political bias

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by sculptor, Apr 12, 2017.

  1. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Reuters :
    It is generally believed that America is more polarized than ever. After all, one need only look at the fallout from the last election to test this theory: both liberals and conservatives are convinced that their ideas and principles are the best and should be followed.

    But a recent survey by Reuters casts a bit of doubt on how well people really know their own minds and understand the political principles they say they adhere to. It appears that many Americans base their views on whether a particular authority figure holds them.

    As Reuters explains, surveyors read a variety of political statements which Donald Trump made on the campaign trail to mixed groups of Republicans and Democrats. One group was told that each statement was made by Trump; the other omitted that important detail. In almost every case, Democrat support for the statement decreased when Trump’s name was attached, while Republican support increased.

    Government-run health care is a prime example of this. When asked if government should take care of everyone, 68 percent of Democrats agreed. Only 33 percent of Republicans did the same. But when Trump’s name was thrown into the ring, both parties had a sudden change of heart. Democrats in particular exhibited a 20 percent drop in support for government-run health care.

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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The first question in the political bias test is whether you regard yourself as "liberal" or "conservative". Hah.

    Here's another early one: "Are genetically modified foods (GMOs) unsafe for humans due to being genetically modified"

    How in hell is anyone supposed to answer that? I answered "no", on the assumption that the question was merely ignorant in its confusion of GMOs with "foods", blindly stupid in assuming all GMOs and every food made from them, present and future, belonged in the same category of safety, and narrowly focused by the "due to being genetically modified" clause. A trick question.

    I quit on that one. Those people are lost. Rasmussen creates better polls.

    And they say it's "designed for Americans". Designed by Americans, maybe.
    - - - -
    OK, I finished. Curiosity as to how ridiculous they would be got the better of me. And wow - they actually scored my answers to that string of bs and unanswerable push questions as "correct" and "incorrect". Not "consistent with your claim of liberal/conservative", not "like these others", but actually as if they had not only answers to the unanswerable on file, but correct ones - as if they knew the answers.

    Now I got both those "correct", but only by riding with my assessment of the test as bullshit. I figured they were measuring "richer" as "per capita GDP" or some such idiocy, so I said "yes, the US is richer". And I guessed right. Now that's not just "politically controversial", but completely subjective - per capita GDP is, as Stiglitz and others have pointed out, a dubious measure of prosperity. Fully a third of the citizens of the US cannot afford to see a doctor for ordinary first world medical care. US citizens must work hundreds of hours more per year to keep their jobs and pay for their basic lives. We have poverty ghettos in the US that simply don't exist in some of those countries. There are very good reasons to doubt the claim that the US is "richer" than all other European countries, (even before you run into the bait and switch aspect - come to find out they didn't mean "European", they meant "European Union members". So Norway and Switzerland (countries that come up immediately in a list of "rich") don't count. )

    Norway, Switzerland, and Luxemburg, have per capita GDPs higher than the US. Luxemburg is in the EU, so they (and my answer) are technically incorrect even on their terms. Austria, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, are within a few thousand dollars - and have nowhere near the inequality that biases the "average" and conceals the lack of wealth and degree of poverty in the US, or the working hours and medical risks that blight the lives of the working classes in the US. But if you answer on that basis, you are "incorrect", and if you also called yourself "liberal" (as many would who took such factors into account) you are "biased". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Member_state_of_the_European_Union (US is 53k)

    That isn't science. But hey - I was only 20% unable to guess the answer they wanted, much less "biased" than average (I said renewables had only taken up 1% between 2009 and 2013, guessing, for example - and that increased my bias score, despite being biased in the wrong direction from my category "lean liberal"). Hallelujah. Fuckwits.

    Is somebody else going to blow up the Reuters poll, or does maybe nobody care? I noticed the very first question was misrepresented in the description - a bad sign.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
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  5. origin In a democracy you deserve the leaders you elect. Valued Senior Member

    This first statement of the article is so stupid it was not worth reading the rest.
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  7. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    heads up,
    The folks who post those "quizzes"/"tests"/polls are doing so to collect data which they then sell.

    so, I like to screw with them
  8. spidergoat Venued Serial Membership Valued Senior Member

    "...In 2013, when Barack Obama was president, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that only 22 percent of Republicans supported the U.S. launching missile strikes against Syria in response to Bashar al-Assad using chemical weapons against civilians.

    A new Post-ABC poll finds that 86 percent of Republicans support Donald Trump’s decision to launch strikes on Syria for the same reason. Only 11 percent are opposed.
    That’s an astounding shift in attitudes, and partisan instincts almost certainly explain the rapid change. Republican voters opposed Obama, so they had no use for his plan to attack the Assad regime, and Republican voters generally back Trump, so they support last week’s strikes.

    But look a little closer at the details, and the asymmetry between the parties becomes more obvious: four years ago, 38% of Democratic voters backed Obama’s proposed strikes in Syria, and now, 37% of Democratic voters support Trump doing the same thing. In other words, there’s been effectively no change."

    sculptor likes this.
  9. birch Valued Senior Member

    lmao. that is soo not surprising as that is soo conservative personality types. they are the quintessential biased and cliqueish and have feeble concept of logic or non-bipartisan truth. the most obnoxious but obtuse mentality of conservatives is what they accuse liberals of tends to be what they are most guilty of, and funnily (well, not really funny but insulting) enough, every single time. it's like they are always trying to pull the wool over and they think they can most succeed by being confident and sure when they do it so people are perplexed or idiots believe them.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2017
  10. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

    You need identify those stringent ideas and principles before we can determine the divide. I don't believe they are so well defined within the average Joe walking the street. And I bet there is a lot of overlap, even when people identify as conservative or liberal. I also believe what we are witnessing is more a class war of economics rather than a war of ideas.
    sculptor likes this.
  11. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    Why would say that when in a country where anyone can become rich?
  12. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

    It's a curious thing. I'm working for a huge corporation that originally started as a retirees side business. I personally wouldn't want the 24/7 responsibility of managing a huge success. It's much easier to work five 8's and have the free time to strum my uke on the weekend. The problem arises when 8 to 5 jobs disappear.
  13. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    The old political labels have grown almost meaningless since the 19th century when they were originally coined.

    I agree very strongly that the political landscape is changing dramatically, both here in the US and in Europe. And it does seem to be a class conflict, but I'm less sure that it's an old-style economic class conflict.

    I see it as an assertion of the democratic ideal of popular soverignty in the face of a new aristocracy of those who believe that they are society's natural leaders.

    While the rich tend to align with the new aristocracy, many of its members are actually fairly poor in dollar terms. University professors for example, government employees for another. What the new aristocracy have in common is that that they believe that they are better positioned (educationally, culturally, in terms of their job, wealth or celebrity) to lead society and make its decisions than the typical voter.

    It's obvious in Trump's victory in November, it's obvious in Brexit, and it's obvious in many EU countries like France, Poland and Hungary. In the case of both Trump's and Brexit's election victories, they won despite being opposed by almost every would-be opinion leader. My point is that Trump and Brexit won at least in part because of the leadership elite's almost unanimous opposition. The vote turned into a popular referendum on the people's confidence in their leadership elites.

    It's basically Plato's opposition to Athenian democracy in the Republic playing itself out all over again. (Some things never change.)

    In the classical period, Athens was about as pure a participatory democracy as one could get. It was ruled ultimately by its popular assembly, which was composed of all of its citizens (numbered in the tens of thousands) physically gathered together. One acquired citizenship by being subject to military service, so every citizen was a soldier and also a legislator.

    Plato opposed this Athenian popular democracy, believing that it was rule by the rabble. He favored a return to aristocratic rule, except that in his scheme it wouldn't be a warrior-aristocracy as it had been in past centuries, but rather an aristocracy of intellectual merit. Hence his 'philosopher-kings'. As he envisioned it, it would be rule by those who naturally think in abstractions, those capable of intuiting the eternal Forms in things, especially the highest form of the Good.

    Today we once again have something like that, where the would-be leadership class perceives democracy as rule by the rabble (a rabble corrupted by "populism" and by "fear") and prefer instead rule by an odd coalition of intellectuals, bureaucrats, the rich, the media and the celebrities. All joined by their belief that they are the rightful ones to tell everyone else how to think, believe and behave.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    That would be the 2oth Century, especially after WWII by the intellectuals who were analyzing what had just happened. And their meaninglessness was deliberately arranged, by very well funded repetition of bogus usage - funded by people who had a very strong and specific interest in not being identified by those "old labels".
    Donald Trump is of course one the new "aristocrats" who think of themselves as your natural leaders. So is Steve Bannon - brought to you by Goldman Sachs, an entire corporation of new aristocrats who think of themselves as your natural leaders. The entire Bush family also.

    Or did you think you were talking about "liberals"?
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  15. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Look to Bob Mercer for effectiveness in using money to influence political outcomes.
    It has been written that he and daughter Rebekah have out Koched the Kochs.
    He bankrolls Bannon and breitbart. The Trump campaign was reorganized by them--(mostly by Rebekah who is said to have a passion for politics)
  16. Bowser Right Here, Right Now Valued Senior Member

    Agreed, but I also believe there is an economic divide within the common folk, which also evolves into an ideology that differs, too.

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