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View Diary: Krugman writes on "The Ignorance Caucus" (67 comments)

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  •  I used to work with people like that (13+ / 0-)

    I used to work with people like that, politicians mostly.  I infer from your last paragraph that you don't think that behavior should be described as willful either.  In my experience, right wing ideologues no more control their impulse towards ignorance than they control their blink response.  

    While there are politicians whose needs are achievement and affiliation oriented, most of them, and all the "willfully ignorant" ones, are there for the power.  What is the point, after all, of having power if they can't tell a subordinate whatever it suits them to tell him/her?  It's why they talk about "believing in science" - betraying their fundamental misunderstanding of what science is and what their choices are.  I beat my head on those walls for years before I accepted that they are simply incapable of accepting information that contradicts their belief system, especially when the messenger is suspect and especially within spheres where they have authority.

    There are a couple of strategies for dealing with this.  The go-to play was to widen the scope of the discussion/conflict.  But there were others.  I always admired the ability of one of my co-workers to concoct utter bullshit as a response - ideas so nutty as to be laughable, and so effectively presented that the ideologue authority would be diverted long enough to let us do our job.  The nuttiness was a feature, not a bug, when appealing to a nut.  It was quite a talent.

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