Why GOP Voters Don’t Seem to Care About Facts

Paul Krugman asks why Republican voters don’t seem to care that the three most popular GOP candidates (Trump, Carson and Cruz) “have a habit of making false claims, then refusing to acknowledge error.”

“Well, part of the answer has to be that the party taught them not to care. Bluster and belligerence as substitutes for analysis, disdain for any kind of measured response, dismissal of inconvenient facts reported by the ‘liberal media’ didn’t suddenly arrive on the Republican scene last summer. On the contrary, they have long been key elements of the party brand.”

“Donald Trump as a political phenomenon is very much in a line of succession that runs from W. through Mrs. Palin, and in many ways he’s entirely representative of the Republican mainstream.”

“In case you’re wondering, nothing like this process has happened on the Democratic side … American political discourse as a whole hasn’t been dumbed down, just its conservative wing.”

Trump “isn’t someone who suddenly intruded into Republican politics from an alternative universe. He, or someone like him, is where the party has been headed for a long time.”

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  • pisher

    All people are impacted by emotion, but as we become adults, we learn to allow for that, to be aware that sometimes strong negative emotions lead us the wrong way, make things worse.

    For a long time now, conservative voters have been encouraged by their party leaders, their media, even their clergymen in many cases, to not make this allowance, to run on emotion, not facts.

    Then, when the conservative establishment needs them to go back to a fact-based mode of thought, they can’t do it. They don’t have the capacity anymore. They’ve come to see facts as the enemy. And anyone who tells them exactly what they want to hear is their friend.

    • Hey look it’s a summary of krugman’s article!

    • pbrower2a

      Some people simply do not mature intellectually or emotionally. The Right has been intensifying the hatred and fear.

      Hatred and fear are primal emotions far more powerful than reason, and they are far easier to abuse and exploit. But what does a politician who has made gains based upon fear and hatred do when the basis of hatred and fear has vanished? It’s simple — INTENSIFY the hatred and fear! That is how to defer the inevitable crash of credibility.

      As for the ‘conservative Establishment’ — it has enabled the hate-mongers and fear-mongers for advantages in elections that consolidate or maintain its power. The conservative Establishment tolerated the rogues, and now the rogues have a bill due.

  • LemonadeMan

    It is a fallacy promoted by the Democrats [I are won], that politics is science, fact-based and rational. There is nothing further from the truth. All our political decisions are emotional. That does not mean irrational, unless one is a republican. Democratic issues are oriented toward sharing the wealth of the nation through an expanding economy, while republi-can’ts are charging [tasking] each other with contracting the economy and concentrating wealth.

    By slowly, gradually inflating currency the money supply assists in expanding the economy. The lesson was learned by the repubs during the Nixon/Ford & Carter Administrations. They inflated the money supply to concentrate it in the hands of a few. They learned what Keynesian Economists have known for a century: Inflation expands the economy, while deflation contracts the economy.

    Pisher [great Yidisher] and Krugman are nice guys having accepted the mantle to address a ‘nascient’ social problem. Wrong approach. The time has come to leave no witnesses; interrogate the bejesus out of all prisoners, and if the prisoners don’t convert … !

  • i like how krugman studiously refutes any #bothsides angle

  • stevenfranklin54

    The biggest truth about this campaign is the topic which mainstream journalism refuses to discuss.
    Consider:
    Trump openly encourages his supporters to violently respond to hecklers at his rallies.
    Trump has described members of an ethnic group as “murderers and rapists.”
    Trump has called for a national registry for Muslim Americans.
    Trump would bar all Muslims from entering the country.
    Trump has ridiculed women for their physical appearance or bodily functions.
    Trump has ridiculed people for their physically handicaps.
    Trump has called for a national death penalty for crimes hitherto regarded as state offenses.
    Trump has endorsed a more aggressive use of the American military.
    Trump has praised Russian leader Vladimir Putin–an authoritarian dictator.
    Trump has barred journalists working for publications he regards as unfriendly from his news conferences.
    Trump has gained the support of white supremacist websites such as Storm Front.
    If a political figure like Donald Trump was gaining strength and power in a foreign country, most American journalists would describe his movement as “fascist.” But no matter how appropriate it may be, it is missing from his coverage here. This is the most important truth of the 2016 race. And it is missing from the coverage.
    For those who truly care about the facts, the one inescapable fact is that Donald Trump is a fascist.

  • Shamman

    It began with Newt Gingrich’s buzzwords and talking points distributed when he was SOTH, continued with “Turd Blossom” Karl Rove’s Texas-style selling of GW Bush, all fired up by Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch, Rush Limbaugh, et al. We can thank the Republicans for bringing Canada Ted, The Donald, and most of the other GOP candidates to a prominence built entirely on lies, deceptions, and fear-mongering – the logical heirs of Gingrich and Rove. We have reached a true low point in American politics and discourse when fanatical clowns like these aren’t shouted down and kicked out.

  • spiritubrianus

    When people are angry and vengeful, they refuse to be rational. In fact they throw rationality to the winds. There is a real feeling among some in the older, white electorate that their ‘entitlement’ to the Presidency is no longer recognized, and they are very angry about it. This country is in a transition on this, and this loss of political power is a very difficult thing for some people to accept. Bottom line, the Republicans are digging their own grave politically. Rather than try to make an appeal to minorities based on pragmatic conservative ideas, the right wing has opted for voter suppression of African-Americans and blocking a pathway to citizenship for immigrants. These are counter productive and toxic approaches for the future of the Republican Party. Unless they change, the GOP will become a permanent minority incapable of governing nationally.

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