Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, May 5, 2017

How Broken Are We?

Ed Burmila asks a good question: Have our politics disappeared completely down the rabbit hole of false facts and alternative realities?

His argument is that we operate on certain assumptions about human behavior, one of which is that humans will - all things being taken into consideration - act on their best interests.  But that evaluation of what is in our best interests is subjective and bound by the limits of the information available in any given moment.

The vote the House took yesterday is being met generally with disbelief by those who operate within a knowledge ecosystem that prizes facts and evidence.  The AHCA is an objectively horrible bill that violates every promise Trump made about health care.  Of course, given that he is a complete ignoramus, Trump may not know that the bill he feted with a kegger violates every single promise he made.  Or he knows and doesn't care.

Given that the MORE GENEROUS version of this shitburger polled about as well as syphilis or cockroaches, the more punitive and restrictive version is unlikely to improve on that number.


If Trump and the GOP and Fox News all say what a great bill it is, some people will simply accept that it is a great bill.  No amount of evidence, presumably, will alter the view proffered to them by Dear Leader.  Partisan loyalty, in this case, will triumph over basic facts.  Add in that health care is "hard" and "complicated" and opinions differ and "both sides are to blame" and you wind up with a situation where a GOP Congressman would see voting for the shitburger to be in his best interest.  And of course, he's been made to reflexively fear a primary challenge to his right, and not passing the shitburger presumably increases the odds that a David Brat will come along and unseat him.

There is of course another possibility, which is that the American people become outraged by the heartlessness of the shitburger and create a wave election that sweeps the GOP out of the House.

So a lot of things are on the ballot in 2018.  Our understanding of objective reality might be one of them,

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