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I had a fascinating visit with a patient this morning. He is a retired college professor, and (surprise!) is an extremely vocal Democrat. He brings up politics in all his conversations, regardless of the topic. He reads the New York Times every day, watches CNN all the time, and he complains that many voters are so uninformed. “These people don’t know the truth! They’re not even interested in the truth! But still, they go vote! And of course, they vote Republican. If they opened their minds and put just a little effort into learning the truth, they wouldn’t vote Republican. I can’t believe people like that are even allowed to vote!”
Part of his physical exam today was a screening test for Alzheimer’s. As I sat down to give him the results from his test, he sarcastically said, “Did I beat Trump? Ha!” I smiled and said that I wasn’t sure, but I was certain that he scored better than Joe Biden. He looked genuinely surprised and asked if I thought Mr. Biden might be having mental problems. I do not discuss politics at work, and I didn’t want to talk about this. I wanted to talk about his Alzheimer’s test (he got a perfect score). So I changed the subject as fast as I could. But it was obvious that he honestly didn’t know that there was some question of Mr. Biden’s mental functioning. Remember, he reads the New York Times every day and watches CNN all the time. He is dedicated to staying informed about things and commits a lot of time to reading about current events. And he had no idea.
He says that many people are so uninformed that they shouldn’t be allowed to vote. But he is completely uninformed. And he votes.
I may be biased because I like the guy, but I really don’t think this is completely his fault. He does put significant time and effort into staying informed. He uses mainstream sources with long-standing reputations as reputable sources – he’s not getting wild conspiracy theories from the far-left fever swamps of the internet. He’s reading The New York Times. He’s watching CNN.
So he considers himself to be well-informed. Understandably.
Very few Russians who read Pravda consider themselves to be well informed. They know it’s biased, so they take that into consideration when they read it.
This guy thinks his sources are neutral. Pretty much, at least. And many people share this view.
And of course, Facebook and Twitter are simply file sharing sites, where people can share ideas with one another. How could they be biased? And Google is just a search engine. How could that be biased?
Imagine if our media treated both political parties with equal skepticism. Just imagine. I suspect that Republicans would win the presidency easily, nearly every time.
I also suspect that the Democrat party would not be this far left. Because they just couldn’t be. Once the media reports how far-out leftist they are, no one will vote for them.
But they know that their extremism will go un-reported. So their party slides further and further to left. There are no brakes.
Without a functioning media, who holds our leaders accountable?
Nobody. That’s who.
So my patient continues to work at staying informed, while he is actually uninformed. Or, more precisely, misinformed. And he continues to criticize those who don’t share his interest in the truth. Understandably.
I wish he would open his mind a bit, but his comfortable illusion is so easy for him to maintain. He doesn’t even have to try. Everywhere he looks, he sees the same thing. No disturbing contradictions. Everything is comfortably consistent. I’m sure that’s very nice.
Getting these people out of their shells will be uncomfortable for them. Change is always uncomfortable, and admitting that one is not as smart as one thinks is extremely uncomfortable.
I don’t really see a solution here. He’s been immersed in this world of ubiquitous leftism for years. And the more young people graduate from these schools who have been similarly immersed in this world of ubiquitous leftism for years, the greater the percentage of simply automatic Democrat voters we have. We can’t convince them to get informed, because they think they already are. Understandably.
No wonder they think the rest of us are stupid. Or insane. Or evil. Our behavior makes no sense in their world. It just doesn’t fit.
We make their comfortably consistent world less comfortable for them. No wonder they prefer that we don’t participate in their comfortably consistent world.
They think it’s better without us.