthy people got that way merely because of inheritance; they didn't do a gdamn thing to earn their wealth.

        "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

        by Superpole on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 05:46:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Oh yes, they are. They sure are. (15+ / 0-)

      They rely on "information" that they want to hear, not facts that have been collected.  The great physicist Feynman said that the easiest person to fool is yourself, and Republicans make no effort not to.  To push aside information because it does not comport with the view that you would like to see, well, that's really dumb.

      They push aside Keynesian economics; it's been shown to work within the parameters of the Keynesian model.  They still believe in supply-side tax cuts; there's no evidence showing that they work.  

      They "believe" that creation and evolution should be taught side by side.  Now, if that is to humor a large part of their base, that is one thing, but if they think the jury is still out on evolution, and a certain Oval Office cretin opined, that's just plain dumb.

      They are the ones pushing "global warming is a liberal hoax", when more facts appear each day to document that it is happening.  I could go on, with dumb comments about birth control, dumb comments about lady parts, dumb comments about race, etc.  Mankind is still not that smart, there is plenty left to be learned.  Part of being smart instead of being dumb is to blot out dumb ideas from the past and replace them with new studies that reveal new knowledge.  

      But they can't do that.  They can't do that because they believe that traditional values and knowledge are the best.  They believe in "revealed wisdom", the kind of knowledge that religion is based on and not in science, which is an evil plot concocted by atheists and other godless liberals.  

      But what you said, that "they do not believe in their own intelligence enough to search any further" is what makes them really dumb.

      •  There seems to be a high correlation between (6+ / 0-)

        the sort of individual described and "believer."

        The ones I know, though my contact is slight now, tended to very strong belief, both religious and scams. They tended fundamentalist in religion, converted to Republicanism and very susceptible to scams, including repeated involvement in pyramid schemes. I've observed that casually among others and am no longer surprised to find some variation along those lines when the common thread is Limbaugh, Fox and TP/GOP politics.

        I avoid them like the plague now but still run into the "businessperson" with the political sign, the church connection and the everlasting belief that if they just "invest" in this ad avenue, what this "kick start your business" salesperson is touting they too will soon strike it big for a yacht and island home. I usually walk out as soon as I recognize the symptoms.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 07:51:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  My Right wing conservative scientist friends (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aitchdee, lazybum, mightymouse

          from college who are all tops in their professional careers are the interesting ones to study. They are amazingly intelligent in their field of work but their Evangelical mega church devotion is astounding. Yet they do not get the idea of cognitive dissonance. They just call themselve Republicans who believe in science too but wow they are anti gay, anti abortion, anti womens rights too and one is a woman !!! But the woman married right out of college and before obtaining her advance degrees..married another scientist but they got caught up in right wing churches even in college. I watched it happened, it was amazing to watch them get so caught up in these churches.

          Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

          by wishingwell on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:57:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'd be very interested in a better definition of (4+ / 0-)

            "scientist" there.

            What you describe is not consistent with a scientist actually applying scientific principle that extends outside a "professional" life. It is, in my experience, not common among scientists truly doing science. It is much more common in people applying science and even scientific method to a very limited and practical field.

            Thus you find a "scientist" supporting Creation Science, a geologist no less. What kind of geology? Petroleum geology. He was apparently quite successful in finding oil with the "theory" immune to all testing that the pollen and other signifiers of oil were all laid down in the strata of the Great Flood. He was not really a scientist at all. He was a glorified science technician.

            And by the way, "rocket scientists" are often not. They are more likely engineers and I've known a pack of engineers full of belief in crackpot religious stuff.

            I knew a time when real scientists usually professed faith. One did not advance well in even the research department of a good university by being openly not religious. Most, in private, revealed a "faith" that was really something else. Real science, testable, willing to abandon the most strongly held idea upon evidence it is wrong, curious is not easily compartmentalized into a profession. Cognitive dissonance is harder to find there.

            The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

            by pelagicray on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 10:11:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  one is a climatologist studying global climate (0+ / 0-)

              change but he is also a very devout Evangelical, but that started when he was a teen and he is now 6o.  He married a woman who went to a Bible College and I think she was very influential too.

              The other person calls herself a rocket scientist but she has risen to the level of VP of a major scientific research facility but she too is a fundy.

              These 2 people were fundies before they became scientists..I think there in lies the mystery.

              Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

              by wishingwell on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 11:48:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  my republican brother... (6+ / 0-)

        Thinks it's just silly ignorant talk when I debate him about economic policy. In his view "everyone serious is on his side", and it's just silly, discredited people who agree with me. It doesn't matter what I tell him, he's read too much stuff to change his mind - he has a logical understanding of "how the world works", and it's a nut you simply can't crack. Facts that don't support his world view are "exceptions" or simply outweighed by selective facts that do support it.

        He's a CFO, was a CEO... doesn't watch fox, or read WND, does read the WSJ, doesn't subscribe to the truly crazy wing of the Republican party... but he's absolutely certain of his economic world view - it's not even debatable in his mind.

        If we raised the top tax bracket to 50%, and the economy took off, he still wouldn't be convinced. It would just be "an anomaly" in his mind, and due to "other factors".

        Freedom isn't free. So quit whining and pay your taxes.

        by walk2live on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:52:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Golden Ages and Timelessness (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DuzT, The Nose

        They don't see that the bridges are crumbling because to them, the bridges have always been there.

        They see no reason to address economic inequality because there will always be poor people.  If they are working class or poor themselves, well, that's the way it's always been.  Nobody from THEIR circle ever went to college and got a degree and really "pulled themselves up by their bootstraps" -- and to suggest otherwise is to put unreasonable expectations into the heads of children.  (The ones who DID move up also moved OUT, and out of sight is out of mind...)

        They see no reason to make big changes to health care because they are sure that either personal sloth, "an accident," or The Wrath of God are responsible for all illness and disease -- and at that, only the ones that physically manifest in a way they can see.  They really don't believe in illness that doesn't make you bedridden, cause you to lose teeth, or require surgery to correct (for example, not a definitive list).

        They don't get that Oliver Twist and Charlie's family in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are literary extremes but portraying real conditions of the day.  They would prefer to think that it was all Tom Sawyer, and they long for the world of  Leave It To Beaver.  

        While believing in the timeless fixity of marriage arrangements, gender roles and the existence of infrastructure, they are also sure they are living in the Decline of Civilization Itself, and if they could only get back to the Good Old Days everything would be fine.

        Unfortunately, reality is much messier.

        "There isn't a way things should be. There's just what happens, and what we do." — Terry Pratchett (A Hat Full of Sky)

        by stormicats on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 09:04:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree. The comments below seem excellent (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenMtnState, where4art, stormicats

      in their true analysis of these many people:

      I suspect that what's really happening is that these folks, whom I love, want there to be easy answers.  FOX makes it easy for them.  Rush Limbaugh makes it easy for them.  Fundamentally, I suspect, they do not believe in their own intelligence enough to search any further. That makes me really sad.

      "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

      by glorificus on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 07:00:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have to disagree. (6+ / 0-)

      Having and maintaining blind spots and relying on bad information, despite evidence, is a sign these people habitually filter reality, are incurious and would suffer a Darwinian process if walking in the evolutionary jungles. Having a "blind spot" to the fact that several clan members died after eating that fruit is "dumb" and fatal.

      They may be lovable due to being in the "clan" but they can still be dumb as a bag of rocks. Got a couple of my own. Keep falling for pyramid schemes despite attempts to warn and educate them. Oh, they are right wing Republicans too!

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 07:42:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  People can be smart in one part of their life (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      harchickgirl1, aitchdee

      and completely clueless in another.

      I know plenty of geeks who are wicked-smart, but have no inter-personal skills. I guess the difference in that case is they're smart enough to realize this.

      Freedom isn't free. So quit whining and pay your taxes.

      by walk2live on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:42:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes not dumb as I know 3 right wingers with PhD (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aitchdee

      degrees, and two are scientists and one is a college professor. But they are most Republican right wingers because they got involved with a mega Evangelical church in college and afterwards.  I realize now, that although it was the 7os and they had long hair and acted like the rest of us, on Sundays they were still going to those churches for their folk music services. They were still drinking the fundy kool aid. The thing is , unlike a lot of my friends who got away from that following college, they continued on with it as most married their college sweethearts and went on with their careers but wanted to raise their kids in these churches.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 08:49:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What fields of science are they in? n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fixed Point Theorem
      •  Yes, and I worked with dumb PhDs (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sharman, Fixed Point Theorem

        They were smart enough to learn a body of material, and perhaps use it well and make a good living off of it.

        But they ARE dumb when it comes to things outside their specialty.  Like the PhD ignoramus physicist with pages of accomplishments on his CV who was shilling for the Koch brothers for a while.  In his mind, he was right and all the PhD climate scientists who had come to a consensus on global warming just hadn't figured it out yet. And surprise! When he actually studied the data, worked on it for a while, when he used THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD, he figured it out too.  

        I'll amend my previous post that say that dumb is not uniform.  You can be a board certified MD, a full professor with many publications, an architect, engineer or high tech CEO, but when you give up the scientific method for conventional wisdom, common sense, or what everyone knows to be true, you're just an ignorant dumbass.  

        And as Feynman said, you're only fooling yourself.

        •  my friend is a climatologist who believes in (0+ / 0-)

          global climate change and evolution but he is also an Evangelical. He says he just does not buy some of the church's science. He believes God created the earth billions of years ago and so on.

          Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

          by wishingwell on Tue Dec 11, 2012 at 11:51:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Stupidity (0+ / 0-)

      is a self inflicted wound, but easily cured.

    •  It's not something unique to Republicans (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paul Rogers, aitchdee

      I've known many Democrats who are also susceptible to the "easy answer".

      I think what makes the difference is the sellers of the "easy answers" just happen to have a larger bank roll on the right than they do on the left, so their "answers" get a lot more play in the public zeitgeist.

    •  That respectful part is iffy (0+ / 0-)

      at best

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