In practice it works something like this… somewhere known falsehoods sprout up as if out of nowhere (perhaps it is said, Barack Obama is a radical Muslim or, the Earth is flat, as examples). It necessarily follows that once one meticulously researches these claims, such bold given statements are demonstrably shown to be largely, if not entirely untrue. Yet, irrefutable proof will still be rejected by the gullible, when exposed to this type of deceitfulness. Misrepresentation can and will be embraced rather than rejected. When a false assertion fits a preconceived conviction, belief may trump hard evidence to the contrary. Hateful feelings may overpower thoughtful reflections. How can this be so?

There emerge two distinct methods for hi-jacking truth, which together race toward the same fading vanishing point. If both means can be put swiftly into play, the outcome is often most effective. Where initial evidence might be declared inconclusive, even a cool mind might insist a point debatable. Where next, fear and loathing — basic emotional tools of the trade, often plied by the rabid right — trigger key temperamental gates for both bias and prejudice; the trap has sprung. The primitive animal portion of the brain — that which favors action before reason, with fight or flight reactions preferred to any negotiated agreement — immediately smothers any compelling rational effort to force an impartial test for truthfulness by a measured and settled means. Elevating arguable points to a survival status, forces a quick, all-or-nothing decision, perhaps emotionally releasing in its immediacy, but often poorly vetted for measured honesty and vulnerable to the test of time.

Most importantly, people holding snap, inaccurate positions, are seldom easily persuaded after the fact. Once a version of reality has been set and imprinted in this manner, tainted by emotional outburst; once a choice has been reduced to an issue of life or death, good or evil — there remains little room for shades of gray beneath the blinding light of heated angst. Apprehension leads to a “with us or against us” mindset, hard and fast, nonnegotiable.

Since the process of voting, by its nature, is a “yes-or-no”, “one-or-the-other” outcome, it stands to reason, that a sufficient argument requires only the subtlety of a sledge hammer. Where choice becomes a matter of willful ignorance, the nuance of persuasive discussion is a seldom picked tool for political trade.

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>