Who’s Reachable?

UPDATE 7/16 1:40 PM

Here’s a scary article on how our brains do NOT work towards the betterment of a democracy.  An important paragraph:

Recently, a few political scientists have begun to discover a human tendency deeply discouraging to anyone with faith in the power of information. It’s this: Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite.

It’s this: Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger.


Depressing and deeply discouraging!

Frequent commenter and historian UptheFlag has been trying to narrow the focus of our efforts on this blog to reach those who could be politically ‘educated’ through our efforts here. He believes that we waste valuable time attempting to reach certain elements of the electorate.

Yesterday he presented a list of those whom we ought not waste our time on.  He wrote,

People have the right to be ignorant or dumb until they receive the irrefutable facts. If at that time, they continue to hold their belief then they are stupid. Ignorance is curable, but stupidity is not… People like Angle, Boehner, Armey, most of the pundits on Fox, Napolitano is a notable exception, Gingrich, the 39 Senators who voted against the Financial Reform Bill today, the tea partiers, the religious right, and other fellow travelers are impossible to bring back to an objective point of view. We should make no attempt to try and reach them.

If we could only quantify these people- just how many ignorant citizens are there in America?  As the religious right is in the pockets of the GOP and the Tea Party is but the active, belligerent wing of the GOP, it seems that UptheFlag has, logically,  written off the GOP as ‘unreachable.’ That leaves the truly ignorant who cannot be ‘educated.’

Seems we’re back to the so-called independents who swing slightly left or right each election cycle.  What’s their hook?  At least they are paying attention, as is seen in their movement right and left. How does one influence this fluid group?

Take, for example, the Financial Reform Bill passed by Congress yesterday. How do the independents view this bill? And what did they think of the Health Care Bill?

Further, I wonder if they favor the extension of Federal unemployment benefits.  Perhaps most importantly, do they feel that the monies appropriated for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was a wise investment in America?

After all, these all were major legislative achievements of Democrats in Congress with nearly unanimous Republican opposition. These issues, therefore, will be the pivotal points that independents will examine before casting their vote in the 2010 congressional election in November.

How, then, did these 3 acts of Congress [i.e. Democrats] affect their lives and their vision of Democratic governance?  That is the key question. Further, when that has been answered, how ought the DNC market those results to the independents?  I have a lot of ideas about that, but of course, no one will ask.

Independents, then, ought to be the focus.  The Education of the Independents Initiative [EII] seems to be the goal.  Any thoughts?


14 thoughts on “Who’s Reachable?

  1. Another Example That Tea Party Members Are Racist!!

    Hello Muddy,
    As you know I would NEVER make a GENERALIZED statement that ALL Tea Party members are racist. I am quite sure that our friend Sepp does not fit into this demographics, but here is yet another example to what too many of the Tea Party members are with this latest fact. I WILL make the statement that many good people are being lead unknowingly by the racist element within the Tea Party.

    Bill Roper a Tea Party Candidate for Governor of Arkansas and an unapologetic white nationalist. The following statement to a cheering Tea Party crowd, “I don’t want non-whites in my country in any form or fashion or any status,” he says.

    Roper a prominent Arkansas Tea Party Member who says he has been gathering support for his cause by attending the Tea Party rallies. “We go to these Tea Parties all over the country,” Roper said. “We’re looking for the younger, potentially more radical people.”

    Accusations about racism within the Tea Party have rumbled for a year, but they suddenly exploded this week with a resolution at the NAACP convention in Kansas City saying the party is attracting people and groups hostile to minorities.

    The allegations prompted irate denials from Tea Party supporters, and even critics make it clear that they’re not accusing all Tea Parties of racism. Indeed, it’s difficult to answer the racism question because the Tea Party is split into hundreds of shards.

    Still, it’s clear that racist agendas are making inroads into the party.
    In several instances, Tea Party members with racist backgrounds such as Roper have played a role in Party events. At the same time, The Kansas City Star has found, White Nationalist groups are encouraging members to attend Tea Parties. One organization based in St. Louis is sponsoring Tea Parties of its own.

    “There definitely is racism within the tea party movement,” said Daryle Lamont Jenkins, a spokesman for One People’s Project, a Philadelphia-based group that monitors racism. “I’ve seen it, and it’s something they need to deal with now.”

    As I have said, I cannot speak for every Tea Party aspect but here on the Delmarva Peninsula, the majority Tea Party members within my Republican Party are the old Klansmen or their sons and daughters who grew up being preached their whole lives of this viewpoint. Listing to Rush Limbaugh for over 20 years has only confirmed, given support to, and perpetuated this racist viewpoint within the Republican Party. This is the up hill battle I have been working to expose and purge.

  2. Engineer- but here on the Delmarva Peninsula, the majority Tea Party members within my Republican Party are the old Klansmen or their sons and daughters who grew up being preached their whole lives of this viewpoint.

    It is to be noted that the Tea Party is nothing more than the radical right-wing that, as of now, is welcomed into the Republican Party. Unless the GOP tosses them out and chastises them, the independents will note which political party encourages such racism and will, hopefully, reject that party in the November elections.

  3. Hello Muddy,
    If this is what the current leaders of the Republican Party want by embracing the racist, radial, Tea Party…they I hope they loose every election in November.

    Maybe then then the more sane can start to rebuild.

  4. This independent believes that there is no party that really represents the left in the US. The left is demonised as being socialist and dehumanising for wanting to creating things such as 40 hour work weeks and vacation time.

    On the other hand, the freedom loving right is happy to make sure you never have any free time, but work at least one job until you drop.

    very humanising.

    The problem in the US is that the system runs on MONEY. Political candidates can’t get anywhere without money.

    And that money comes from well heeled interests.

    these interests will never allow for the average person to see any benefit. The rich get richer, and the poor get screwed.

    As you pointed out in your comment to the prvious post:

    If the Federal Government gives $100 to a person who is unemployed, $160 dollars-worth of goods and services are produced with that money being spent

    If the Federal Government lowers the tax rate on the super rich, the $100 becomes worth $33 because they will either save it or invest it in an off-shore account.

    The rich hoard and we end up with the screwed up system where everyone else runs on debt.

    Or I should say, the economy is propelled by debt.

  5. Acutally, there is a problem with democracy, which is why the US was founded as a republic.

    For the the founders, the word democracy had the same meaning as the word anarchy does today. I strongly suggest looking into the Career of Samuel Chase.

    Chase generally favored a strong government ruled by an elite and he opposed the radical ideas of the French Revolution.

    Chase helped draft the Maryland Constitution in 1776. He served in the Maryland House of Delegates for all but a year and a half between 1777 and 1788. When the U.S. Constitution came before the Maryland Convention for ratification Chase was in the minority of delegates who voted against it. He was an ardent Anti-Federalist at the time and argued that the Constitution concentrated power in the hands of the central government at the expense of the common individual. “I consider the Constitution,” he wrote to a friend, “as radically defective in this essential: the bulk of the people can have nothing to say to it. The government is not a government of the people.”

    On 2 May 1803, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase delivered a charge to a Baltimore grand jury in which he blasted Congress and the Jefferson administration for repealing the Judiciary Act of 1801 and thus unseating federal circuit court judges. He also lashed out at the Maryland legislature for eliminating property qualifications for the franchise and for interfering with the operation of Maryland’s courts. Chase railed that America was risking a descent into “mobocracy,” which he called “the worst form of all governments.”

    I believe that the founders saw democracy as a system where small minded people could be swayed by the most fatuous of arguments to vote against their own self-interests.

    Thus, we are seeing the effects of mobocracy and voters disaffected by a system which fails to address their needs.

  6. Hello Muddy,
    I heard of this University of Michigan study on NPR two days ago and wanted to do a posting but could not find the collaborating facts. I am glad that you did.

    Yes misinformed people, particularly political partisans, that are exposed to correct facts, rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. The fanatical right wing or religious right people are going to prove by the means of ignorance that they are right no matter what facts are presented to them proving just the opposite. These demographic groups of people just hunker down, conveniently ignore facts, engage “Select-O-Vision,” and continue to spout their nihilistic viewpoints.

    Those who refuse to accept facts, and just cosset the messengers of misinformation and their ability to pass on the twisted skein of lies.

    This University study does not paint a very hopeful picture of any voice of reason being able to tap into the true human potential of taking a dull, ignorant mind and transforming it into a bright enlightened one.

    The Pierian Springs will never be drunk from by the hopeless, wantonly ignorant, fanatical right wing and religious conservatives. Sadly, their votes count for just as much as those whom have. I guess that I never realized that truth and facts were so esoteric.

  7. Great posts, great ideas, great history. Thank you Laci for your posts.
    How do these relate to the subject of this post?
    That is the subject of the post…how do you reach people?
    We all blog for different reasons, but the common denominator is the desire to express ones self. With passion, with humor, sarcasm, with the truth as we see and understand it. We blog as we write. An attempt to logically state ideas channled through our personalities.
    When I first started to write on blogs, I had the almost egotistical fantasy that I could change people’s minds. Maybe I have. perhaps I haven’t. I know I have gotten reactions, positive and negative, but you’re nothing if you don’t try.
    I know that I have learned a lot about human nature and have opened doors into the brains of beings I hardly knew existed. Some pretty scary stuff out there.
    One very positive aspect of the blogging experience is intellectually connecting with others. A sense of common purpose and community that is a uniquely modern experience. The fact that I am here in my remote end of the road in the middle of nowhere and you are in Toledo, Maryland, London, Alabama and we all somehow connect, is a very satisfying experience.

    I read the article about the study that Mudrake quoted in the update.
    I see the daily tidal wave of lies that pass for facts and truth by those who would accept lies to reinforce their bigotry and greed….
    But I also am empowered by the positive emotion and ideas I see expressed here…

  8. You guys are a laugh riot! Deluding yourselves that the tea folks and the republicans have some kind of monopoly on “racism” is just wishfull fantasy on your part.
    I grew up in a union democrat household. We associated with plenty of high profile democrats from Toledo…I played with their kids, bbq-d at their houses, stayed overnight Did all the LCDP functions with them. And I’ll tell you right now, I used to hear the word “nigger” tossed around constantly in private and then, 5 minutes later see the “niggers” they were just talking about showing up getting their hands pumped and pictures taken together! From age 13 on up, I saw this crap firsthand going on behind the scenes. And I learned that democrats don’t necessarily like blacks but, if you play nice with them, promise them something you have no intention of delivering on, give them a few pins, campaign literature and a few t-shirts…they go home and tell their friends to vote for so and so.
    And I’ve yet to hear anyone in the democratic party denounce the racists within it!
    And it wasn’t limited to the Lucas county democrats because I rode the bus all the way to New Hampshire to hand out lit for John Glenn during the primaries and heard things there too!

    As for the tea parties, sure I’d bet that some assholes show up thinking their bullshit will be accepted. I’ve yet to hear from anyone I personally know about any problem types attending. I also know 2 black tea partiers who attended out of curiousity the first time they went and “got it” that limiting government power, reasonable taxation and, accountable government spending…effects everyone! Which makes me believe that what is being said at the tea parties is filtering out to the black communities and is being seen as a threat to the DNC and Obama himself.

    The Dems are already losing independent voters in droves. If they lose even a tiny percentage of the black voters…they’re done! And they know it!
    So what better tactic to use than the race card? Have the media plaster it all over the tv…”the tea partys are racist!” and even the curious will think twice about going and hearing anything “subversive”.
    IMO, it’s a last ditch effort to save some government jobs in November!

    As for “reaching” for people…good luck with that. I’ve seen how you guys reach out to others with alternative views.
    The first thing you might try is NOT verbally assaulting anyone who doesent think like you do…thats what bigots do!

    Secondly, don’t shoot the guy who delivers information you don’t like!

    “It’s this: Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite.”

    I recall providing you with “facts” about Obama that were quoted directly from his autobiography.
    Do you recall your reaction?

    “Here’s a scary article on how our brains do NOT work towards the betterment of a democracy.

    Some people will disagree with you that putting the government in control of people’s lives will somehow better democracy! Some folks don’t want the government telling them how to live, what to eat, what to drive, how much salt to use, what to believe, etc.
    It often seems to me that what you want is a standardized generic society where only one form of thought and oppinion is authorized and tightly monitored!

    I’m not trying to be a wise-ass but, I do wonder what caused you guys to give up on freedom? You all seem entirely content that the government creates new laws that directly or, indirectly exchange a bit of liberty you now have for a worthless promise from the government.

    The national debt is growing closer to the point where it will be unpayable, the dollar is being destabilized…and you cheer for more spending.

    Obama recently extended the patriot act and added a provision so his administration is immune from lawsuits if it’s abused…ok with that too?

    As with the tea folks and the independents, people have their own tipping point where they’ve simply had enough.

  9. Thank you, Sepp, for your most sensible comments. You are absolutely correct in that the Tea Party and the GOP does NOT have the corner on racism. Racism is everywhere and there surely are many Democrats who are racists.

    I’m hoping that racism will die out with my generation and above, just like the horse and buggy. We grew up with racist parents and it was an conscious act to move away from those prejudices. ‘Coloreds’ was the more proper word those days and the N word slipped out from time to time during ‘polite’ gatherings.

    The 20-something and lower age groups are very open-minded about race and skin color means little to them. Maybe racism will become extinct for the most part in America as soon as we old farts die off, taking our learned-prejudices with us to the grave.

    As a child of the 40’s and 50’s living in middle class America, we had a ‘colored lady’ clean for us once a week. I clearly recall an incident as if it happened yesterday that stunned my naive young mind. It was lunch time and Mary, who cleaned on Friday, was washing her hands at the sink before eating her lunch. While the water still ran she turned me and asked where my mother kept the the paper towels. I figured, correctly, that she needed to dry her hands and said to her, “Just use the cloth one.” She turned the water off and said, “Your mother wants me only to use paper towels,” as she dried her hands on her uniform.


    My hope is that, with each new generation, there are more ‘gulp’ experiences by each younger generation until racism no longer is a fact of life. My children were carefully taught acceptance of ‘the other’ and I know that they are teaching that to their children. Of course this will not prohibit their contact with other children whose parents and grandparents were not careful teachers and role models. At that moment I hope that my grandchildren will recoil from such talk and move away from such bigotry.

    Who was the artist of that song from the 70’s, “Teach your children well”?

  10. If this is a joke, then you are the punchline.
    Bottom line?
    I really believe that the conservatives, not the rabble tea baggies, but the men who are in power and covet more, support policies that deliberately create crisis that they can exploit to gain power. Not for you, mot for me, but for the entitled elite.
    I beieve the teabaggies are exploited by this cynical elite. I do not see any coherent or rational line of thought coming out of the “movement” if something as they loosely would like to be described could be called a “movement”.
    The punch ine of this joke is the denial that the imflammatory rhetoric and exploitation of the racial feelings, the utter xenophobic fear of the other is being used as a tool to manipulate the tea baggers.

    To deny that racial and xenophobic issues are being used as a manipulative technique at this point in time, because, one says that they know liberals or democrats who have expressed negative racial views, or that they personally don’t know any conservative or teabaggers who are prejudiced is highly suspect, extremely hypocritical.
    In other words, when you lie to yourself long enough you finally begin to belive your own delusions.

  11. I have tasted racism on the wrong side of it. it is humiliating but my children have good white friends that don’t seem to be racists. they invite them to their homes after school to study and their moms give them snacks and are very welcoming to them. The only racism I hear is coming from the left with every one calling people on the right racists. how do they defend themselfs from that kind of charge? It’s like asking when they stopped beating their dog. your damed if you answer either way. It’s a trap used by people with no usefull ideas so they resort to name calling. i am very offended by it. and by all you lily white men calling every one on the right or in the tea party racists. i suggest you take a long look in the mirror because you seem to like to say the word nigger on this blog a lot. Does that give you the outlet you don’t have in talking to people face to face? Don’t call me a nigger. I am a proud African American. Don’t even use the word to describe what you think every one else is saying because you don’t know every one else. you insult me and all black people when you say it even the way you use it.

    NOTE: I do not believe that Jane is black and I have listed my argument on the newest thread. – Mudrake

  12. Microdot, my point comes in the most recent post by muckrake.
    But the basic gist is that the average person can be easily deceived. Worse, the average person can be deceived and will accept ideas which work contrary to their own interest.

    Sepp is a wonderful example of this.

  13. “I really believe that the conservatives, not the rabble tea baggies, but the men who are in power and covet more, support policies that deliberately create crisis that they can exploit to gain power. Not for you, mot for me, but for the entitled elite.”

    “Never let a good crises go to waste”
    -Rham Emannuel
    Obama’s chief of staff

    “To deny that racial and xenophobic issues are being used as a manipulative technique at this point in time, because, one says that they know liberals or democrats who have expressed negative racial views, or that they personally don’t know any conservative or teabaggers who are prejudiced is highly suspect, extremely hypocritical.”

    Who denied anything microdot? I’d call it highly hypocritical to delude one’s self that only one race and political affiliation has a monopoly on racism!

    As you can see in the video shot during the NAACP’s awards banquet, not only is the woman bragging about her racism but, she’s being cheered for it!
    Wow…racist hypocracy right from the mouth of the NAACP! Although they did denounce her AFTER the video surfaced and AFTER they cheered her racist story!
    I stand by my statement that the NAACP’s labeling of the tea partiers as “racist” was nothing more than leftist politics as usual. The tea parties ARE a threat to a lot of democrat’s jobs in November and that makes them a direct threat to OBAMA’s agenda getting pushed through.
    Just brand em all as “racist” and they stop arguing and start defending! It also keeps black voters from getting too curious and finding out the truth.

    Laci, how would YOU what MY best interest is? Your utopian worldview runs completely counter to actual freedom whereas you equate surrendering personal freedom for non-binding government promises that can be altered at anytime of the government’s choosing.
    Some of us haven’t given up on the idea that people can achieve things WITHOUT the government stepping in and making the determination for them if it’s possible or, not.
    You’ve been easily deceived and conditioned to believe otherwise!
    As for me, I’ll happily bask in my own accomplishments, learn from my own failures and get back up, dust myself off, take responsibiliy and, try again.
    …but THAT is the clincher of liberalism…self responsibility!
    As long as the government can be held responsible for YOUR failures…you never really have failed!
    It must be a real self-esteem builder!

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