I've been a liberal activist since I was a kid. My parents were politically active, tho it was mostly my mother, She was an activist in the 60's for women's rights and racial equality and she took me everywhere she went. I've grown up seeing this and participating in demonstrations and going to rallies. I've witnessed this frustration first hand, feeling it time and again. I could never really understand why "they" couldn't see what was true, what are undisputed facts. Even when I was younger, I would debate and argue with my opponents. I would consed points when I felt it was right and fair and talk myself blue on points I absolutely knew were fact and true. But, still they would not budge, not on anything. Ever.
I have noted these past several weeks/months/years mounting frustration in the liberal/progressive arena towards the President, the Republicans, the media. It's been going on a very long time. Every election cycle we see this frustration and the ideological divide grows even deeper and the frustration at times, becomes almost unbearable and so many of us are left scratching our heads in awe and wonder at the sheer stubbornness and lack of thoughtful consideration of facts on topics from evolution, global warming, women's rights, racial hatred to Republican tax plans that don't make mathematical sense.
I'm a grown woman now with 3 boys, one getting ready to turn 21 in a few days, I've been married for 22 years and I feel I've matured a great deal. I don't argue anymore with the opposition. It's like talking to a wall. Now that's not to say that all Republicans are stupid, far from it. But let's face facts here, the Republican party is not what it once was. There was a time before the NeoCons and this new severe conservatism that Republicans were a viable party with ideas and some great leaders.
A study came out a few months back on a topic of "Low Effort Thinking". It's something I've suspected for quite sometime now. It links conservative ideology and lower IQ's. It seems a significant group of people engage in low effort thinking. The study was conducted by University of Arkansas professor Scott Eidelman and his colleagues, and published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
Boiled down, thinking about stuff is hard. Jesus take the wheel! It's just plain easier for these folks to think and live this way, even though the people they put their lives and way of life in the hands of, will harm them. You have basically two groups within the conservative party. The 1% types with money, education and a hunger for power and their constituents, who in many cases are uneducated and poor, working poor and rural. The masters of the party use simple little catch phrases, invoke religious buzz words and tap into these people's fears and stereotypes. Then it all gets shored up by peer pressure, work environment and the constant effort of the right to dumb down the population at large. We see evidence of this all the time. Part of the conservative agenda is to cut funding to education and the arts, remember Mitt Romney's comment about cutting the funding to PBS, cutting PELL grants and slashing the budgets on Art programs during the debate. We've also seen past attempts to create school voucher programs and home schooling for religious reasons is at an all time high.
We've also seen the demonetization of being educated, progressive and liberal. It's no coincidence that democrats are usually better educated and politically informed. We care about social justice, we don't mind paying our fair share, we want to look after the most vulnerable among us. We care deeply about education and the arts, we care about our environment and we feel these things on a global scale. We are a diverse lot of all creeds and colors.
I think the best thing we can do is reach out to one another, make sure more dems make it to office, by more dems turning out to vote. Trying to change closed minds is just akin to swinging at windmills. It takes effort and thought, but that my friends we have on our side. It's our greatest strength. It won't be easy, but nothing worth achieving ever is.