There's No Vaccine for This


A Leger poll finds Canadians aren't warming to that cold fish, Pierre Poilievre.  Another recent poll finds we're none too fond of the other guy either. Both results are easy to understand.  Canadians, it seems, are tired of Justin's empty platitudes and uneasy at Pete's radical right rants.

Does this mean we're out of the woods? Hardly. The American Contagion unleashed by decades of Republican perfidy (going back to Gingrich) culminating in the election of that nation's worst president ever has crossed our border and embedded itself with a segment of our population mainly from one geographical heartland.  The Freedom Convoy mob and Poilievre are testament to its resilience.

So, what are we up against? This seems almost farcical, counterintuitive, illogical. True, but as the NYT columnist, Thomas Edsall, writes, we're facing the age of "belief polarization" that is immune to arguments of logic or fact.

In their May 2021 paper, “Belief polarization in a complex world,” Alan Jern, Kai-min Kevin Chang and Charles Kemp — of the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon and the University of Melbourne — write: “Belief polarization occurs when two people with opposing prior beliefs both strengthen their beliefs after observing the same data.”

There is, they continue, “ample evidence that people sustain different beliefs even when faced with the same information, and they interpret that information differently.” They also note that “stark differences in beliefs can arise and endure due to human limitations in interpreting complex information.”

Don't confuse me with the facts. My mind's made up already. A divide that's nearly impossible to bridge. Liberal democracy hangs in this balance.

It's a fascinating, albeit ominous, column that's well worth a read. We're facing a real threat here, one that cannot be ignore in typical Liberal fashion. The Republicans have shown how easily "Lord of the Flies" tribalism can take hold and flourish. It's utterly corrosive of any social cohesion and leaves society to feed on emotions.

How do you push back those who embrace magical thinking, completely devoid of introspection or critical thought processes? This is a blend of conspiracy theory and Harry Potter sensibility. Yet we take it lightly at our peril.

Democracy dies if it's not nurtured and defended. In my view, the key to safeguarding democracy exists in an option the Liberals shun - electoral reform. 




Comment Response -

The FBI has been receiving threats from Trump's followers. Today some guy entered a field office in Ohio with a nail gun and began shooting at the agents.  Armed man enters Ohio FBI field office and fires at personnel with nail gun (nbcnews.com)

Thanks for the link.








Comments

  1. The crazed right has reacted badly to the warrant on Trump's Florida Pleasure Palace, Mound. They have the judge who signed the warrant in their sights: https://www.vice.com/en/article/dy73pk/fbi-warrant-judge-reinhart-doxxed

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