[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

911- Flight 175 Was Not A Commercial Aircraft

Wall Street Journal writer Joseph Rago found dead in his apartment (34 years old)

WATCH: Cop Kills Unarmed Man for Walking Toward Him – Gets Job Back & Immunity

Veterans Turn To Marijuana To Ditch ‘Cocktail Of Drugs’ From The VA

Professor Rages "My University Treated Me Like A Criminal Over A Joke"

Did Elon Musk just confirm that the moon landings were faked?

New Hampshire Decriminalizes Simple Marijuana Possession, Foundation to Nullify Federal Prohibition

Anthony Scaramucci Expected to Be Named White House Communications Director

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer Resigns After Trump Shakeup

First of Its Kind ‘Food Sovereignty’ Law Just Legalized Local Food Trade WITHOUT Govt

“I’ve Done A Bad Thing” 5-year-old Girl Bursts into Tears As Cops Fine Her for Lemonade Stand

Police Devise New Revenue Scam by Citing People Who Forget to Press Crosswalk Button

Billionaire GOP donor calls President Trump 'an abortion of a human being'

Here’s Who Will Lament — and Celebrate — the Plummeting U.S. Birth Rate

In Landmark Move, GOP Congress Calls Climate Change ‘Direct Threat’ to Security

John McCain Is a National Treasure

Second Monumental Arch of Titus

‘Oh, he just died’: Teens mock drowning man in disturbing video

Body Camera Video In Minneapolis Dog Shooting Released

The good people that Vic talks about needing welfare

Michigan Man Told To “Give Up Some Of Your Constitutional Rights” In Exchange For Adopting Grandson

Court Rules That Employees Can’t Be Fired For Medical Marijuana

Court Says Gov't Has To Do More Than Say It Doesn't Believe The Property Owners If It Wants To Keep The Cash It Seized

Megyn Kelly’s Bad News Just Keeps On Coming. She’s Screwed.

US Lawmakers Seek to Throw Citizens in Prison for Decades if They Boycott Israel

Police Claim Damond ‘Ambushed’ Cops-Unarmed in Pajamas-Family Blasts it as ‘Disinformation’

DUI-E Law Now Makes It Illegal to Text, Smoke and Even Eat While Driving

Taking Care of a Friend’s Dog For The Weekend? Better Have a License, NYC Says

DOJ Boss Promises The Return Of Everything That Didn't Work During The Last 40 Years Of Drug Warring

Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow - West is making a mistake

Breaking: O.J. Simpson granted parole

Antifa Leader Arrested in California for June 2016 Sacramento Riot

Bad Leadership 101: Toronto Man Builds Stairway for $550 Instead of $65,000 -- and the City Blocks It

This Poconos Property Manager Helped My Family Keep Our Vacation Home—Until Pennsylvania Shut Her Down

Jeff Sessions Marijuana Obsession vs Trump’s Pledge

Storage Cubby “Criminals”

John McCain diagnosed with Brain Cancer

Big Military Spending Boost Threatens Our Economy and Security

Girl at lemonade stand threatened by a man who said he'd call police for lack of a business license (misterwhite or Gatlin?)

Former Speaker of the House Let Out of Prison Early After Raping Children

Innocent Man Freed After Cop Seen on Own Body Cam Planting Drugs to Frame Him

Jilted Dentist Calls CPS on Mom

Why Did the IRS Seize this Wedding Boutique and Sell Everything for Next to Nothing?

His parents said he just needed to sleep. A SWAT team came instead

Called IT! (Minneapolis Cop "feared for his life") Officer heard ‘loud sound’ before partner shot Minneapolis woman

Trump threatens to change the course of American Christianity

Haiti Official Who Exposed The Clinton Foundation Is Found Dead

The Newest Cringeworthy Trend On Social Media: MAGA Swimwear

Trump says time to ‘let ObamaCare fail’ after health bill stalls

Recent high school grad accused of multiple robberies


Status: Not Logged In; Sign In

United States News
See other United States News Articles

Title: In Trump Era, Many Political Activists Follow Their Leader, Not Their Principles
Source: Reason
URL Source: https://reason.com/archives/2017/04 ... ra-many-political-activists-fo
Published: Apr 19, 2017
Author: A. Barton Hinkle
Post Date: 2017-04-20 05:56:41 by Deckard
Keywords: None
Views: 101
Comments: 1

The reward centers of the brain light up when partisans reject information that contradicts their political preferences, the same way drug addicts' brains do.

Politics is a team sport, so it has always required a certain flexibility on matters of principle. But two recent studies suggest that, for many Americans, only one principle really matters: following the leader.

And the Trump administration is proving it in spades.

An idealized account of how we reach our political loyalties might look something like this: First, we study the issues, weighing the facts and the applicable ethical standards—liberty, justice, equality, fairness, etc. Having thought long and hard, we then reach a set of conclusions about the correct public policy. Then we look around to see who shares our conclusions. Finally, we align ourselves with them.

In one well-known experiment, political scientist Brendan Nyhan presented political partisans with news stories that contained incorrect information—e.g., that the Bush administration had banned stem-cell research. Nyhan also included a correction pointing out the inaccuracy. Partisans were actually more likely to believe the inaccuracy after reading the correction—a phenomenon called the backlash effect.

People seem to be hard-wired to act this way. Using brain scans, Emory University researcher Drew Westen found that the reward centers of the brain light up when partisans reject information that contradicts their political preferences, in the same way the reward centers of a drug addict's brain light up when he uses drugs.

This would be troubling enough if people were consistent in their beliefs. But they aren't. Far from it.

For instance: Four years ago, during the Obama presidency, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that just 22 percent of Republicans supported a missile strike to stop Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his own people. But a poll taken after Donald Trump ordered air strikes for the same reason found that 86 percent of Republicans supported it.

The same phenomenon has played out with regard to Russia. Republicans used to view Vladimir Putin with hostility, and ridiculed efforts at rapprochement such as Hillary Clinton's "reset" button. Since Trump took office Republicans view Russia more favorably than Democrats do.

Democrats exhibit similar changes of heart. Although their views are more consistent on Syria, Democrats' positions on a host of other issues have shifted markedly. The anti-war movement that had bedeviled George W. Bush largely disappeared when Obama took office, as did concerns about the dangers of the national-security state—even though Obama ratcheted up both the war in Afghanistan and warrantless electronic surveillance. As one research paper put it, "Democrats, who had been motivated to participate by anti-Republican sentiments, withdrew from antiwar protests when the Democratic Party achieved electoral success."

Even political identity itself is undergoing a shift. The Atlantic reports on recent findings by two political scientists examining the views of the conservative base. Grassroots activists now judge senators with very conservative voting records—such as Jeff Flake of Arizona and Ben Sasse of Nebraska—as moderate, while deeming others with moderate records more conservative.

The researchers posit that this is because Flake and Sasse have sharply criticized Trump—never mind that Trump himself deviates from traditional conservatism on a whole host of issues, from free trade to eminent domain.

If they're right, then many people now define conservatism not by a particular set of principles or a coherent political philosophy. Instead, they define it by the identity of the leader of the Republican Party. Since Trump is president, what he does is ipso facto conservative. Therefore, anyone who criticizes him—even from the right—becomes "liberal."

The phenomenon even extends to issues of morality. A recent poll by the Deseret News finds that Republicans and Democrats have largely switched places on adultery by public officials: "Today, 57 percent of Republicans say it wouldn't affect their vote if a presidential candidate had an extramarital affair in the past, compared to 47 percent of Democrats. In January 2016, the figures were nearly reversed, with 48 percent of Republicans and 64 percent of Democrats saying it wouldn't matter, the survey reported." That's quite a change in less than 18 months—and quite a change from the Bill Clinton era.

Not all partisans change their views so easily, of course. Many Republicans remain deeply opposed to Donald Trump, and many Democrats disapproved of Obama's warmongering and Clinton's tomcat behavior. But for far too many, holding the right view on a policy question is far less important than being on the right team—or being opposed to the wrong one.


Poster Comment:

For instance: Four years ago, during the Obama presidency, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that just 22 percent of Republicans supported a missile strike to stop Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his own people. But a poll taken after Donald Trump ordered air strikes for the same reason found that 86 percent of Republicans supported it.

Interesting - we have numerous examples right here at Liberty's Flame.

Post Comment   Private Reply   Ignore Thread  


TopPage UpFull ThreadPage DownBottom/Latest

#1. To: Deckard (#0)

If they're right, then many people now define conservatism not by a particular set of principles or a coherent political philosophy. Instead, they define it by the identity of the leader of the Republican Party. Since Trump is president, what he does is ipso facto conservative. Therefore, anyone who criticizes him—even from the right—becomes "liberal."

It's simpler than that, I think.

You see a lot of people who support a candidate or cause just because it pisses off the other side the most. You see people actually say this kind of thing "You know you're over the target when they start shooting at you", etc.

It's simple contrarianism and in-your-face partisan hackery.

And both parties do it, pretty shamelessly.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-04-20   10:32:36 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


TopPage UpFull ThreadPage DownBottom/Latest

[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Please report web page problems, questions and comments to webmaster@libertysflame.com