On my Yale Class email list, this morning, a left-wing classmate forwarded a link and a quoted section of Charles M. Blow‘s morally-self-congratulatory and intellectually-condescending New York Times editorial.
[A]s Joe Keohane wrote in the Boston Globe in 2010:
â€œRecently, a few political scientists have begun to discover a human tendency deeply discouraging to anyone with faith in the power of information. Itâ€™s this: Facts donâ€™t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger.â€
Supporting Trump is a Hail Mary pass of a hail-the-demagogue assemblage. Trumpâ€™s triumph as the presumptive Republican Party nominee is not necessarily a sign of his strategic genius as much as itâ€™s a sign of some peopleâ€™s mental, psychological and spiritual deficiencies.
Itâ€™s hard to use the truth as an instrument of enlightenment on people who prefer to luxuriate in a lie.
I replied (this version slightly edited):
Trump supporters are supporting him, not in spite of his vulgarity, his lack of manners, his constant lying and self-contradiction, his ignorance, and his obvious lack of fixed principles; they are supporting him specifically because he is manifestly unconstrained by ordinary conventions of etiquette, ethics, or ideas.
They are so angry at people like you… and so resentful of how they feel they have been treated by the educated elites of this country that they are intentionally supporting a man they perceive as a ruthless thug, hoping to turn him loose on you. Donald Trump is being nominated as a great big “Fuck You!” to leftists like you for your ruthless and tyrannical imposition of your aberrant values and failed policies on America and to conservatives and Republicans like me for failing to stop you. The peasants are in open, and thoroughly irrational, revolt.