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Old 05-04-2020, 11:40 AM
Velocity is offline
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Taking political affiliation into account when considering the guilt or innocence of someone


I am definitely prone to giving greater weight, mentally, towards considering politicians or people on "my side" to be innocent and likewise skewing more towards considering people on "the other side" to be likelier to be guilty, when accused of something. That doesn't mean that my side can't be guilty or the other side can't be innocent, but I am more prone to giving my side more slack and "don't attribute to malice what is likely just ignorance" while the other side has less slack and a higher hurdle to clear.

So I wonder if other Dopers feel this way as well. Not meaning to make this thread about Biden-Reade and Kavanaugh-Ford specifically, but tribalism and partisanship so thoroughly permeates everything these days that it can't be discounted. Without delving into the minutiae of the similarities and differences between the Ford and Reade situations (we already have other threads about that, so let's not hash it here), a great many D's and R's are prone to assign their own side +20 innocence points and the other side + 20 guilty points, IMHO, and only relatively few are looking at things from a completely neutral lens.

That is to say, in the blue or red tinted lens, one looks at the Reade or Ford situation and then depending on the outcome one wants to see, then holds Reade to a much tougher standard/scrutiny than Ford or vice versa. This isn't to say that the cases are the same - a completely neutral observer could come to the conclusion that one woman is right and the other is wrong - but that many (but not all) D's and R's are simply predisposed to see their own guy in favorable terms and an accuser of their guy in unfavorable terms.
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Old 05-04-2020, 12:08 PM
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Its natural. And its not just D & R who do so or even Americans.
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Old 05-04-2020, 12:09 PM
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Humans do indeed act in inconsistent ways. We're not robots.

Last edited by Chingon; 05-04-2020 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 05-04-2020, 12:59 PM
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Bias certainly exists. But in some cases, it's justified.

If you have an individual who has repeatedly been shown to exaggerate and outright lie telling you something, you're justified in treating his statement with skepticism. That's not unfair bias; that's learning from experience.
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Old 05-04-2020, 01:13 PM
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Bias exists and can be difficult to recognize within one's self. The best we can do is to try and take this into account when analyzing different situations.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 05-04-2020 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 05-04-2020, 01:32 PM
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OP, did you mean to put this in P&E? It seems more suited to IMHO.

Yes, people are more forgiving of people on their side, whether that's sports, politics, family, nationality, even ethnicity or religion. Shocker!

Just ask a Patriots fan about deflated footballs.

Is this really a new thing for you?
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Old 05-04-2020, 02:29 PM
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Scumbags, whether of (D), (R), (I), (G), (L), (A), or (Z) party affiliation, are still scumbags. Watching someone you despise go down is certainly satisfying, but Dorks-Be-Gone! works in all directions. I'd like to see an old tradition revived - those convicted of giving or taking bribes are stealing the public trust and should have a hand amputated. How many one-handed pols (and bribers) would emerge? I'd foresee a surge in the prosthetic hand market
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Old 05-04-2020, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
Bias exists and can be difficult to recognize within one's self. The best we can do is to try and take this into account when analyzing different situations.
I think it's useful to always being examining your own beliefs and asking yourself why you believe something. If Smith and Jones are both accused of something and you believe Smith is guilty and Jones is innocent, you should do a little self-reflection on why there is this difference in how you feel. You should try to determine the factors that led to your conclusions and ask yourself if they are valid factors for basing a decision upon.
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Old 05-04-2020, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Bias certainly exists. But in some cases, it's justified.

If you have an individual who has repeatedly been shown to exaggerate and outright lie telling you something, you're justified in treating his statement with skepticism. That's not unfair bias; that's learning from experience.
Yes. But concluding that someone is “lying” is also often as much a matter of opinion and bias. See for instance during Kavanaugh hearings, where the same statement was taken as evidence of honesty or lying depending on ones political sympathies. Similar with Biden.
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Old 05-04-2020, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RioRico View Post
Scumbags, whether of (D), (R), (I), (G), (L), (A), or (Z) party affiliation, are still scumbags. Watching someone you despise go down is certainly satisfying, but Dorks-Be-Gone! works in all directions. I'd like to see an old tradition revived - those convicted of giving or taking bribes are stealing the public trust and should have a hand amputated. How many one-handed pols (and bribers) would emerge? I'd foresee a surge in the prosthetic hand market
What I mean, though, isn't whether scumbags are good or bad - I think almost everyone, blue or red, would agree they are bad - but rather, that political affiliation plays a big role in determining whether your guy or the other guy is a scumbag in your eyes in the first place.
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Old 05-04-2020, 04:07 PM
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For me, “hoping” is separate from “judging.” I try to judge Brett and Joe using the same yardstick (necessarily in these cases, via second- third- or fourth-hand accounts and analyses), but I’m hoping that Brett is guilty, while Joe is not. (Actually, there’s a range of severity of actions, so better to say that “I’m hoping that Brett is much more guilty than Joe.”).

Last edited by JKellyMap; 05-04-2020 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 05-04-2020, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
Not meaning to make this thread about Biden-Reade and Kavanaugh-Ford specifically, but tribalism and partisanship so thoroughly permeates everything these days that it can't be discounted.
I think one difference there is that a lot of people already have formed opinions about Biden. I doubt one person in 500 knew who Kavanaugh was before he really hit the news.

To play the other side, I don't remember many Democrats rushing to defend Blagojevich when corruption allegations were made against him. Everyone in Illinois by that point was thinking "Ok, yeah, I can see that..."
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