Saturday, June 5, 2010

What is wrong with Republicans?

Jonathan Haidt explains why you shouldn't believe all those bad things you are say the political opposition is true.

Some liberals use the fact that Democrats/liberals tend to be more educated than Republicans/Tea Party people as if it were proof liberals (at least in Cambridge) don't manipulate facts, ignore evidence, and, from time to time, make some pretty stupid statements. Some of my favorite examples of liberals being stupid are below:

In 2003, Barack Obama wasn't a member of congress, so he didn't vote against the war. In 2006, he was a senator, and voted against withdrawing the troops from Iraq. These are facts. In April 2008, I pointed these facts out to someone and said it made me wonder if he would actually have the troops out of Iraq in 16 months like he promised. She insisted I had no idea what I was talking about. Indeed, I must have been lying on purpose and a Republican stooge.

MIT, like most universities, has lower admissions standards for minorities. That is also a fact. (I think it's a rather blunt instrument, but it's better than nothing.) I've met a lot of people who think it's a good thing, but never once met a person who benefited from those lower standards. You can back out an estimate (by comparing MIT to a peer without affirmative action) that about 73% of URM students at MIT benefited from affirmative action so the odds are in 485,693 that I just happened to meet people who would have been qualified if they were White. When I made that comment to someone they said I must have done the math wrong.

My favorite example, though, of people being completely delusion is the Palin Test. Watch these two interviews, two of Palin and one of Biden, by Katie Couric. Somehow, probably because no one watched the interviews, people got the impression Couric asked them both hard hitting questions and Joe "Slave State-7-Eleven-Scholarship" Biden hit them out of the park while Palin stumbled.

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