Have you ever talked with someone about politics? Ever gotten angry as they are never ever able to see your point of view even if you have all the facts together? Do they mirror the pundits? Well I have looked into things and come up with several cues to explain the way of thinking that most really die hard people use when going about their arguments.First off let us talk briefly about the Pundits, you know the MSNBC anchors the Talk Radio Hosts all of who have strong opinions. Many of the people above will trust these people as if they are the best friend’s they ever have. “I don’t need to research it Rush told me it was true!” We need to keep in mind that these people are paid for their opinions to be what they are. They follow the rules below as their blueprint and their very job is to teach these rules to their audience so that they in turn have more rabid followers. If there is anything that you should take off of this is that Pundit are not to be trusted on their own if at all.The Rules that people follow:
1. Demonize your Enemy: Politics is not that different from war, the other side is your enemy and if your side has a shot at seeing the other as human then the other side might just have a shot at conversion. The person subscribes to the belief that members of the other party are evil individuals they hate America, they are terrorists, they want the elderly and disabled to die and send the children to sweatshops. In truth most politicians are not much better or worse than the rest of us.
2. Angelify your Allies: As you make your enemies into demons your allies are angels. Members of your party of the moral majority, they are the party of the people. Your people don’t break laws they don’t tell lies and you will fight to the death if your person messes up. Of course if they do mess up and they don’t have any well worn excuses then it is obviously a conspiracy from the other side used to cover up.Again in truth most politicians are not much better or worse than the rest of us.
3. You can always truest your Guy: The people on your team are obviously superior as of rule #2 so we know that anyone on your team can’t possibly lie. You can trust your people completely. If there are plenty of facts to dispute your guy’s issue then they obviously can’t be facts and just in case you can just say the researchers are idiots and don’t know what they’re talking about.
4. You can’t trust the other guy: The people on the other side are immoral people as per #1 so therefore there is no possible way that they can be telling the truth about anything so there is no reason to bother fact checking them. I mean why do the work when you know that the guy is lying. The Best part is if they say the opposite of your guy you now know for certain that your guy is doing the right thing.
5. Bias: You ever hear those tales about the “liberal media”? Well one thing you will note about people in this category is the sources they trust for their “facts”. Many will complain about media bias and they will be correct some of the time, but many define bias differently than the rest of us in society do. Many people in this group judge Bias is looking at any member of their party in a poor light or looking at any member of the opposite party in a positive light. You also need to look at the backers of the product. They can’t be trusted if they are from a neutral or have affiliation with the other team. The only sources that can be trusted are backed by people that are hard core for your side after all, what reason would they have to show bias as they always tell the truth (see above points)? In truth if your only sources of information are the Blaze, Rush Limbaugh, Drudge report, fox news (or on the liberal side) Daily show, MSNBC, and Democrat Underground then you are coming from a bias point of view.
6. They are responsible for the world’s ills: You ever notice that to these individuals that everything the other party people do is wrong? It seems that all the world’s ills can be laid at the feet of the opposing party. If the country is going through hard economic times someone from the other party is always to blame even if there is no logical argument that can be made to lead in that direction. Crime rates, unemployment, prices of gas and food, the country’s debt and many other things are blamed on the other side but it doesn't just stop there, many hard core people will blame some of the strangest things such as earthquakes, floods, fires and nasty storms staying that god is punishing the country for voting the other side in. When the other side is always at fault there is a good feeling in the works because you can place yourself above the rest see below.
7. We are what is good about the world: Just as the other side is responsible for all the world’s failings, your side is responsible for any good things that have ever happened to the country. The popular party is responsible for any good economic times, positive foreign events and even for good weather and good harvests. Your side can do no wrong and if your party is in power during bad times you can always just point out the previous point and the world will cave in for you.
8. Generalization: The last on this list is what makes this all possible. How you can have such hard core sheep behind you and that is generalization. If you looked at each candidate or voter as an individual then you might actually have a truly varied and responsible government but we can’t have that. We generalize and impose the perceived party values on a candidate before even getting to know them. In this day and age there is a little truth to how they will vote but there are a few people today that are generally good and only partially follow the party line. This of course is also held out to the people. “You liberals all just like to remain sheep” or “You conservatives just want to take my social security”. Generalization is hurtful and an example of the stupidity that allows a person to become like the above. You get it from the talk shows and the news casters but in the end if you generalize you are just one step closer to losing yourself.
In the end I hope that when you are in a political argument you will keep these points in mind. You can even counter a person with one of the numbers staying “ah your are doing #3”. This is also an exercise in reflection. I myself am guilty of a number of these from time to time and have to think to myself “am I quoting #4?” This is a great tool for nipping this behavior in the bud and becoming your own person making a true informative position instead of a media sheep, shaped by the pundits. Don’t let them rule your life, think for yourself and vote for your own reasons to support doing the right thing.