The Daily Scoop: Better-educated Republicans doubt climate change; believe Obama’s Muslim


I can still remember when I first realized how naïve I was in thinking—hoping—that laying out the “facts” would suffice to change politicized minds, and especially Republican ones. It was a typically wonkish, liberal revelation: One based on statistics and data. Only this time, the data were showing, rather awkwardly, that people ignore data and evidence—and often, knowledge and education only make the problem worse.

Someone had sent me a 2008 Pew report documenting the intense partisan divide in the U.S. over the reality of global warming.. It’s a divide that, maddeningly for scientists, has shown a paradoxical tendency to widen even as the basic facts about global warming have become more firmly established.
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9 Comments to “The Daily Scoop: Better-educated Republicans doubt climate change; believe Obama’s Muslim”

  1. I’m one of those “better educated Republicans” liberals like to ridicule…
    I’ll pit myself up against the 10 smartest liberal/progressives you can find and wrap then around my little finger in a debate on any topic of THEIR choosing!

  2. Reblogged this on Under The LobsterScope and commented:
    I’m really impressed by the concept “smart idiots effect” which turns up later in the article (when Mashed Potato Bulletin switches over to Salon.) I had always thought that educated Republicans were reachable about Climate Change, but now I find it questionable. What do you think?

  3. I live in a very conservative, Republican controlled area. I don’t attempt to change peoples minds. I have my views, they have theirs. I explain my side of the issue, in a way that fits my views, and allow them the same opportunity. In many cases, we can agree on the problem, we can agree on a solution, we just differ on how we arrive in that location.

    I don’t even attempt to debate with people anymore. They make up their minds, and I’ve made mine up. Whether it’s taxes, gay marriage, the “war on religion”, whatever. All the facts and experts mean nothing once people make up their minds.

    There are psychological studies about how impossible it is to change ones mind after it is made. The stronger the conviction, the more impossible it is to change that view. I’ve taken to talking with people, understanding their convictions, explaining mine, then asking what we could come up with that would improve things, and satisfy both of us. It’s called compromise, and is something which has been lost in the partisan divide throughout the nation.

    • Annabel, that, unfortunately, is a very valid assessment of the situation. It is very difficult to change people’s minds especially when everyone seems to have their own facts. There does not seem to be “just facts” these days, everything is subjective.

      Finding compromise is indeed what our goals should be but there is a lingering problem…. the wider the divide the less common ground we are able to find making those compromises less impactful. Perhaps what is needed is a united movement to quiet the extreme voices so those who are open to compromise can do so without fear of reprisal.

      • We haven’t seen this level of divisiveness and overt biases in this country than since the Vietnam War.

        Your posted article contributes to political polarization. It is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

      • OR it’s delving into the reasons behind some of the partisanship, where perceptions lie. Understanding the roots of particular issues, understanding where one’s opponent is coming from and how they view the situation is halfway to finding solutions or compromise.

      • I agree.

        You might start by refraining from referring to someone that might disagree with you as an “opponent”. It reveals how deeply seated biases have become and how much needs to be overcome.

      • AZ> I disagree. This is all in essence a debate and those of differing viewpoints are essentially competing to have their views heard. Thus, opponent is an apt term. Perhaps, some may interpret it in a negative manner but it is only meant to refer to someone from the opposing side.

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