Monday, November 19, 2012

Life in a Bubble

We all, left or right, have a tendency toward being blind to facts that disagree with our opinions, the best way to avoid this is to obtain our information from a variety of competing sources. Those living in a pure partisan bubble are doomed to succumb to a distorted view of reality derived from one-sided sources of information. We all do this to a degree but the right wing has raised this to an art form. As proof, look at how almost all right wing pundits were absolutely certain of a Romney landslide. The math clearly indicated an Obama win yet these people with few exceptions said the polls were wrong because they were done by liberals and didn't match up with their “facts”. Turns out, the average of the polls were almost exactly correct, clearly those right wing “facts” were not in line with reality.
Have you noticed how someone on the right makes up an assertion against Obama and then many others take up that idea and use each other as “sources” in a kind of circular self-reinforcing storm? The original assertion may be completely untrue yet many come to believe it; A few examples: Obama wasn't born in Kenya, Obama isn't a socialist, Obama has never taken anyone's guns, Obama isn't a Muslim, the Bureau of Labor Statistics didn't make up the job numbers last month, rape does result in many pregnancies, FEMA is not building concentration camps to house right wingers after they take away their guns, evolution is real, instituting moderate re-regulation on Wall Street is not communism, there were no death panels and climate change is not a hoax.
Our country's strength is the competing marketplace of ideas, and if we can't even agree on basic facts, that marketplace ceases to function; that is what we have witnessed for the last four years. In the election, reality has just smacked the Republicans upside the head and because they swim in a soup of self created “facts”, they were the only ones who didn't see it coming. We watched them on election night on Fox News as they stumbled around completely shell-shocked. Romney was so certain, he hadn't even prepared a concession speech! Obama had a concession speech because he knew the math said he had about a 10% chance of losing. So which of those two is grounded in reality? Maybe this election will serve as a wake up call for Republicans to rejoin the real world of real facts and stop getting their “facts” only from biased sources like Fox News, talk radio and right wing blogs. America would be much better off if we can have an honest debate in a free marketplace of ideas using facts arising from reality.

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