belief, faith, and truth in electoral political Name Brands
A dozen years ago a friend who was teaching at a multi-disciplinary college (economics, philosophy, psychology, etc.) in Switzerland laughed about a study that demonstrated that people think that the things they believe...are true. Now run that my in your noggin for a few ticks...and see if you chuckle.
Now we all have cognitive biases, but sometimes we can tell that our opinions...are simply that.
Bingling, I hadn’t found a similar study, but one psychology site showed that we believe what we what to believe, as above. While The Truth is a moving target, especially scientific truths, there are also Facts at play in electoral political Brands, and my contention is that many of us tend to Trust The Brand, rather than dig deeper into it, or even discard annoying counterfactuals (past votes, Tweets, and other statements).
Where does Faith enter into the picture? I suppose I see it in the almost religious Fervor with which so many folks here at C99% promote their favorite candidates and already elected officials.
Case in point: I recall seeing one C99% denizen ask recently, ‘Are there any AOC doubters here?’ It almost made me cry, although I decided not to comment in this way: ‘I'm a Doubter, and if Barack Obomba hadn’t taught you to doubt first, then verify later with more facts, Tweets, and statements!’. And yet Gallup says that in Jan. 2017 Obomba’s approval rating was 59%, and among *blacks (however that was determined) was a whopping 84% in 2014!
That mind-boggling homage, while blacks were the most likely to have suffered financially under his rule post-meltdown and the subprime mortgage scandal...and few citizens among the 95% of any skin hue have ever recovered. Never mind that Obomba should be in the Hague Prison for his war crimes, as should Trump and the past four Presidents before them...
But onward: How many times have I heard here exclamations such as ‘But she has to keep her powder dry for now!’ or ‘He/she had to say that, vote that way or else not get elected or maybe even be be JFKed!’ as many used to say about Obomba. Me, I admire verisimilitude in candidates above all else, as in: ‘If ya can’t take the heat, stay the fuck outta of the kitchen’.
For instance, if I showed you a recent photo of one of the two putatively antiwar candidates here smiling alongside of some Syrian White Helmets, would you dismiss it, excuse it, or just not factor it in to your admiration and promotion? Should the candidate have known exactly who that egregious, head-chopping, staged ‘emergencies and gas attacks’ group is? What about ‘war by other means’, as in egregious sanctions in attempts to promote internal over-throws of a ‘regimes’ ruler for bad behavior?
Similarly, if your favorite progressives had signed a letter to Mafioso Thug Pompeo criminalizing the Maduro ‘regime’ by lies innuendo, and despicable smears, yet claimed ‘no regime change’, but actually setting up VZ up for another US-led R2P project (while claiming not to be), would that create any cognitive dissidence for you?
I should stop here and say that I totally understand that I may be an extreme outlier at C99%, as my top issue is Anti-imperialism, without which required US global hegemony™, capitalism would be hollowed out fairly quickly, or at least I’d hope.
If I demonstrated a Tweet by one of the DSA squad Reps showing her homage to Madeline Albright, and one from March 2019 of her horror at the 8 years of Assad’s repressive dictatorship, would that resonate or...not?
Or from another DSA Rep ‘s Tweet about John McCain: ‘John McCain’s legacy represents an unparalleled example of human decency and American service’, or her vote for Trump’s War Budget in 2019, or voting for ‘the Defense of NATO’ (thus Africom as well) bill (as if Nato needs any ‘defense’), while another anti-war Rep. just hadn’t voted, but a Senate Presidential candidate had voted for it.
On Iran? As of April, 2019, both ant-war candidates were very anti-Iranian, both echoing Pompeo and Trump in many ways: bad behavior, in search of a nuclear weapon, etc., one calling for ‘no military action, at least for now’.
Now whose campaign would have responded to questions to Presidential candidates posed by the NYT in these ways?
Question: Would you consider military force to pre-empt an Iranian or North Korean nuclear or missile test?
Question: Would you consider military force for a humanitarian intervention?
On the assassination of Quassem Soliemani:
Answer: Clearly there is evidence that Soleimani was involved in acts of terror. He also supported attacks on US troops in Iraq. But the right question isn’t ‘was this a bad guy,’ but rather ‘does assassinating him make Americans safer?’ The answer is clearly no.
Question: If Russia continues on its current course in Ukraine and other former Soviet states, should the United States regard it as an adversary, or even an enemy?
Question: Should Russia be required to return Crimea to Ukraine before it is allowed back into the G-7?
Question: President Trump’s national security strategy calls for shifting the focus of American foreign policy away from the Middle East and Afghanistan, and back to what it refers to as the ‘revisionist’ superpowers, Russia and China. Do you agree? Why or why not?
Answer: Despite its stated strategy, the Trump administration has never followed a coherent national security strategy. In fact, Trump has escalated tensions in the Middle East and put us on the brink of war with Iran, refused to hold Russia accountable for its interference in our elections and human rights abuses, has done nothing to address our unfair trade agreement with China that only benefits wealthy corporations, and has ignored China’s mass internment of Uighurs and its brutal repression of protesters in Hong Kong. Clearly, Trump is not a president we should be taking notes from.
Questions on Israel:
Answer: I support the continuation of the current level of US military and civilian aid and oppose the immediate return of the US embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.
Would your faith in your favorite putatively anti-war candidates cause you any discomfort, or might you posit that as the responses came from the candidate’s campaign, and not the candidate him/herself, thus not probative in terms of policy positions? If I were to show you a photo of the leader of the Hong Kong resistance with one on the main Al Qaeda White Helmets, would that mean anything to you? It sure did open my eyes to the possibility that he’s CIA.
And again, I do understand that anti-war, anti-Imperialism are not the only factors for many in support for Presidential candidates, nor admiration for the DSA ‘squad’. For many, domestic issues are far more pressing.
My solipsistic evidence? I’d posted ‘Nuclear Madness Rising’ post-Iowa caucuses, and it had caused barely a blip in The Force. ; )
How much do Presidents matter? Would your choice/s be different than the last five? Isn't the next Presidential election always the most important one?
And by the way: Happy ♥ Valentine’s Day!
(cross-posted at Café Babylon)