Americans Disdain for Facts

Americans Disdain for Facts

            Robert A. Levine    July 5, 2023

Is it our school systems? Is it our water? Is it our concept of equality, that every man’s knowledge

and store of information is the same and worthy of attention? Such a large proportion of our citizens refuse to believe experts and look down on scientists. Conspiracy theories and bald-faced lies flourish and the facts languish. And this disdain for what is true and scientifically proven is just as prevalent on the left as it is on the right. Disregard the facts. Don’t believe accepted data in science and medicine, but what Tom so and so says. He has two million followers on Facebook so he must know what he’s talking about. Don’t people think for themselves any more, or do they merely mirror popular trends and influencers who tell that what to think. Even bizarre conspiracy theories like Qanon have millions of people believing.

Initially, the disregard for the truth and the facts seemed to be typical of conservatives and the right, Americans who idolized Donald Trump and his coterie, took their words as gospel, no matter how far out they might seem. Democrats as pedophiles. Cannibalism. Soros’ space lasers causing forest fires. Stolen elections. And Trump’s missteps ignored. Paying off a call girl. Grabbing attractive women by the pussy. Paying homage to Putin. Running his businesses from the White House. And hundreds more noxious actions. So what. He got conservative justices on the Supreme Court. Character doesn’t matter.

But now, some of the left is following in Trump’s footsteps, willing to accept lies as truth, disregarding facts and buying in to conspiracy theories. Robert Kennedy Jr has become the leader of this portion of the Democratic Party, and doing surprising well in the polls for president. At one point he had around 20 percent of voters, though apparently he has fallen back somewhat. But his lies and conspiracy theories and his dislike for standard medicine and scientific facts has resonated with many on the left. Kennedy refuses to accept facts about vaccines preventing diseases and that medications to treat various illnesses are a necessity. He thinks all pharmaceutical companies are promoting their medications just for profit and that they really don’t help against illnesses. Kennedy also believes that the government conspired in the assassinations of his uncle John Kennedy, his father Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. He spouts all these lies and conspiracy theories without any evidence to back him up.

But people believe what he says because he’s a Kennedy and would seem to have no reason to lie. However, it appears that Kennedy doesn’t think he’s lying, accepting his own doctrines on faith. And the people who believe him also accept his words on faith, because they are misinformed and don’t like taking advice from experts and the “elites.” The vaccine skeptics and those who won’t acknowledge conventional medicine are doing harm to themselves, their families and their communities. And they weaken rather than strengthen America.

When confronted with contradictions in terms of what are considered facts and the truth about issues, people have to seek information themselves and not depend on the words of politicians and conspiracy theorists. It may be easier not to do the research and just follow the leader, but that path is not good for America and democracy. It’s bad on both the left and the right.

P.S- Investigate the Dunning Krueger effect, a cognitive bias where people with little knowledge, expertise or ability regarding an issue, tend to overestimate their knowledge or expertise. Many of the followers of Trump, DeSantis and Kennedy ably demonstrate the Dunning-Krueger effect in their views and actions.

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Trumpism Without Trump

Trumpism Without Trump

            Robert A. Levine

There is no question that Democrats would like to see Trump completely sidelined and out of the political limelight. However, there are plenty of Republicans who feel the same way though they are afraid to express their feelings. For one thing, Trump is draining money from the Republican Party and Republican candidates and directing it to himself. And the money he receives from his base is used mainly for Trump’s personal expenses rather than for political purposes. Those who are sending him the money have no clue how it is being utilized.

Many of Trump’s acolytes who would like to see him gone want to try and replace him as the Big Kahuna in the Party, getting the support and money from his adoring base. These are people like Ted Cruz, Ron DeSantis and Josh Hawley who see themselves as potential presidential candidates in 2024 and want to get Trump out of the way. As he long as he presents himself as a possible presidential candidates in 2024, no other Republican can make a move.

Trump is also giving his imprimatur to House and Senate candidates in 2022 to try and control the party completely. He is at odds with Mitch McConnell who is probably the second most powerful Kahuna in the GOP. To say that they cannot stand each other would be an understatement. So Mitch would certainly like to see Trump gone.

Aside from Trump stepping aside voluntarily, he faces criminal charges in Georgia and New York State and it is possible that he could wind up in prison. He has broken campaign finance laws and tax laws and has a number of potential witnesses willing to testify against him.

Trump also has a number of family members who want to enter politics with the Trump name. These include Lara Trump, Eric’s wife, Don Jr. and Ivanka, all willing to carry the Trump name forward.

Whether or not Trump himself runs in 2024 depends on his mood, unless the legal system puts him away. But even not running, he can hold that out as a possibility to keep money flowing in, support from his base and the role he loves as king-maker.

Come to think of it Trumpism without Trump may not be such a good thing, with younger politicians keeping his standard flying. Of course, that standard is Trump over all, a man who knows it all, and will do anything to aid Trump. Trumpism in any form is bad for America.

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