A look into the GOP mind: untethered from reality and drifting in the wind

Summary: Scores of posts have documented the difficulty Americans have seeing the world. Of course this affects both Left and Right. But not equally. The Right has more fully exploited the powerful tools of propaganda developed during the past century, both to motivate the faithful and gain support. Unfortunately decades of shifting the Right’s viewpoint has broken its tether to reality, allowing a slide into delusions. Today we see some evidence of this in the polls.

No rejoicing by the Left, please. Schadenfreude, however natural, should be outweighed by the danger this creates for the Republic, that a large fraction of a major party has lost their bearings.

Alice when the Madness Returns

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Contents

  1. Poll #1
  2. Poll #2
  3. Poll #3
  4. Other posts about the Right in America
  5. For More Information

Poll #1

Democrats and Republicans differ on conspiracy theory beliefs, a survey by Public Policy Polling (PPP), 2 April 2013.

Q#1: Do you believe global warming is a hoax? — 58% of GOP say “yes”.

Poll: global warming by party
Public Policy Polling, April 2013

For more about Republicans’ views of global warming, see this Gallup report, this Pew Research report. And this Pew Poll:

Poll: global warming, by party

Contrast that with the consensus of climate scientists:

“It is extremely likely (95 – 100% certain) that human activities caused more than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperature from 1951 to 2010.”
— conclusion of the IPCC’s AR5 Working Group I. For more about this consensus see these studies.

 PPP Question#8:  Do you believe President Barack Obama is the anti-Christ? — 20% of the GOP say “yes”.

This is a disturbing next step from the “Is Obama not a US citizen” and “Is Obama a Muslim?” questions, whose weirdness we have become accustomed to.

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Poll: Obama is Anti-Christ, by party
Public Policy Polling, April 2013

Q#9:  Do you believe the Bush administration intentionally misled the public about the possibility of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to promote the Iraq War? — 73% of the GOP say “no”.

Poll: Iraq's WMDs
Public Policy Polling, April 2013

Poll #2

Republicans are more likely to subscribe to conspiracy theories about the government, a survey by Public Policy Polling, 2 October 2013.

Q#1:  Do you think the Obama Administration is secretly trying to take everyone’s guns away? — 62% of the GOP say “yes”.

Public Policy Polling, 2 October 2013: Q1
Public Policy Polling, 2 October 2013

Q#9:  Do you think that a group of world bankers is slowly eliminating paper currency until most banking is done electronically, and then will cut the power grid so that most citizens will not have access to any money and will be forced into worldwide slavery? — 27% of the GOP say “yes”.

Poll: Bankers takeover, by party
Public Policy Polling, October 2013

Q#13:  Do you think Muslims are covertly implementing Sharia Law in American court systems? — 42% of the GOP say “yes”.

Poll: Islamic law, by party
Public Policy Polling, October 2013

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Poll #3 — A reminder that this problem affects the Left as well

Mad Smile
Look into our eyes; fear what you see

Polls tend to focus on the weird beliefs of conservatives. I suspect there is a rich but untapped mine of crazy on the Left. Polling for the Left’s doomster fantasies would be interesting.

Also, the Right’s fondness for creationism has a parallel on the Left, as seen in this from “Who Believes that Astrology is Scientific?“, James Lindgren (Prof Law, Northwestern University – School of Law), 20 February 2014 —

Belief that Astrology is Not Scientific by Party

Poll: astrology, by party
James Lindgren (NW U of Law), 2014
Motto of the 1%
Motto of the 1%

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(4) Other Posts in this series about the Right in America

  1. The key to modern American politics:  the Right-Wing Id Unzipped, 15 February 2012
  2. A harsh clear look at the history of the Republican Party, 22 September 2013
  3. Most of what Democrats say is wrong about the Republicans’ recent actions in Congress, 1 October 2013
  4. What are the odds of violence from the Right in America?, 2 October 2013
  5. Seeing the world through conservative eyes, 15 February 2014

(5)  For More Information

How do people come to believe this incredible things? See the posts listed on the FM Reference Page Information & disinformation

Some posts about successful propaganda:

  1. Successful propaganda as a characteristic of 21st century America, 1 February 2010
  2. More propaganda: the eco-fable of Easter Island, 4 February 2010
  3. Can Obama turn America into something like Zimbabwe?, 22 February 2010
  4. A note about practical propaganda, 22 March 2010
  5. About the political significance of the conservatives’ health care propaganda, 23 March 2010
  6. The similar delusions of America’s Left and Right show our common culture – and weakness, 26 March 2010
  7. Programs to reshape the American mind, run by the left and right, 2 August 2010
  8. The easy way to rule: leading a weak people by feeding them disinformation, 13 April 2011
  9. Facts are an obstacle to the reform of America, 20 October 2011
  10. Our minds are addled, the result of skillful and expensive propaganda, 28 December 2011
  11. More use of the big lie: shifting the blame for the housing crisis, 29 December 2011
  12. Understanding our political system: the how-to guide by its builders, 7 October 2012
  13. Who lies to us the most? Left or Right?, 25 February 2013
  14. We can see our true selves in the propaganda used against us, 14 May 2013
  15. A nation lit only by propaganda, 3 June 2013
  16. The secret, simple tool that persuades Americans. That molds our opinions., 24 July 2013

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Two factions of the GOP

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14 thoughts on “A look into the GOP mind: untethered from reality and drifting in the wind

  1. The Republican party is in serious difficulty. Aside from nominating candidates to national office who have little charisma or appeal, they seem to be moving increasingly to the wrong side of relevancy. Changing demographics will soon seal the fate of this hapless, clueless political aggregation. I am somewhat saddened by this, as I am all for a multiparty system in this country which can provide active opposition to a potential tyranny of the majority.

    The way I see it, is this. Traditionally, whites and nonblacks accounted for 80% of the population. Their voting preferences generally ran 55% republican and 45% democrat. Blacks comprised around 15% of the population, and they typically voted 70% for democrats and 30% for republicans. Hispanics, before the great influx, accounted for around 5% of the US population, and tended to mirror the voting habits of blacks. This combination of votes often resulted in close, 50%/50% elections. A strong candidate, or being on the right side of a major issue could swing the election for one party or the other. But now, changing demographics is on the verge of altering the political landscape significantly, and possibly forever.

    Twenty years of unrestricted immigration has changed the political complexion to something like 70% whites and others; 15% black; and 15% Hispanic. When (not if) the entire Hispanic group becomes fully franchised in this country, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for republicans to win under their current leadership, and under their present incarnation. If the white and other block votes in the traditional party split (which now may be even more favorable for the democrats, as the welfare state is expanding), adding additional Hispanics to the mix will result in national elections running 52.5% for the democrats, and 47.5% for the republicans. And demographics generally change, only glacially.

    If the republicans want the two party system to survive, they need to –
    – start listening to, and championing the needs of common people, rather than only the country club set
    – develop a vision and mission relevant to modern times
    – clean out their entrenched, ineffective leadership
    – nominate real candidates with salable messages, who can appeal to the masses, rather than semi-isolated groups who tend to be interested in one, or few issues lacking widespread support, and
    – work towards building a more free, just, and equitable society for all.

    Otherwise, we may face a future of only one effective political party with no countervailing force to provide stability.

    Notes:

    Before, democrat preference
    whites (80% x 45%) 36.0%
    blacks (15% x 70%) 10.5%
    Hisp. ( 5% x 70%) 3.5% Total 50.0%
    Before, republican preference
    whites (70% x 55%) 44.0%
    blacks (15% x 30%) 4.5%
    Hisp. (15% x 30%) 1.5% Total 50.0%
    Future, democrat preference
    whites (70% x 45%) 31.5%
    blacks (15% x 70%) 10.5%
    Hisp. (15% x 70%) 10.5% Total 52.5%
    Future, republican preference
    whites (70% x 55%) 38.5%
    blacks (15% x 30%) 4.5%
    Hisp. (15% x 30%) 4.5% Total 47.5%

  2. One – we have scientific proof and forensic evidence that Global Warming, as it has been presented, is hoax in that it was wildly over-dramatized.

    Two – Using the scientists of the IPCC as a metric is equivalent to using those paid by Exxon, though evidence and criminal charges indicates that the IPCC is actually more corrupt.

    Three – Antichrist? Given the numbers of Democrats who are Godless, that’s a pre-loaded poll.

    Four – If you believe that President Bush mislead people, you have to toss aside the reports that he was given, in which only the DoE dissented from the rest, and ignore the probability that he was just scared after 9/11. Cowardice – a sin in a leader of men in itself – does not equate to mendacity.

    Then, none of this will matter to you. You’re a Liberal and have neither need nor desire for either objective truth or Americans’ viewpoints. In some ways that’s OK since Americans have neither need nor desire for the views of you and your sort either.

    1. Jonolan,

      Can you provide any evidence for your assertions? Any of them?

      Your last point is incorrect (actuallly, every sentence in the last paragraph is incorrect). It is, however, clearly tribal in outlook — right down to the exclusionary use of “American”. In that you are brothers with your peers on the Left, who think in similar terms.

    2. I could, for each and every point I made. I see no reason to, however, since your sort tends to impugn the source rather than deal with the facts presented and argue the conclusions derived from those facts.

      As for my “outlook” and it’s kinship to that of some of America’s domestic enemies – those among them who speak as I do are the honest ones. Because of that I extend them a certain courtesy since they have shown honor.

    3. Jonolan,

      Thank you for your frank expression of your views. Showing polling data is abstract evidence. Hearing the actual voice of these views is more vivid.

      I especially value the refusal to show evidence for your bold statements. This is the essence of the Epistemic Closure that today characterizes both Left and Right, each in its bubble of self-reenforcing echoes.

      My guess — emphasis on guess — is that the large majority between your two in many way similar extremes will have to carry on without you, as you show today how you have closed yourself off from America ‘s mainstream currents. Perhaps that is for the best. Only time will tell.

  3. The astrology poll does not show what you think it shows. This brief survey polled 100 people and also asked them to define astrology. The survey shows that most Americans think that astrology is scientific AND that a great many confuse astrology with astronomy. Correcting this misapprehension leads to a majority of Americans not finding astrology to be scientific.

  4. When in doubt about the current American political process, remember this: more than one quarter of American adults have a diagnosable episode of a mental illness in any given year, most of which remain untreated. . Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O, Walters EE. Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of twelve-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Archives of General Psychiatry, 2005 Jun;62(6):617-27.

    1. Gzucjier,

      I have seen such studies. But there is no baseline. What about France or Brazil today? Or America or France in 1850?

      With some basis of comparison they might just be describing the usual state of people, pathologized normal. While nice for psychologists business to declare that 1/4 of everybody needs their services, I would require some strong evidence before taking that seriously.

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