The double-barreled dog whistle: it's not the lies, it's the lying

I am beginning to think the right wing’s appeal to low-information voters is actually a double-barreled dog whistle.

  • They appeal to isms (race, sex, heterosex, class).
  • And they tell lies - but NOT to be believed. No one, deep down, believes or even needs to believe the lies.

The lies serve a strange sort of meta-function. The more obvious lies, flip-flops, illogic, or non sequiturs you put over, the more loyal the voters know you are, and the stronger fighter you appear. They know you won’t put the facts before the cause.

They trust you. Not your lies, because they don’t have to. They know more lies will be told tomorrow, some even contradicting old lies. But they trust YOU, because they know you are willing to lie to them and for them.

Some people read the news to be informed, others entertained. Modern conservatives seek reassurance. Taking a psychological perspective, they are primarily driven by cognitive dissonance. Certain accurate descriptions create excessive mental stress and discomfort which modern conservatives can’t handle. They react by gravitating towards news sources that will whisper sweet inaccuracies in their ear.

I mean you have to be pretty mucked in the head to view news sources that consistently get their facts messed up. Now don’t get me wrong: today’s conservative isn’t evil and he isn’t stupid. He simply lacks character. But with specialized teaching techniques or different educational programs they can learn to compartmentalize their bat shit and become productive members of society, though they may careen from one drama to another. This board is far too harsh on conservatives: I defend them.

I’m not going to claim that the two sides are the same. But lying is fundamental to politics and both sides do do it. A lot. Where the two sides are not the same is that one side is morally shocked that the other side lies, which indicates a rather tenuous grasp on reality.

Let’s see, what was the “Lie of the Year” again? Oh yeah, something that not only came out of the President’s mouth, but was even backed up by nearly all of his supporters.

I disagree, BOD. There is no mystery to the rapid right wing’s appeal. They promised to protect “you” against “them”, and to ensure “you” will continue to be privileged (even if you are not), because you for some reason deserve it, or, if there is no possible evidence for that claim, because God wants it.

The RRW tell lies often and repeatedly because, people will start to believe something if they hear it often enough. They do it because it works, and not only with low-information voters.

This is not helpful or fair, especially to conservatives. “Today’s conservative” may be evil, may be stupid, may have plenty of character, may even be a she, and might not be a low-information voter.

Wait - was I whooshed?

Speaking of desiring assurance, what does it mean when liberals cling to the belief that they never lose elections because of what they did?

Who gives a shit; it has nothing to do with the topic of this thread. Go start your own thread if you want to discuss that.

The topic of this thread is that Republicans are uniquely dishonest and seek assurance rather than facts. If I demonstrate that Democrats have similar problems, then that questions the very premise of the thread. I realize why that might piss you off, but it’s certainly relevant.

Of course, I could have just responded to the assertion that Republicans appeal to low information voters with “CITE!!!”, but I’ll do you one better by just disproving that silly assertion with my own cite:

The only demographic the Republicans actually won in 2012 were college graduates. High school dropouts? Democrats won those handily.

Every assertion made in this thread was from Beware of Doug looking in a mirror.

No, that isn’t the topic of this thread at all. You’re wrong. The OP never makes any claim or inference that this is “unique” to Republicans, the GOP, the right wing, the left wing, or anything else. You’re wrong again.

No, since you have the premise of the thread wrong, any demonstration that Democrats have similar problems wouldn’t do anything but show that Democrats have similar problems.

You aren’t disproving me (or even anything I said) with that cite, since I never made the claim you now claim I made. That’s twice you’ve done that to me; how long before you go for the hat trick?

Oh, and your cite doesn’t refute the assertion that people who vote GOP are low-info voters. Education ≠ information. I wouldn’t trust a neurosurgeon to do my plumbing just because he’s educated, for example.

Nonsense. As in “something absurd or fatuous”. My cite is your first sentence, quoted above in this very post, coupled with my noting that you made up a qualifier that did not exist at all in the OP that BoD posted.

Oh. Well if we agree that Republicans are not uniquely dishonest, then carry on.

Now I’ll explain why the OP is really wrong. Republican voters HATE being lied to. I believe Democratic voters are much more willing to except “noble lies” than Republican voters, if it’s furthering the cause. That’s because Republican politicians almost never lie to their supporters in furtherance of the cause. They lie to them when they want to go the opposite way. A good example is immigration where GOP leaders are shoveling incredible amounts of bullshit at the base to try to get us to accept their version of reform. Democratic voters know it’s mostly lies, but it’s lies to benefit the party and the cause, so it’s good. Republicans are lying to benefit their business allies and stick a shiv into the backs of their base supporters.

I disagree. A large amount of people believe the lies. Those who know otherwise but support the ruse anyway are shrewd operators.

There’s a lot of support on both sides for a sort of meta-trolling. It doesn’t matter so much what someone says, just as long as they say it in a way that pisses the other side off. You often see it as an excited prediction in comments section and the like. “Oh, oh, this will make their heads explode!”

Speaking half-truth to power is better than none at all, or something.

I suppose there’s a point where people believe lies because they, themselves, are intensely loyal. Or intensely angry. Or loyal to anger, which is, after all, an addictive high as well as a self-replicating belief system.

I wanted to run this model by you because it got some good likes on Facebook and thought I should test it in a venue more given to intense scrutiny.

Any person with character would only watch Fox News for anthropological or entertainment purposes. Similarly for Rush Limbaugh. You can go to http://www.mediamatters.org/ on any given week and find wild misrepresentation at that Republican network.

So-so examples: http://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2014/03/13/oreilly-previews-2014-elections-with-fact-free/198473
http://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2014/03/12/fox-resorts-to-professional-dirty-trickster-to/198457
Somewhat better example actually, given President Lincoln’s well known sense of humor:
http://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2014/03/12/lincoln-scholar-tells-oreilly-lincoln-would-hav/198458

Traditional conservatives were different. Though they had a problem with prejudice, they had a basic respect for the goddamn facts. Nixon might have been an example, or possibly Eisenhower.

You can agree to whatever the hell you want. I never stated a position on the issue. I was just calling you out for trying to hijack the thread and then I had no choice but to point out that you were wrong again.

YOu didn’t need to. The OP does not argue that republicans are uniquely dishonest, as you pointed out. It is he and I that agree, not you and I.

I am not defending Rush Limbaugh, the Fox News, or the Republican Party Leadership and Platform.

My points are two.
Not all conservatives are right-wing-nuts.

Not all of any group are any one thing.

Once again, your analysis of Democratic voters is a complete failure.

Wait, da fuq? GOP lies to its base about immigration reform, and the Dems are OK with that because it helps their cause? Huh?

So they do believe the lies? I’m not sure whether that’s worse or not.

Nah, I’m right. When Democratic voters found out they wouldn’t actually be able to keep their health insurance, most of them turned on a dime to “That’s the whole point of the law!”